Saturday, 14 May 2011


It’s Eurovision night, and we've just hosted our annual party, which was fantastic fun. There were, I guess, about 14 of us. We spent much of the evening killing ourselves laughing, but the highlight of the night was undoubtedly Jim’s giant scoreboard. Each country was represented by a cartoon runner, dressed in a patriotic costume. Every time one of us awarded a song with a mark, its corresponding runner would take another step forward. It was very ingenious because we knew at every stage which song was in the lead.

Everyone at the party had a vote, and we also took phone votes from Wales (brother Tim) Brighton (Ellie and Izzy’s Mum) Clapham (Jim’s friend) Ellen (wherever she was in the world) and most excitingly, Brother Edward, who was watching the show live in Dusseldorf! He was texting all the way through to ask how various acts, who'd "gone big in the hall," had come across on the telly. He 'phoned afterwards to say he was standing in front of the winners, and we all felt incredibly jealous. I don't think Azerbaijan necesserily deserved to win, neither do I think that Blue did themselves a great many favours with the way they performed their song.

Our mini-competition was won comprehensively by Hungary, who were represented on Jim's giant scoreboard by the cartoon of a lady in a wheelchair! Italy and Sweden came second and third respectively, and Azerbaijan came fifth from last.

In the actual competition, Hungary came nowhere, but Italy and Sweden did actually come second and third, so we weren't that far off-trend with our scoring.

The cartoon runners progressing along the giant scoreboard

We ate an enormous amount of food. I prepared various bakes, lasagnes and salads. I wasn’t hugely happy with the way that things tasted, but the food was eaten and it seemed to be enjoyed, so I guess it must have been okay.

350 years ago, Pepys spent the day with his workmen, and seemed very happy with the progress they'd made, but went to bed in something of a panic, worrying that the wood shavings his joiners had been liberally scattering all over the house had become a massive fire risk... I'm sure he was probably correct.

The assembled guests in front of the scoreboard

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