DTJ set a large table in her garden then erected a tent-like structure around it. This allowed her to host a party under some form of shelter outside in winter. She then asked me to carry a sputtering candle from the house to the garden to use as a table decoration. Her daughter H followed me out, keeping an eye out for wax drips.
Eventually all our girlfriends arrived and gathered around the table, half-sheltered by the flapping tent. It was wonderful to see everyone together again.
Then I noticed a sinister man fiddling with a huge white contraption at the other end of the garden. When I challenged him, he admitted that he was a gate-crasher. His plan was to insert all the guests, one by one, into his machine. Then he would squash them until he had extracted their knowledge and expertise – all to use for his own personal gain.
(Meanwhile the SEB, having ditched KA’s husband SM for ‘being weird’, was chasing TPR again.)