01 January 2011

EPIPHANE 2011

'Live' at San Luca ~ Open Day Epiphany knees-up.

Wine, nosh, chill breeze, God-fearing church-going guests, churlish host ~ who could ask for anything more?

I used to include my own friends on the list but it's such an horrific occasion that I've stopped depressing them and me.

Maintenant le Déluge

2142hrs, Jan 7, 2011: I dread these events.

I never feel more alienated or spiritually adrift and it seems no longer possible for me to dredge up those stretch-mouthed hypocrisy politenesses of yore.

The ordeal has a life of its own.

  • Decision to hold the Epiphanic Open House - my mother's annual 'doing right by the Church'. Yakkety yak on that theme
  • Endless draftings of the guest list. FFS, I tell my mother, it's Open House. We have no idea who'll turn up. Blah blah on.

  • The dread day draws nigh, time to plan menu which, no thanks to my mother's lack of short term memory, changes daily.

  • Shopping day and list drawn up. We give ourselves an hour, decide on the order of shops to visit, off we go.

  • 20 mins on and we still have not trolley'd a single item on the list. My mother is wandering around plucking completely irrelevant fodder from the shelves.

    The Day Before, against the clock, I am suddenly asked to take time away from our preparations to perform some drudgery on my mother's hobby, gardenry.

  • Mission creep: suddenly my mother decides she wants a Christmas tree in the hall. Kosta has to whip one up and I have to spend an hour trying to get the star staight. As usual, the whole project going askew.

  • Night before party ~ start cooking etc.

  • 0900hrs: Morning of party ~ much to do in the kitchen. Mum has asked Tassia to come and help, me to collect her. I adjust my plans accordingly. Twenty mins later, No - Kosta said he'd bring her. Re-adjust plans.

  • 1100hrs, no Tassia. I suggest calling and of course she is waiting to be collected. Where things haven't yet gone wrong, we will fuck them over.

  • Guests arrive: they are charming and friendly and bring gifts and offer to help. I feel like the Man in the Moon and gape aghast at the invaders.

  • Somehow, we get the food out and the guests helping themselves.

  • Commotion in the kitchen, mama has fallen and cut her hand on shards of the glass that she was holding. Absolutely typical and to be expected and my first hope is that, here finally is the message rammed home to stop frigging around with the events.

    The ladies leap round my mother who is sat down and her hand dressed, blah blah.

    Again I think: If this puts paid to this entertainery idiocy, the gash will have been worth it.

  • The weather had kicked off gloomy, much to my relief: no garden strolls, no naffing blah blah blah on the subject.

    But it improves, God is rightly on mum's side and teaching me a lesson.

  • The wonderful vicar's wife is wonderful and knows exactly how to treat my surliness: jolly me along and ignore my mood.

  • Countering Madam Vicar, one of the denser guests takes me to one side and bends my ear with some cod shrinkery roobish.

  • He totally doesn't get it and I wish I had the showmanship to tell him to his blank expression that I must have expressed myself badly.

  • Then take my recently-purchased gun, turn away from him as I go down on the barrel ~ and blast the back of my head off - bang splatter thwap! straight into his silly moon face, blood and grunge partout.

  • 'Does that help? Now do you see my point?' - except that I'll be free and floating pretty, quit at last of this accursèd coil. God! Just thinking of it makes me sick of this whole freakin' affair.

    Interestingly, the shop where I recently bought the gun [see right] has inexplicably closed [left].

    Phew! Just in time.

    That probably makes my shooter the last sold by the emporium for the purpose of caterpulting the owner into the Happy Hunting Ground.

  • The guests have a good time and leave on the appointed hour with many an embrace and the huge politeness to thank *me* when all I've been is a glowering presence, emitting my Sunday best vibes for them to hurry up, get their visiting rocks off - and piss the heck out of here.

  • As soon as they do, I grab a bottle and a full pack of Karelia and dive into my anaesthetic.

THE AFTERMATH

Here beginneth the rough part, the endless endless post-mortems, made screamingly hard to listen to because of maman's 'Groundhog-Minute' memory dementia that causes everything to be repeated every 12 minutes.

