Grand Finale

“Would you volunteer at the school dance party?”

“Sure!!!! I would be happy to!!!”

…but it didn’t go just like this…

My wife decided to volunteer: it was great, of course.

But then, she had to shift to new schedules and plans and I inherited the great opportunity.

In other words, I was the official replacement.

It is an important change, because the party could have had a different course if I had spent that evening at home with my son.

So, I volunteered to be one of the 2 DJs: in the dance party, F. and I were the most important helping-parents (maybe it is just how we felt 🙂 )

We spent some time to take 1 by 1 the titles of the songs that boys and girls wanted to add to THE playlist. Two different genres, definitely! Finally, it was in F’s spotify playlist.

Obviously, the night before the big event, at 21.30 my daughter came up with other 10 song titles that could not have missed the floor of the dance party: it took me a while to search for each of them, get a screenshot and send all the screenshots to F., so that he could include them in the playlist.

Being a ParentDJ is a tough job.

It was even clearer when I arrived at school. One of my daughter’s friend, whose name is top secret, approached me and said: “I have to dance 16 minutes with L., 15 with A., 11 with B. and…and…and…. : therefore, I need many slow songs!!!! Are you playing them, aren’t you????”

In my head the only thought was: “this 10 years old little girl, standing in front of me together with my daughter, is just kidding me”. Actually, she was too serious to be kidding me.

“Sure no problem!”

“Oh, thank you so much!!!!! By the way….don’t tell my parents about it!!!!”

I couldn’t stop a smile to show up in my face.

The sound system in the room was great: we just needed to connect the phone and music started to fill in the air. We kept the volume down as the party had not started yet. I had to post a picture of the mixer on facebook: too cool!

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I’m pretty sure I never had a similar sound system in my private parties when I was a kid/teen.

We managed to get lights and a globe too….

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In the meanwhile a bunch of parents were preparing tables for the dinner: the organisation of the volunteering system worked perfectly, thanks G. for that!

The party kicked off officially and volume pumped up.

The first 2-3 songs in the playlist went great: most of the kids were dancing and having fun.

Then, requests for songs started up: “Now we need this song, just this!! Please please!”

It was impossible to resist and the playlist, built with so much sacrifice, was simply abandoned. Forgot. Put in a remote corner.

And of course my young friend with a top secret name went to the DJ station and said: “I need the slow song. Now”

Yes, impossible to resist.

VVVVRRRRRR (phone vibrating). Someone commented on my Facebook post.

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Really?!?!?!?!?!  A   F O G  –  M A C H I N E ?!?!?!?!

The 2 DJs decided that it was a fantastic idea; an idea that would have brought the party to the next level!

We replied that we needed it.

And he came, fast. Super-fast. “I am here”, Messenger blinked. B. was waiting at the school gate.

Outside it was snowing and many entrances and internal doors in the school were closed, for safety reasons. It took me some time to reach the right door. After a few minutes the fog machine was ready: it just needed to warm up.

B. and I started talking and suddenly, looking at the ceiling, B. stopped talking and pointed at the smoke alarm sensor. We looked each other and nodded. We agreed that most likely smoke made of palm oil and water wouldn’t have triggered the alarm.

Fog machine is a nice gadget as it has a remote control: you press a button, it sprays a little cloud of smoke.

1 pressure, 1 little cloud: test successful.

Cake break.

Dancing floor empty. DJs in a good party mood.

Cake break finished.

Kids in the dancing floor again.

More songs requests.

More fun.

Press. Smoke.

Nice.

Press again. Smoke again.

Very nice.

Press press. Smoke smoke.

Really funny.

Press press press. Smoke smoke smo….

“This is a critical situation”

***weeeeee*** ***weeeeee****

“This is a critical situation, everybody….”

Ops.

We did it.

Fire alarm was triggered.

Everybody knew that there was no actual fire, but only a fog machine: even though, a small level of panic started raising.

All lights were on and music was down.

Firemen truck siren broke the silence in the quiet Billund.

Headmaster arrived.

Firemen arrived.

WORRIED PARENTS ARRIVED.

Suddenly the school was full of people…and still some smoke…

Cleaning lady, who probably did a very good training, brought outside all the kids she found.

A big serious fireman entered the building: a selfie shot would have been probably nice right below here….but he was so serious that I couldn’t ask for it…

He said that everybody had to be in the same place.

“Sure, but the alarm was triggered just by a fog mach…”

“It’s the process. Everybody must be in the same place”

“Got it”

Someone reported that half kids were inside and half outside.

