My life as a party girl  - Where it all began

It doesn’t matter where you live or how much money you have, you can always throw a fabulous party.

I go back to when I was 21, I had just bought my first house in Melbourne, started my own catering business and was rather ‘cash’ poor, but that wasn’t going to stop me entertaining my friends. I invited about 20 people for a black tie New Years Eve dinner - 20 people to a tiny 2 bedroom single fronted terrace for a sit down dinner. I never seem to have enough space to have the guests I want, but it always works, they don’t mind they are there for the chance to spend quality ‘friend’ time.

I decided that we would have the dinner in the back yard, so all the tables went out there and I got friends to bring some extra chairs, I have always had plenty of china, crockery and glassware due to my job and my bower bird tendency (inherited from my father), nothing really matched but I made it ‘work’ with some cool flowers and linen serviettes.

It was the most fabulous night even though there was the outside toilet very close to the table and we were all very squished, but it meant we could all chat to each other (not sure my neighbours were too impressed) and yes the food was good, it was my job, but it was simple food and it needed to be, my signature easy antipasto for entree, stuffed chicken breasts with salad, and lemon meringue pies with berries for dessert.

Serving the food will always bring a smile to my face, if only you could see the extreme conditions the kitchen was ‘basic’ and that’s being complimentary, about 2m x 2m in total, one single sink, an old gas oven, no bench space and walls crumbling due to my efforts the day before to remove the old 70’s super glued wallpaper.

I remember sitting on the kitchen floor plating up the desserts around midnight, admittedly a few wines on board, wearing the most beautiful navy beaded strapless ball gown that my mother had got in Paris in the 40’s and of course some divine heels. Having limited resources doesn’t mean you have to sacrifice style or glamour!

I was sitting on the floor because all the tables were outside for the guests, adversity, what’s that??? When you love your friends it doesn’t matter, the thing is that they still talk about that night 35 years on. And with that night I set a precedent that has flowed through my whole life.

It’s not about what you have, it’s about who you have in your life and spending time with them, don’t worry about where you live, how big your kitchen or budget is just do it, get those friends and family together, they are memories you will have forever.

Oh and don’t forget to take pictures, how special to be able to show your children and teach them the importance of spending time with the ones you love.