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Jane Austin saved my dinner party!

Last night my husband and I threw a dinner party for ten. Four times a year we get together with his old fotball (soccer) buddies and their wives for an evening of good food, fine wine and lots of reminiscing. I’m not kidding either, these guys can remember exactly who scored what goal at which game, way back in the 1970’s and 80’s!

Last night it was our turn to host. We got up early, I headed straight for the kitchen and my husband out for a bike ride, (he’s training for a race). For me a dinner party starts weeks before, as I pour over recipes and table setting ideas. Choose which wine to serve, order flowers, iron table clothes, clean the house and decide what to wear.

I always try to choose a meal I can make in advance, this way I avoid the stress of cooking while guests are already sitting in my living room. I found a recipe for Prince William’s favorite Cottage Pie in the wedding issue of People Magazine last year and figured if it was good enough for William, it would be good enough for us. Just to be sure, I gave it a trial run (very tasty). For color, I’d make a big salad with every different veggie I could find (I hate boring salads). For desert, I decided to make an apple & blueberry custard pie and serve it warm with vanilla ice cream.

I doubled all the recipes and stood cooking, chopping and baking from morning until late afternoon. Cleaned up the kitchen, set the table and got myself ready. The whole time in good company, as Mia and Khloe (my furry companions) sat by my side – waiting for something to drop. Meanwhile my husband finally got home from his ride and was quickly punished for being gone all day – with a list of things to do before our guests arrived.

One hour until count down we locked the dogs in our bedroom, so I could run the vacuum one last time. Heaven forbid someone find a dog hair, at a dinner party. Mia and Khloe are not used to being locked away, and took this very personally. They cried, barked and scratched to get out. I gave them treats, talked to them and even yelled at them to stop, which is something I never do. As my guests were coming in I could still hear them, I had to think quick or they would ruin everything!

Then I remembered… Whenever I don’t feel good and need quiet time, I’ll pop a Jane Austin film in the DVD player and lie on the sofa all day. The dogs seem to understand this and will always lie quietly next to me. I made a quick dash to the bedroom, chose Pride and Prejudice (its a long one) put it on and hoped for the best.

Sure enough, Jane Austin to the rescue! I’m pretty certain she could tame the wild beast in anyone, Khloe and Mia were as good as gold. The food was delicious, we talked about goals, injuries and penalty kicks, everyone had a great time and in reward for being good, the girls were later allowed to join the party.

That is after their film was finished, of course.

Lets dish People

For those of you who don’t know me, let me tell you a little something about myself. I read People magazine from cover to cover, every week (and have been doing so for years). I usually download it on to my iPad every Sunday afternoon and then along with a plate of cookies and a large mug of piping hot mint-tea, I devour it.

Its not just about Hollywood movie stars, its full of real stories about real people. Some stories make me laugh and others make me cry. I recently read an incredible story about a 96 year old man named Jim Henry, who’d been illiterate his whole life. Two years ago he learned to read and write and has now published his first book, In a Fisherman’s Language.

There is a section called Style Watch, featuring the latest styles and trends of the season. Although I seldom find myself in the market for a new dress, I still like to check in and see the latest frock Kate has been wearing. I’m also obsessed with all the beautiful dresses worn on the ‘red carpet’.

I’m always humbled by People’s, Hero’s Among Us section. Just click on the hyperlink and you will too.

There are new Movie, TV, Music and Book Reviews every week. Whenever my husband and I leave a movie theater with him grumbling, “Next time I pick the movie.” I simply reply, “Its not my fault, People gave it four stars.” I like the Music reviews, but love the book reviews and have thus far been totally satisfied with almost all of their recommendations. Since I live in Norway and they’re reviewing whats on TV in the States, this section really doesn’t apply to me.

All right, I’ll admit it, I saved the best for last. Star Tracks, Scoop and Passages are my guiltiest of pleasures. I can’t help it, I’m just so darn curious as to whether or not Heidi and Seal will get back together. What Lindsey Lohan will do next, and why friends and family hope its not too late for the troubled actress Demi Moore.

Welcome to Hollywood my friends, playground to the stars. Entertainment on and off screen. Where its fun learning who’s dating who, the break-ups, the make-ups, the melt-downs and the plastic surgeries.

Why do we give these people we don’t even know and who don’t know us so much of our precious time? Because celebrity gossip gives us a common interest and something to talk about. I think as long as its kept on an entertainment level, its all good.