Back to the Future

My Weekly|October 12, 2019

Back to the Future
Our Seventies party seemed like a brilliant idea – well, right up to the moment when the lemon cheese started to fly, that was…
Kath Kilburn

Me and Billy, we’ve been together forever. He’s not always an easy man but I love him and, as the song goes, we’ve been together now for forty years and it don’t… well, best leave it there.

I’m not so sure about it not seeming a day too long. We’re both set in our ways, I suppose.

The Seventies-themed party was my idea – to inject a bit of zest into our lives, an excuse to get back in touch with all the old gang.

I never thought Billy would agree, but I told him I was sure there were still some old flares and a tank top in the attic. He laughed and said, “Most of my stuff’s so old, it’s vintage anyway,” so I knew he was up for it.

I started making lists of people we could invite: former colleagues, family members, old friends. Billy got all excited too and started making posters to pin on the living room wall – girls in Laura Ashley pinafore dresses and clogs, a few punks, photocopied newspaper articles about the three-day week.

It seemed to me that the Seventies started off trailing the last dregs of love and peace, and ended in a stew of strikes and safety pins. If that wasn’t a perfect metaphor for me and Billy, I don’t know what was.

We dusted off the Lazy Susan and filled it with nuts and crisps. We put some pineapple chunks and cheese, topped by a pickled onion, on cocktail sticks stuck into a potato. We planned quiche and Black Forest gateau and I dreamed up a hundred different fillings for vol-au-vents.

“Do they even still sell those things?” asked Billy, bemused.

“Well, I think so. If not, I’ll just have to make them.”

Billy raised a doubtful eyebrow. “We’ll have mushrooms in sauce and chunky chicken for the savouries, and then we’ll have lemon curd and jam for the sweet ones.”

“Lemon cheese in vol-au-vents? You’re kidding me, now, aren’t you? No one’s going to eat that!”

“Don’t be daft!” I protested. “It’s what we ate in the Seventies – and we’re all still here, aren’t we?”

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October 12, 2019