Our flat was packed with visitors for the weekend of my birthday, many of whom had travelled a long distances to be with me. AW and JS had come all the way from Farnham, Surry – together, on friendly terms.
I admired AW’s slim figure and beautiful gold satin Chinese gown, and chatted with JS about a special scent that alcoholics use to neutralise the smell of drink on their bodies in the daytime.
Meanwhile in the kitchen someone who had been enjoying himself just a little too much threw up next to the tumble dryer. JS took over the job of peeling potatoes from TPR, who then set about cleaning up the vomit.
Then BD rushed into the flat, grabbed me by the waist, kissed me on the lips, and handed over a birthday present. This was also a garment made of Chinese satin, although more of a shift dress than a gown. I could not wait to try it on.
A more pressing priority now, however, was the sitting room rug. I could see that someone had already split some light beer on it, but my main concern was red wine. TPR and I set to to lift it.
Also at the back of my mind was the fear that my father might decide to give a speech at my party later that evening.