Spent pretty much all day on Friday and Saturday cooking and cleaning and shopping in preparation for the big day, and stressing over whether it would be a success. I don't really like hosting parties because I'm worried no-one will come or they won't have a good time, and it will be miserable and everyone will hate me forever. So it wasn't a great sign that about 5 people cancelled on me on the days leading up to the party :( But I tried to forge ahead with the idea that the important people would be there and there would be more champagne for us!
On Wednesday, before going up to Paris, I'd posted a note to all my neighbours telling them I'd be having a small party and to let me know if there was a problem, or to come over for a drink. I also blu-tacked a copy of the note to the outside of my letterbox, just to make sure that everyone saw it. When I got back to Tours on Thursday, I noticed that it was gone from my letterbox. I was a bit confused - did the postman take it down, because of some obscure French rule about the inviolatedness of French letterboxes? Or had one of my neighbours taken it for their own reference? On Saturday morning, I noticed a screwed-up piece of paper next to the front door, down a flight of stairs from the letterboxes. Was it...? It was - someone had taken the note down, screwed it up, and thrown it on the floor. This was not a good start to neighbour-party bilateral relations.
So when I got a knock on my door at 7.15 pm (the note had said the party would kick off at 8, although I'd actually invited my friends for 7.30), I feared the worst. I opened the door to my neighbour from across the hall (there's only two apartments on each floor in my building). I've literally never seen this guy since the day I moved in, although I have occasionally run into a friend or two coming and going from his apartment. It's weird, I hardly ever see any of my neighbours. Anyway, I was relieved, but even more flabberghasted, when he announced his intention to come to my party. I think I looked the opposite of welcoming at this point, but I managed to politely let him know that I wasn't *quite* ready at this stage, but would be pleased to see him in half an hour or so, when I'd finished putting on my makeup.
Turns out my voisin de palier is awesome! We are now united against the biatch neighbour downstairs who complained about my music - for some bizarre reason, he even got a letter from the agents saying that she'd complained about him, even though it was me who was playing the music (and I didn't get anything). But instead of turning against me, he was like "she's completely ridiculous - you were playing music on a Saturday afternoon, I couldn't even hear it, and she came to complain so I told her to get a life". He's also apparently engaged in "psychological warfare" with the woman downstairs, which consists of her asking him to take out the rubbish and him not doing it. I KNEW I was the only person who took the rubbish out, goddammit! I ran into this neighbour the other day when coming back from the airport, and she said thankyou for taking the recycling out, because the bin's too big for her to get down the stairs (which is understandable, it's taller than me too when coming down the stairs). I have no idea how she knows I do it (spying out the windows?), but anyway, while I will continue putting the bins out, it's now naughty Team 3rd Floor against the rest of the building heh heh. We even got to tour his apartment, the designated smoking room for the party - he has a sweet set-up with real windows, unlike my skylights, a proper separate kitchen, and an electric toilet, which explains why it makes so much damn noise! (Why does one require an electric toilet, does anyone know?) Anyway, he stayed almost the whole party, and we're totally going to hang out again soon! (Or maybe I'll never see him again, unsociable recluse that I am. Who can say?)
Anyway, neighbour love aside, we had a great time! (PS, Hey Firefox, stop telling me that "neighbour" is a spelling mistake, k?) We got through FOUR bottles of champagne, and assorted other booze, parts of two birthday cakes + brownies, started the dancing at around midnight (when I had vowed we would leave so as not to piss off the neighbours, oops - but no-one complained this time), then ran to McCools before closing time to make the bartender give us free shots (success!). After a short jaunt in Excalibur, we ended the evening at L'Académie de la Bière, where I somehow accidentally got into a conversation about how I disapprove of circumcision with a Muslim man. Oops. That's okay though, he said I was "charmante" anyway. Of course, it's well-known I'm at my *most* charmante when offending people's genitalia and religious beliefs!
I got home at 7 am, and woke up a few hours later with barely even a hangover to show for it. Result! I did, however, COMPLETELY fall over and I have a massive bruise on my hip bone. How do you even fall over on to your hip? I must have just gone down literally flat on my face. Such class. By the way, I was in sandals at this point, having left the 10 cm heels in my apartment. We were skipping and singing tunes from The Wizard of Oz at the time, as you do. So at least I fell over under hilarious circumstances, not just because I was too drunk to walk in flats like a normal person.
Oh, and remember how it was meant to be a soirée dégustation? Once every hour or so I remembered this and asked everyone how the wine was and everyone said "We love champagne! Huzzah!" or words to that effect. Dégustation = great success.
|My twoooo birthday cakes = two wishes|
|Om nom nom! Also, I have the knee boobs of a very busty lady|
|David "catching" the cork|
|Charlie did not like my evil Ukrainian chilli vodka|
|Crouching tiger, hidden champers|
|Let's try that again, without falling over. This was champagne bottle #3|
|Liz and David|
|Champagne bottle #1 - Démoiselle. All photos had to feature the shoes. I ran out of ideas later in the evening, and there are some truly terrible ones of me sitting on chairs backwards and so on|
|Me and the ladies, with champagne bottle #2 - Tsarina. I took two many photos with this one, resulting in a champagne explosion when opened|
|The dancing started at about midnight|
|Liz made me an awesome 30th birthday badge. That's my cool (and cute) neighbour Vincent!|