The Firm runs a few events over the course of the year, they tend to be small but well formed and attract a different group of people to those I'm used to encountering. Which makes a nice change of pace, situations and what's required of me.
Whilst the beginning of the year was marred, slightly, by the usual winter blues, colds and flu's both of us were fighting fit and well rested after a night at Pedestal. My Owner decided to go with a green silk chinese style dress as the dressed for Burns Night was "Fetish, Scottish or Evening dress" and as it was a sit down meal with play... it made sense to be in something comfortable.
The venue selected was Central Station, whilst this was my first Burns Night event it was also the first time they'd had any sort of event at this venue. I have to admit that I was quite impressed by what I saw; the downstairs bar was well stocked (I spotted a bottle of Khalur which is very unlike a lot of bars these days), I thought there was a party going on upstairs but as that was already being set up for us... I'm assuming there is a downstairs dance/party area.
Upstairs, which is where we would be holding this event, tables were laid out for the meal and we only had some minor decorating to do. Between myself and Ishmael we managed to get the flags up, swap the plain napkins for tartan ones and I was able to get a broad idea of what was happening when. Not that I was all that confident in actually doing it; I'm still, to my mind, on my first rotation through these events so a little nervous about it.
Although I was, temporarily, left in charge of the box office aspect... a responsibility I hurriedly got rid of when the opportunity presented itself; I am deeply uncomfortable dealing with other peoples money in such situations. Hey, I'm me, I'm not perfect and lets just say it was rubbing against a soft limit and move on.
We had about 30 people seated and after making sure everyone was settled we started serving in ernest. I admit, I had to growl a bit... I'm fine with chatting and having a bit of fun but when the work needs doing... you do the job ya know? With the fairly tight seating arrangement I ended up in the middle of the room with the other two bringing the bowls of soup to me for final delivery; worked quite well I thought. Although in between that and collecting the empty plates I forgot to either hand out or send one of the other two around with the tray loaded with Dram's of whiskey for toasting the haggis. Drat! I did manage to get the tray around to everyone but after the music had stopped so the job got done but not as smoothly or professionally as I'd of liked to of done it.
As I was hanging out Whiskey it was also time to present the haggis, there was a bit of a hurried discussion about which knife was going to be used, alternating between a Chef's knife and what I think was a Sgian-dubh. Quickly the traditional Scottish blade was decided upon and the meal continued after the haggis had been well and truly presented and sliced. It was quite fun to watch the gent giving the speech and he seemed to enjoy himself just as much as we did.
With this offering safely tucked in we went back in to watching and waiting from the sidelines, I'm not a big fan on asking people if they are enjoying their meal whilst they are still eating it, although everyone who went past us on their way outside to smoke passed along compliments to the chef. Whilst I, habitually, don't eat whilst working (not unless there is a secluded 'staff room' type thing) everything smelt wonderful and looked delicious.
The final offering was dessert, some sort of cream and oat thing with fruit mixed in. It was very well received by the guests (although I found out about the cream afterwards as my Owner felt the worse for wear by it... we know for next time). We handed over to the venue's crew for the packing away after everyone had finished eating; this way the dining room became an impromptu play space.
There wasn't much play, understandable as everyone was full of a Burns Night supper but several people ended up with red backsides and the squeaks, squeals and laughter helped round out the evening quite nicely.
As people started leaving we started doing the get out, this time it didn't really involve doing much more than folding flags and taking down some promotional material for another of The Firm's events: Detention. Then I checked with Ishmael if there was anything else that needed doing and if it was Ok to head home and got my Owners coat.
So that was my first Burns Night and like all of The Firm's events I've done so far I experienced something new and different, I think I did well and I certainly enjoyed myself doing it. Not brilliant and most certainly not perfect but for a first time in that venue and with that event I think I did Ok. Hopefully, if allowed, my next Burns Night will be much more polished an affair.
It was definitely the high point of my January :)