The snow started falling last night and it hasn’t stopped. It has pretty much been non-stop northern winter weather ever since I arrived in the Sault this December, but you won’t find me crying the blues.
Whatever the season, wherever I am, whomever I’m with and regardless of my budget I like to make the best of my circumstances. Otherwise a long winter in a small town, a grey and rainy city or on a student budget could really get you down. Fun times often involve outdoor adventures, shopping in small boutiques, visiting galleries and museums, tasting food at local markets or in the street and cooking dinner with friends, but for anyone who really knows me there is nothing I love more than a good feast, great music, a lot of dancing, chatting with old friends and making some new ones. In other words I love a good party.
All throughout high school my girlfriends and I used to get together for potlucks and sunday brunches. Post high school came my Vancouver days, which consisted of a few good dinner parties, but a lot of great dance parties. I was no longer confined to dances in my school gymnasium or my family’s living room. Instead my friends and I spent many a night dancing at loft parties in Gastown, summer afternoons dancing to drum and base on the sandy beach at Spanish Banks, getting swept away on boat parties and loosing ourselves to the music in rented warehouses, where the parties went all night. I have to admit this kind of fun was unsustainable and after a couple of years I grew out of it.
It wasn’t until my grad student days in the Netherlands, that my aptitude for party planning solidified. This was the result of an amazing group of people who knew how to have a good time. We never let our limited budgets, our makeshift apartments, the stress of studying and our tight living quarters stop us from having fun.
The best part is that once you have the formula down it is easily adaptable. With just a few small tweaks you’ll be able to host a little party wherever you go. Take for example me and a good friend of mine, who I met while studying in Leiden, she and I took our party supplies to Seattle, where we created a “pop-up” cocktail bar in our youth hostel – in a room that explicitly prohibited food and beverage. Ignoring the rules surely added to the adventure. Ever since then, she and I never go anywhere without a little container of dried fruit and nuts. You never know when the opportunity for aperitivo (as she calls Happy Hour in Italian will arise). In Venice we made our own sophisticated soiree along the Venetian Canals by toasting with a glass of Prosecco. Thank goodness for corks that go “POP!” Then there was the wine and simple snacks that never tasted so good after a treacherous drive to Tofino the December before last.
They are not always glamorous, but when you have your closest friends around, some happy appies to snack on, some good music to dance to and neighbours who don’t complain, then you’ve got yourself a party!