There was no gardening today, because we were invited to a party, drinks at twelve. Obviously one can't review one's friends' parties on the internet, so there is not much to say, except that it was very nice, standing chatting in a smart drawing room with a view out over a beautiful garden while having my glass regularly refilled and plates of nibbles wafted in front of me. And having an excuse to dress up. Silk trousers don't get much of a look in at home, where they would be covered in cat fur after thirty seconds and have the first thread pulled inside five minutes, and the only point of wearing pearls at this time of the year would be to give them some skin contact to keep them oiled, since they would be quite invisible under my layers of jumpers.
I met another keen gardener, and we agreed that actually we'd rather like a quick snoop round the garden, but since our hostess wasn't ushering us outside that would have been rude. And the wind was piercing despite the sunshine, one of those days when you can quite believe that there really isn't much between rural Essex and the Urals.
Hot nibbles are a luxury. I scan the cookery columns of the papers with a keen eye, hoping to glean new ideas for the music society, or even for home if we were ever to have more than two people around at a time and wanted to break out from offering them cheese footballs and miniature pretzels. Instead I always end up making cheese straws or slivers of some kind of smoked fish on some sort of bread, and it would be nice to have a change, but the newspaper recipes for nibbles always seem to end with instructions to serve them fresh from the oven, if not (horror of horrors) deep fry them. If I were giving a party I should like to be free to socialise at it rather than hovering over the cooker, and anything for the music society has to be done several hours in advance, so that's not a lot of help.
Our hostess has a splendid, smoke coloured, fluffy cat. The Systems Administrator saw it sitting out in the garden, staring in through the window at the assembled strangers with an expression of disdain bordering on loathing.