Firstly we're off to a BBQ tonight with friends I've known for about 25 years. Sadly our spaniel (below) isn't invited. She used to be when she was a puppy but then she made the awful mistake puppies make when they're a bit nervous with shrieking kids running around them and did a small puddle on their carpet. I was mortified but heck, the two kids in the house had done a lot more damage than that over the years. Anyway, poor pooch, she's on their blacklist even five years later. Even though the party is out in their backyard and there'll be other dogs there. Makes me feel a bit unwelcome as all our other friends like our dog and she certainly doesn't pee indoors any more. I guess we're a bit different as we treat our animals as family members rather than pets whose place is firmly outdoors whatever the climate and weather, which is how these particular friends view their two dogs. Our spoiled lassie sleeps on her own bed in our bedroom. Our cats sleep wherever they want - usually on our bed :-).
And then there's the shoe thing. You have to take your shoes off at their door. Makes it bloody cold in winter when you visit them, and in summer I'm confronted with bare feet en masse, and I'm not a foot person. I guess I haven't seen too much of these old friends in the last few years for these two reasons; I feel a bit uncomfortable in their house. I could understand the shoe rule if they had a posh marble floor or valuable carpets, but it's a suburban house much like ours and has polished floorboards and rugs stained with fruit juice and other stuff the kids spill.
Tomorrow we have a lunch with friends of t'other half, who have become my friends too. Dog welcome. Another BBQ. Far more relaxed than tonight's I'm thinking! These two are a bit bohemian,which suits me fine.
And tomorrow night it's another friend's birthday party. Surprise - it's a BBQ. Dog welcome as their dog enjoys the company.
By then I'll be BBQd out! We grabbed low alcohol beer and wine this morning to take along to these parties to ensure we don't end up with the hangovers from Hell come Monday. I'm on holidays from Monday so am planning plenty of cycling for next week - hurrah! The weather is forecast to be Just Perfect for most of the week.
And finally... a cheerful Christmas wish to everyone from my Birman boy cat... aka Santa Claws in this case. Corny I know - we used this pic for our own Christmas cards to family and friends this year as he has such a cheeky expression.