I am devastated, truly shattered......
I should clarify that all is actually OK and no one in the family has broken bones or lost a limb or anything of the sort (touch wood). I just have a stinking headache and am absolutely knackered so I have had to pull out of Book Club Tonight. I KNOWWWW I told you it was a tragedy!
The thing is the 'Book Club' I belong to is not your usual run of the mill kind of book club. There is something undeniably different about our club - There are absolutely no books involved. What the? Please, let me explain..
I am incredibly lucky to have some fabulous neighbours where I live. Some live next door, two doors down, across the road and up the street. We are all different ages, have different professions and different personalities, but we have one very common thread - we are all mums and we need a drink or 3 from time to time.
I'm not really sure who came up with the fabulous idea of forming a book club, but I can remember us all standing in the street nodding our heads excitedly congratulating each other for coming up with such an utterly brilliant and cunning way of getting a Friday night out once a month. This was a mature and intellectual gathering of minds we were planning, not a wild hens party, so the idea did not attract any objections from our spouses. For those of us who have little ones, our hubbies were more than happy to be on Daddy Duty and grant us a night of freedom. A couple of emails and a few driveway discussions later, and the date for the first book club night was set.
At no stage of the planning do I recall any of us actually suggesting or recommending a book to read. The main details that were discussed were, whose house we would be meeting at first, what food we would be snacking on and who would be drinking what.
From memory, I believe the first book club night was held at my house. I excitedly fussed around preparing for my guests that night. I whipped together a tasty selection of hot and cold treats, lit some candles and put on some casual background tunes. As I popped the cork on the Champas, admired my handy work and eagerly anticipated the sound of the door bell, I realised that we were having a book club gathering, but we had no books. I hastily dug out a selection of my boys much loved Mr Men books and laid them out on the coffee table between the spinach & feta triangles and the salmon blinis. It wasn't Charles Dickens, but heck it would do.
My fellow literacy lovers arrived and we set about having ourselves a hell of a good night. We gossipped, we drank, we ate, we laughed and we had a fabulous time. Apart from the brief mention of the Mr Men books as we pushed them aside to make room for another bottle of plonk, no one noticed that the guest of honour in this book club charade was MIA - the book.
That night was the first of many a great Book Club nights and we have grown in numbers since our original gathering. But the tradition now stands, and on a Friday night once a month (or close enough) our quiet street comes alive at 5 minutes to 7. For it is at this time, one by one we exit our front doors clutching our tipple of choice and join the gaggle of giggling as make our way up, down or across the street to the home of this months 'Book Club' hostess. And whilst we discuss many a subject on these hilarious nights, books to this day are never on the agenda.
* Special Note to my Book Club Buddies: Sorry I can't be there tonight girls, but have a drink or 3 for me and see you next month! xxxx