Hit Parade - favorite topics

  1. How well it all went

  2. Everyone enjoyed themselves

  3. What a good crowd

  4. Miraculous non-appearance of the 'usual dreary old lonely-hearts club band' - adjusted the next day to 'the usual old soaks'. Yeh yeh, we get the drift.

  5. [jan 13: newcomer to the charts, in just under the old soaks - 'so pleased i've decided to give my easel to mary gulland; she has artistic daughter; susie card doesnt do big paintings so wasted on her; very historical easel, belonged to dame laura knight, bought it at a gallery, so glad i thought to give it to mary; wonder what dame laura's dates were.]

  6. Must write to Bishop Geoffrey.

  7. Must write to Clifford

  8. How lucky we were to be saved the usual drunken bores. Hey! Don't forget me - I was there.

  9. We forgot the smoked salmon, we forgot this, we forgot that ...
GARDEN TOUR: this deserves a vitriolic post of its own but I'm too busy scooping up bits of my brain.

  • At some point some simpering twerp comes up with the usual "Mweh mweh, we'd love to look round the garden some time."

    My best response is to quote my mentor, the brilliant Cee-Lo Green (rather a good name for a song invoking feelings over my mother's hobby).

    I want to hurl them from the patio and wipe the Uriah Heep expression from their mewling gobs.

    "Listen, you selfish simpering twats - when you say you want to come round, that is the start of endless tidying of my mother's hobby but it's me who gets crapped on.

    The labour I perform because you couldn't keep your trap shut never ends because there's always one more bush to trim, one more piece of lawn to comb.

    An intolerable treadmill of futility - it's only a fucking hobby, you jerks - and it's not even my hobby.

    And what do they do when they come? They sit twittering on the patio, taking not a blind interest in the ruddy garden.

    PHOTOS: I want to illustrate this dulcet post with snaps because not even my deathless purple prose can do justice to the menagerie of grotesques that rolled up.

    You won't spot them because, next to my stinging reference to the Stupidest Man in Corfu, I shall juxtapose photos of my favourite beautiful people and most scintillating wits.

    See? No-one in that photo across there who could possibly qualify as a SMIC prick. Glad we cleared that up.

    Same with the wimmin - a chatterbox bore haggard before her time will be represented by a desirable young chick to have the gemmun drooling.

    ACCIDENT UPDATE: latest news on maman's cut hand - since more people seem to keep abreast of this blog than actually own up to doing so. I know this from the regular solicitous enquiries over the girls' heirlooms, of which updates appear only here.

    So ... those who attended our Epiphany knees-up/fall down: my mother slipped and smashed a glass she was holding and cut her hand. [Completely sober, the ordeal had hardly started].

    She well cared for by all the ladies there but did not go to hospital - it being blanket holiday - and nor the next day, nor the next, pleading that it was fine.

    Finally got her to the Therapia on Tuesday 11th and of course it could have done with stitches there and then.

  • 2 comments :

    Rebecca said...

    Dear Corfucius
    I have been conducting a web search for my mothers best friend Pippa Hughes and have found reference to a visit made to the grave of the former British Consul, Pippa Hughes, in Corfu on the website Democracy Street by Simon Baddeley. I have been in contact with him and he has suggested I contact you. The Pippa Hughes we are looking for would have been 45ish in 1992 and had lived on Corfu in the 1970's having married to a Greek man called Nikapascos. By 1992 she would have been divorced or separated and had one son, we think called Niko, but may have returned to live on the island. Can you give any indication if this background tallies with the Pippa Hughes referred to in the website and if so if you have any further information about her.
    Very many thanks
    Rebecca Haisma

    Corfucius said...

    actually, not a bad place to plonk news of your search. far more corfioti than is good for them seem to have this on speed-dial and one of them might be able to help.
    also, it's nice to have a polite message to balance my choleric outpourings. i wish u luck. you have the luck of checking out someone known and loved and certainly someone who my mother will co-operate over.