This little party has become something of a highlight for me, a nice blend of socialising with friends and getting my serve on mixed with a degree of the unknown that makes things quite entertaining for me.
We both ended up getting ready at our home base, The Hovel, with the decision making unit going with a comfortable Chinese style top and myself in the usual day uniform, true I had free reign on my outfit (in theory) but I decided this was more practical and depending on what happened I didn't have to worry about getting stuff to the dry cleaners; I'm lazy... shoving stuff in the washing machine is way easier than trundling to the cleaners.
The drive from The Land Time Forgot to Kent was fairly uneventful with both of us chatting about the various podcasts that were playing; between podcasts and audiobooks us two are more likely to have spoken word stuff playing rather than music. We nipped in to a free parking space right outside the place we were going, trotted over and as the door opened were greeted by two wonderful and bouncey labradors as well as our wonderful hostess and the person who organised the party; she was putting the finishing touches to a wickedly tasty buffet.
It was nice to spend a bit of time chatting and gossiping about stuff to friends, all of us catching up on what's happening in our lives, laughing & joking about someones latest antics (you know who you are LOL :D ) and just being friends. It was also where I got the general game plan for the night from me, what needed to be covered, what options pushed and so on. Which is good; it's nice to go in to something with a game plan. So I busied myself in the kitchen getting coffee machines loaded and ready to roll, a kettle ready for those weird people who drink tea and two large jugs of drinks (one we coloured red and was basically just orange juice and the other, which looked like orange juice had a healthy amount of vodka in it).
With a bit of "Sparkles & Happy Thoughts" the doorbell rang, the decision making unit got the music playing whilst tweaking the volume a bit and then, we were live.
For the first few hours there was a steady stream of both familiar and new faces, everyone smiling, happy and interested in the smell of coffee coming from the kitchen. It was probably a good thing I had both machines ready to roll (although only one was usually running at a time) as people were drinking my black tar in one form or another pretty much all night.
The kitchen is split in two, the area with the cooker and largest amounts of worktops tends to be where people congregate and the backroom is where the sink is; this is where I tend to hang around so I can work the machines, prepare drinks (some people don't want a cup & saucer for different reasons)and sort out the washing up. Yes, there is a dishwasher, yep I know how to work it... but it's one of those things where I don't see the point in running it just for a cup or a glass. Easier for me to just scrub & rinse it and get the thing back in to circulation; it generally works.
So there tends to be a fair bit of food traffic of people getting drinks or wondering what's available for them to sample. Which is kind of awesome, I get to chat & socialise AND serve at the same time. WOOT! :D
The party progressed with people breaking off and from the background noise I think they had a really good time; it's a good thing about this party that you can play in private if you want and everyone will respect that closed door.
As midnight approached a few sleepless nights started to seriously catch up with me and friends were commenting I looked knackered. It's true I could of just started necking coffee and pushed through sometimes you get that feeling that coffee just isn't going to cut it? Yeah, that's the feeling I was getting so I had a quick word with my Owner and the wonderful person who organised the party; an arrangement was made and a time of departure agreed.
In the mean time people started to be grabbing a final mug of coffee or tea and heading back home; everyone seemed happy and a lot of smiles went out the door... judging from the posts on FetLife they were still smiling the next day. Which is just flat out awesome anyway you look at it.
So that's how I spent my Valentines Day, running around feeding people coffee, chatting to friends and having the time of my life doing it.
I'm looking forward to Easter :)