Of course you may have seen this elsewhere, for which I apologise.
Julia writes as follows:
- It's that time of year again: the sun is shining, the flood warnings are alternating with doom-laden references to drought, and the hosepipe ban is about to be put in place. Bees are disappearing (I blame the Doctor) and nature is green in tooth and claw. Because it is the height of English Summertime and ideal for frolics in the park, my father is foolishly going off to Portugal to bake under exactly the same sun but with waiter service.
In a burst of misguided paternal pride, Pater is allowing me one last party at the place with the pool, so on Saturday 23rd August 2008 you should gird your loins, pucker up your lips, inflate your best friend, and mosey on down to the last ever Beaconsfield Barbie. Shortly after this, the era of pool parties will end and Daly Towers will be sold to the highest bidder, so bathing the carpets in red wine will be somewhat frowned upon; this should be a mellow event, 'cos we're all very grown up now, indeed. Aim to arrive sometime late afternoon to early evening. The barbie should be hot enough to cook on by about 7:00 pm. Things should really start to get going about 6:00pm onwards. If you arrive early, you will be put to work chopping tea and coffee or making vegetables, sent out in search of ingredients, entertainment or up-pickage of others from the station, or generally slapped with a wet-fishlifter until you've had enough.
I will provide: salads, bread, puddings, an unfeasibly huge amount of cream, ice cream, floorspace, a small swimming pool, a garden, a bar-b-q, tap water, tea bags, instant coffee, milk, crash space (mostly floor), bathrooms, some breakfast the following morning, possibly other goods and services subject to negotiation...
You should bring: whatever you want to bar-b-q (please note - not recognisably the neighbour's dog or Great Aunt Edna - oh, and also be aware that if someone is barbie-ing your food and you wander off, it is likely to be snaffled by another ravenous lurker - if you want what you've brought, it is up to you to make sure you get it), whatever you want to drink (excluding tap water, tea, coffee, but feel free to provide those too if you want), a real friend (if you have one), an inflatable friend you are prepared to be seen with, a swimming costume you believe we are prepared to see you in, appropriate bedding/sleeping bag and suitable overnight stuff to maintain decorum and hygiene. I am quite happy for you to bring children, so long as you remain aware that they are your responsibility and that this is a grown ups party and there will doubtless be people talking about sex, and swearing - probably mostly me.
What you need to do now: check your diary. If you are available and wish to attend, mark the diary appropriately, and let me know you are coming and whether you intend to stay over so that I can cater adequately, and also reveal to you the secret location. You can contact me by email or phone.
Hope to see you at the party.
Love & kisses
You can let us know if you're planning to attend by commenting here.
Obviously this is a suitably filtered post and not an open invitation -- if you think someone's been omitted from the list in error, then contact me off-list and discuss.