Someone else said: “Ok, then everybody outside”.

As it was heavily snowing and, most importantly, there was no fire, I suggested to do the other way around: bring inside those kids who were outside.

Proposal approved.

Finally, alarm was switched off, firemen truck left the school parking lot and kids enjoyed some last cake.

According to rumours, a few kids were disappointed about it….

…but trusted sources declared that for most of them it was really a Grand Finale!!!!

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Disclaimer: Don’t Try This At Your Kids’ Party 🙂

 

 

 

 

 

 

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A dinner

Starter, main course, dessert.
It seems a typical dinner.
But it was one of the most amazing dinner I ever had.

Let’s move the timeline back to June: we got an email, which was actually a
TOP SECRET INVITATION.
It was about a dinner, planned for the 24th of September: quite an early invitation…but a lot of organization was needed….
By accepting it, we would have accepted to attend the so called “Running Dinner”, where we would have met many new people and had a lot of fun.
We accepted, of course, with no hesitation.
We also got a task: preparing dessert for eight people.

The preparation was a long one, at least mentally; practically, we did almost everything last minute….
We looked for recipes, for a good way to prepare the table and the house, for our super babysitter: then, some tests on Friday (I am pretty good in tasting cakes) and the big preparation on Saturday.
Everything was ready: kids with babysitter, allowed to walk around only in half house; cat outside, not allowed at all to walk around (I could see all the glasses in pieces and cat hair all around!!)…

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…just waiting for the SMS.
Yes, the SMS!
We didn’t know where the starter would have taken place.
16.30 sharp, 30 mins before the beginning of the dinner, we got it.
Weather was lovely last Saturday, so we decided to bike.
We reached our destination, rang the bell and two perfect strangers welcomed us in their house.
In a short while, other three couples joined: one house, eight people, a mix of Danish and Internationals, some of whom just met for the first time, hungry and happy to have the starter together. Even happier to come know each other.
Typical Danish starter, good talks, some in English some in Danish (!!!), good wine….just not enough yet for a fluent talk in Danish…
Then the host took the envelopes she received from the organizers and distributed them to the guests, one per couple.
Each couple opened the envelope and got the next destination address: the one for the main course.

Before leaving, we couldn’t miss the opportunity of a group picture:

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The eight of us cheered each other, excited for the next step but also a little bit sad for leaving the good company.
It was funny to see other bikers running in different directions, all looking for their next destination.
It was a puzzle, where every step was built up of eight people, in a newer combination.
On our way we met other two bikes, going in the same direction: a quick glance and we understood we were heading to the same destination.
Again, we rang the bell and two perfect strangers welcomed us in the their house.
A few minutes later the forth couple arrived and everything was ready for the main course.
Great main course, great people. Different interaction, but lovely in the same way as the previous one.
The Italian red wine was really good and also had a nice story behind: we were honored to be the one sipping it.
When you have such a good time, it tends to run very fast and suddenly the new envelopes were distributed: we already knew our next destination.
From one side we were feeling a little bit the pressure of being the hosts for dessert, from the other one we were happy to fully experience this new kind of event.

But before leaving, we shot our picture, of course…

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…we cheered then the new friends and, with the same feeling as before, we cycled back home.
We got home, wondering if our cat had decided just that night to use the cat door that she had never used. Luckily, she didn’t.
Kids were sleeping, babysitter had everything under control, we lighted up the candles and waited for our guests.
For four of them we were the perfect strangers who welcomed them in their house.
TiramisĂą, panna cotta and special rice balls were delicious.
One dinner, third steps in three different houses, third combination of people, third different dynamics around the table. One common thing: same fun and same wish to know each other.
Before opening the last envelope, we had time for the special Luca’s cocktail: that’s where we started singing Danish songs! 🙂

The vibe was high, we have had a fantastic time and we were looking forward to our next destination: Refborg hotel, where the party with all the participants was waiting for us.

But before jumping on our bikes…

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At Refborg, we met all our friends, old and new: lights dimmed down, music volume pumped up and the party began!
At some time in the night, we came back: now the bikes seemed to be not as stable and straight as before… but we succeeded with a great performance!
Running dinner is definitely a memorable experience: it is a unique way to merge different people and different cultures in a funny and interesting manner.
I actually don’t know in how many places you can organize such an event and having a so good outcome… I think Billund is the perfect place for that.
Now… I simply can’t wait for the next one…