The one thing I have been looking forward to for weeks now is the CWA Open Day which took place this Saturday just gone. A very ordinary week was made brighter by the fact that I actually had just one thing to look positively towards.
Being the ultra-efficient person I often fool myself into thinking I am, I pulled out everything I needed to get baking on the Friday after doing a spot of shopping. I arranged everything on the bench ready for the next morning and sat down at the dining table optimistically writing out labels for each thing I was going to bake and attaching curled, green ribbon. I even pre-mixed all the dry ingredients to save time and covered them with clean tea towels to protect them from any insects over night.
At 5:30am Saturday morning my alarm went off. Snooze. Alarm. Procrastination. Eventually I scolded myself, threw on some clothes and started whipping eggs for coconut macaroons. 15 minutes later out of the oven I was looking at two trays of flops stuck to the baking paper. Well that sucks! Two less plates of baked goods to try and sell. Righteo then! Cocoa biscuits. Tediously topping every plop of biscuit mix with a Smartie. In the oven, out half an hour later. Not too bad an effort even if the Smartie dye ran into the biscuit a bit. Butter cake. In the cake tray and into the oven. How long will that take? Consult my little recipe book and nearly fall over backwards at the words I had written in there myself. 1 to 1 1/4 hour! Oh my goodness! It's 5 minutes to 7 already, I'm supposed to be there soon to set up the barbeque and the cake is going to cut into that time! I text message wildly to the husband of another CWA member: What's Heathers number? Got a kitchen disaster!... No response. Right, I'll try Trisha, I know she's going but not how early or for how long... No response. Text message the lady I live with who's hamming it up in Caboolture to get the number of another CWA member... 10 minutes later she pulls through for me. I text message Jacqui to let her know that the kitchen and I have not made friends, the macaroons were a disaster and am not bringing near as much as I said I would and I'll be late. Turns out she's experiencing the same thing but she's still ahead of me and on her way to the butchers to pick up the sausages.
After packaging two plates of cocoa biscuits and waiting for the others to cool while the cake still bakes I have a shower, dress like a bogan would not, load up some stuff needed for the day into a shopping bag till finally the buzzer sounds and my cake is ready. I let it cool for the longest possible time I have by tending to the dogs, washing my hands and text message replies to the urgent beeps of "Where are you? Are you still bringing the BBQ?" from Jacqui. I package the last of the cocoa biscuits and the butter cake, put them in another shopping bag, load up and head off.
When I arrive at the Open Day there are already passer-by's going in the hall for a look so I park in a no-parking zone, unload the barbeque and gas, run down to the supermarket for matches and try and say hello to everyone while trying to find an opportunity to move my car to the back of the hall so I don't get a ticket for really crap parallel parking in a spot I just shouldn't parallel park in anyway! After Jacqui and I figure out the temperamental barbeque and use a cork screw to hold one of the legs in place (nice to see Damian looks after his Christmas presents that I give him) I begin to calm down. Wow, I fumble under pressure sometimes!
Steady, steady people come in to the hall. We have local business women selling their wares and services. Everything from naturopathy to Tupperware, fitness to scrapbooking. They enjoyed the free devonshire tea. The kids had fun decorating their cupcakes for $2. The young daughters of some CWA members con people into buying freshly picked mangoes and most people couldn't resist. How could anyone say no to their adorable faces? Well I could because I'm allergic to mangoes and there is not a chance in hell I'm touching one for fear of the rampant rash that breaks out on my hands. Sorry girls. Jacqui and my faces light up when we see people walking out with armfuls of stuff they have bought and brochures they have picked up. We have odd bursts of people wanting a sausage sizzle. I even stand at the edge of our little alcove on the footpath yelling at people "SAUSAGE SIZZLE" as only I could do. I try and guilt them when they're not interested. Sometimes yelling at random people worked and they bought a sausage and sometimes a soft drink too. Sometimes it freaked people out and their pace got faster, desperate to avoid the short, crazy lady. Don't know what gave them that impression...
Damian rings to ask me how the breakfast went. "What breakfast? It's an open day with devonshire tea and it's still going and we have people lining up wanting sausages. Call me back after 2pm!" I discard the phone in the direction of my handbag to find that, an hour later, I'd actually landed it in the water tray of a pot plant and it had drowned and refuses to function like a normal phone should. Oh well, guess I'll get a new one.
By the time 1pm rolled around we were so relieved to turn off the barbeque and pack up. We all worked together to put the hall back in order so as not to annoy the Senior Citizens despite the fact that the hall is owned by the CWA. The monies were tallied and we were all amazed to find we had raised over $1600 and over $200 of that was from Jacqui and my barbeque effort. About 10 more members signed up making us even closer to our goal of 50 members by Christmas.
When I got back to the town house and finished all those homely chores one must do I collapsed in bed and had a good old nanny nap. It got interrupted by Damian ringing on my now dried out and functioning phone and in my sluggish state I couldn't decide whether I was going to come home or not. Eventually I made a decision, jumped in the Red Beast and roared that petrol engine at an unknown speed (the speedo doesn't work) Hell West and Crooked till I finally pulled in the gates of our homestead.
Our Sunday was spent checking waters and dealing with petrol motors. Damian tuned up the Red Beast so it didn't idle so high and I drained the old, dirty fuel out of the quad bike, flushed it and fuelled it up again so I could go look for Diamond, the horse that doesn't want to be found. In the middle of the paddock the quad choked down which left me trudging across the gilgis, feed bucket slung over my arm, back toward the house screaming "Oi!" amongst other profanities to get Damians attention to come and pick me up from the top of the paddock. Eventually he came out of the house but not because he heard me but because he wanted a cigarette but at least he did notice me and came and picked me up and saved me from walking across the house paddock too.
Hot fuel was the problem and I got back on and pushed on through the paddock. By the time I reached the fence it was surging so bad it felt like I was riding a bucking horse. Damian caught up with me in the toyota and we swapped and he put up with the dreaded thing all the way back to the workshop. All that walking earlier though had made me tired so back to bed I went till I got woken up by Damian who informed me it was 3 o'clock already, time to go back to town and put up with another week of bloody concrete.