Party time

Friday 29th July.

Day of the Baz Summer Party …

6.00am

Awake.  Lie in bed panicking about whether I forgot to send the updated info sheet for printing.

6.12

Convince myself I did send it. I remember doing it. I do.

6.15

Do I?

6.17

I do.

6.21

Better just check …

10.03

Phone the venue to finalise equipment drop off. Phone local bars to finalise ice pick ups.

10.11

Remember haven’t ironed dress. Put iron on.

10.12

Realise info sheet has a typo on it. Rewrite hurriedly. Resend the now rewritten info sheet.

10.24

Remember iron is on. Iron dress before building burns down.

12.19

Alcohol, glasses, cleaning equipment, outfit and paperwork packed into gigantic travel case. Set off dragging it across London. Sweating.

12.23

Bus stop. Elderly couple in stitches at the size of my case. ‘Blimey! How much does that weigh? Let’s have a feel! Hope you’re not going far. Here love, you get on first!’ They giggle as I drag the case on behind me.

12.41

Elephant and Castle tube station. A labyrinth in the centre of which lies the enigmatic Northern Line northbound platform. Have hauled case up and down four staircases and numerous corridors. Lost.

12.48

Still lost.

12.52

More lost. Have found the exit twice. And nine staircases. I kick the case.

14.13

Ready to make Baz Kiss cocktails. All ingredients laid out. Measurements taken. Bottles ready.

14.18

First bottle of Baz Kiss finished. Beautiful. And tasty. We are a little high on success.

14.25

Second bottle proving more difficult. Proportions wrong. We are flushed. Liquid spills.

14.39

Realise we have been trying to put 85cl in a 75cl bottle. Start again.

16.32

Standing in queue at the bank to get change for float. Carrying £250 in my bag. Trying to look nonchalant. And poor. Now would be a bad time to get mugged.

16.59

Both cars loaded, lists ticked off, energy drinks consumed. Baz Team are go!

18.37

Bar set up, furniture rearranged, car gone for second pick up. Twine and pegs are the main concern, as it takes three of us to hang the gallery section (I feel I hamper more than help : ‘Bit higher’ ‘Really’? ‘Yes, higher’ ‘Let’s see…’ ‘Oh no, hang on. Lower. I meant lower’ ‘Right’ ‘Yeah’).

18.57

Car arrives back and it’s unload frenzy.

19.42

We have sound, lights, projections and ice. Finishing touches include starting off the Baz wall of comments. We go marker pen-tastic.

20.00

Bang on time the first guests arrive. I have a beer in one hand, a sandwich in the other. Excitement replaces nerves.

21.47

Party in full swing. Many brilliant friends and lovely strangers have made it. Good conversation is had, And Baz Kiss cocktails are going down a treat. I get a refill. Another one.

23.56

Four minutes to shut down. I want to do a last orders call. Amy Winehouse is playing. I respectfully wait until she has finished, swaying to the music. Grab a hold of the wall to balance myself. Turn off the music and scream a last orders call at the room. Everyone looks stunned for a second. I might have been louder than I meant to be. I smile and shrug. Down the remains of my cocktail.

00.16

Get out is happening, packing and cleaning and stacking and loading. Goodbye party time.

00.52

First car load gone. We can do nothing until it comes back. Settle into a good hearty discussion about politicians and the media.

01.26

Car has made it back and is fully loaded. Seems heavy so we remove a few beers. Think it’s best to drink them. Waste not want not.

01.32

Wave goodbye to the car. Start the journey home, dragging enormous case behind me. Brick Lane is a treat. Get stabbed in the calf by a high heel. I run the case over a man’s foot as revenge.

02.15

Fall into the flat and get out the sofa bed am staying on. We all look at the photos from the night. We drink water. We can’t stop talking.

03.12

Sleep.


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