Wednesday, 5 December 2012

A Packed Social Calendar

I love the explosion of activity that happens at this time of year. I have a fairly packed schedule of events for the whole of December and I am starting to wonder exactly when I'm going to find the time and energy for Xmas shopping and menu planning.

On Monday, it was my Running Club's Xmas party. One of the things I miss about work since giving up to be a stay at home mum is the Xmas social so I was really excited about this one. It was held at our local Brewery and I very much enjoyed the three pints of Joule's Slumbering Monk Ale that kept me well lubricated throughout the evening.

The pub attached to the brewery is not blessed with the friendliest of staff but the brewer's hall, also known as the Mouse Room is a gorgeous venue if you enjoy cosy oak panelling, wood carving, beams and the modern touch of large windows giving a view across to the brewery. It was perfect for the party with an elegantly trimmed tree creating a festive feel.

The food was buffet style and although there was some confusion over whether the three vegetarian guests were to be brought a pre-plated selection of non meat offerings or left to the lucky dip of the buffet table, it did not spoil the evening. I managed to procure myself a reasonable selection of dodgy sarnies and mini mince pies. The non-veggies didn't fair much better. I was not particularly envious of their cocktail sausages or scotch eggs. The success of the evening really did not hinge on the gastronomic experience.

It was a fairly standard itinerary - prize giving followed by raffle. I was never in the running (pardon the pun) for any prizes and I didn't even come close to winning the raffle.

So apart from the venue and the ale, what made it a good evening? Simple really. The people. Feeling part of something good. Being inspired to run more - to push myself harder - enter some races next year and see some improvements in my times. It was lovely to celebrate success and look to the future.

Photo by Sophie Murray 

Yesterday I was leaving my little ones in the capable hands of big sister and dad again for another evening out.

The Market Drayton Writer's Club was holding an Open Mic night at the library and my daughter, who is a member, invited me to hear her read an extract from a novel she has been writing as part of the online writing challenge NaNoWriMo.  Her best friend (and mummy blogger) Carole has also been meeting the word count demanded by the challenge and was due to give a reading. As well as being interested in hearing these readings, I was lured by the promise of mince pies.

Carole's parents, boyfriend and boyfriend's mum along with my daughter, her boyfriend and myself occupied two tables pushed together at our local Wetherspoons to enjoy their steak night. Of course steak night is somewhat lost on vegetarians but I happily tucked into the veggie Burger and a Beer option and only gave a brief admiring glance in the direction of the mixed grill ordered by most of the party.

The Christmas lights in town looked absolutely gorgeous as we made our way to the library for the Open Mic event.

It was really interesting listening to the pieces that the town's creative writers had selected to share with their audience. Some were excellent and inspiring. Others, inevitably, not so good. I am not glossing over the truth in any way when I say that my daughter and Carole's readings fell firmly in the excellent and inspiring category! I felt very proud.

I admit that I was starting to ache a bit from sitting still for too long so I was quite relieved when the final reading ended and the mince pies were served.

With all this beer and mince pie indulgence, I am glad that tonight I will be going for my Wednesday 3mile run - and even more glad that I will be home in time to put my little ones to bed and enjoy a cosy evening in with my husband.

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