Alice-Azania Jarvis: The perils of a free bar - singalong anybody?
In The Red
Saturday 28 May 2011
When I said that my bathroom would be fixed sometime next decade, it was meant to be a joke. The insurers seem to be taking it as an instruction. It's not helped by the convoluted agent-broker-decision-maker communications chain, which sees me kept abreast of developments only once they have been conveyed to several dozen other pairs of ears. Nor by the lack of enthusiasm on the part of certain individuals (who shall – for now – remain nameless). Anyway, I've spent the overwhelming majority of the week on the phone repeating the same question: "Any news?"
It has become a kind of game, working out how often I can check on the situation. Is morning and afternoon ok? Morning, midday and afternoon? Will my enthusiasm speed the process up, or will it arouse such a sense of irritation amongst everyone involved that they end up performing every task even slower than they already do? If that's possible. Surely it can't be!
At least the wedding was good. More than good – it was lovely, and absolutely ideal as a First Wedding Experience Ever. Amazingly, the bride and groom had done a lot of the legwork – things usually handed over to experts – themselves. The flowers were picked by them, the day before (all wild flowers from the surrounding Somerset countryside). The bunting which lent such a festive atmosphere to everything – from the garden reception to the dining marquee – was not only erected by them, but actually home-made, too. Even the wedding cake had a personal touch – a relative of the bride (I forget which; too much wine, on which more later) had baked it. Gratifyingly, this was all done without the guests' knowledge. There was no smug braying, no boasting of the happy couple's creativity or thrift. I only know of their efforts because one of the bridesmaids told me the next day, in a hungover moment of transparency.
Speaking of which: Ah, the perils of a free bar. Despite all my best intentions – I had resolved to behave like a Proper Adult, keep my heels on, refrain from spilling wine down my dress and try not to get too drunk – it all went to my head. When someone is proffering unlimited top-ups of champagne and rosé that you don't need to pay for, it's jolly difficult to remember the word "no". And so the night ended with me and a former flatmate serenading a quietened dance floor with Beatles classics: "All You Need Is Love", "When I'm Sixty Four", "Can't Buy Me Love". Dignified! Ah well. There's always next time.
Independent Partners; request a free guide on NISAs from Hargreaves Lansdown
Britain First criticised for using actress's memory to draw attention to their 'hate-filled home page'
Mark Dampier: Woodford’s young companies could be the stars of the future
You'll need £220,000 for a minimum wage in your retirement
Questions of Cash: Something rotten in the cellar causes trouble up above
Weekly Money: round-up of the personal finance stories you may have missed 20-24 October
Bank-beating exchange rates on your international payments
- 1 This 'woman calls police to order pizza' story isn't going where you're expecting
- 2 Axe wielding man shot dead after attacking four New York policemen on busy street
- 3 Watch what happened when food critics were unknowingly served McDonald's
- 4 Jimmy Carr's Oscar Pistorius joke goes a bit too far at the Q Awards
- 5 Ottawa shootings: Bruce MacKinnon's cartoon is the perfect tribute to soldier Nathan Cirillo
Of course, teenage girls need role models – but not like beauty vlogger Zoella
Cameron is warned 'no possibility' of UK reducing immigration and that bid to bring in quota on migrant workers would be illegal
Support for EU membership 'at highest level since 1991' with most Brits wanting to stay 'in'
Thousands with degenerative conditions classified as 'fit to work in future' – despite no possibility of improvement
Residents should throw a street party and mix with immigrant neighbours, councils told
Attacks on 'Ukip Calypso' show how skewed people’s priorities are
iJobs Money & Business
£60000 per annum: Ashdown Group: Compensation and Benefits Manager - Compensat...
£30000 - £35000 Per Annum plus excellent benefits: Clearwater People Solutions...
£24000 - £28000 per annum + bonus & benefits: Ashdown Group: IT Business Syste...
£50000 - £90000 per annum + benefits: Ampersand Consulting LLP: Markit EDM (CA...
Day In a Page
This 17th century beauty is full of rustic cosiness, while the detached home office means you can also run a business
This five-bedroom red-brick beauty overlooks the village green and sits in just under two acres of land
Four exclusive apartments in a Grade II-listed former medical school with 2,275 sq ft of living space and 18ft ceilings
A five-bedroom terraced house on the popular Peterborough Estate, ideally located for both Eel Brook Common and South Park
A state-of-the-art farm-building conversion on the former Cliveden Estate, with 11,420sq ft of internal space, cinema and wine cellar
A three-bedroom, 15th-century cottage with original features in the picturesque village of Sissinghurst
A six-bedroom terraced house with large south-facing roof terrace, cinema room and wine cellar
A new seven-bedroom home built in Queen Anne-style with swimming pool and parkland views in Mortimer
A listed, four-bedroom farmhouse in the rural hamlet of Rushall with detached barn, four acres of gardens and paddocks
A first-floor flat with two bedrooms, a spacious reception room and communal grounds in a leafy part of London
A three-bedroom flat with a spacious rootop terrace and balcony, accessed from a private gated courtyard
A Grade II-listed pile with six bedrooms, stables and 39 acres of grounds in Standlake
A two-bedroom flat with boutique hotel-style interiors, close to the foodie haunt of West End Lane
A two-bedroom flat in a beautiful old vicarage, with many original features, close to the city centre
A three-bedroom 16th-century home with an aga kitchen, private gardens and heated outdoor pool, in Hadleigh
A three-bedrom home in sought-after Queen's Gate Mews, with Italian marble-finished bathrooms
Surrounded by glorious countryside in the village of Udimore, sits this impressive four-kiln oast and barn conversion
A five-bedroom house in the picturesque village of Kettlewell, north Yorkshire
An 18th-century former coaching inn with original staircase, open fireplaces and beams throughout
A Grade II-listed Georgian town house with three bedrooms and a south-facing courtyard, near Arundel Castle
Feel on top of the world at this über chic penthouse on the 37th floor of one of Europe’s tallest blocks.
A Grade II-listed Victorian villa with six bedrooms and two further cottages, all with spectacular sea views
A grade II-listed, Georgian cottage with mature 50ft garden, perfect for summer entertaining
A magnificent Georgian pile with turrets, seven bedrooms, a heated pool and four acres of gardens
Fairoak Farm has five bedroom suites, gym, outdoor swimming pool and golf course
Chic two-bedroom river-fronted flat with a private lift that delivers you directly to your home
A spectacular seven-bedroom Tudor pile, once owned by Henry VIII, with 18 acres of land
A seven-bedroom Georgian property previously used as a picturesque wedding venue
A split-level flat in a church conversion with two en suite bedrooms and 1,200sq ft of living space
A three-bedroom bungalow situated behind an impressive stone wall, £645,000
Windsor Castle overlooks this three-bedroom Victorian cottage located on one of Windsor's smartest roads
Chapel House is a former vicarage with nine bedrooms in the beautiful Upper Wye Valley
A five-bedroom B&B and separate owner's accomodation with potential for conversion
Enjoy summer by the Thames in this two double-bedroom converted warehouse in Rotherhithe village
A one-bedroom, luxury apartment with private gym and concierge service in Moorgate
A four-bedroom house in Hermitage Gardens with three reception rooms and landscaped gardens
A seven-bedroom Grade II-listed property with a separate self-contained apartment
A five-bedroom Victorian house with three reception rooms and galleried landing, £695,000
A six-bedroom farmhouse with five acres of land in a former cloth-making village