It's a glorious day in South East London and I am glad I don't need to go very far for today's party. A few weeks ago I got chatting with Canadian ex-pat Jason on the gay community website OUTeverywhere, and I was delighted that he was keen to host a Tupperware party for half a dozen friends. He would have a new bathroom to christen, and his kitchen needed replenishing. I was even more delighted that he lives just 10 minutes down the road.
In the end, Jason's builders took slightly longer than planned (isn't that unusual...) and we had a last-minute change of venue to his friends' place round the corner. Ed and Blake hail from the southern US (of course they do, they are called Ed and Blake) and are stalwarts of their mothers' Tupperware parties back home. Their lovely open plan kitchen-diner with its sunny terrace is the perfect setting for a very gay summertime Tupperware party with built-in cigarette breaks. Their dining table becomes my shop window, and the central island food prep area gives our demonstration the look and feel of a TV cooking show. Although it was definitely more Fanny Cradock than Jamie Oliver.
Jason was having fun with his retro buffet, complete with a cheese-and-pineapple hedgehog and some curried tinned pears which are his mother's speciality. They are astonishingly good. He fills my green Expressions Tip Top pitcher with pina colada, and one guest David takes the theme to its limit by bringing bottles of Black Tower, Blue Nun and Mateus Rose. All the guests muck in to make a chocolate almond cake in the microwave. Grown men, and strapping ones at that, coo and purr at the precision of the silicone spatula. I had promised Jason I would complete the picture with an authentic 1970s Tupperware cake server that I had picked up on eBay, and it is a big hit.
But it isn't just a campy nostalgia fest. Jason, Ed, Blake and guests have fun with their memories of Tupperware, but they also really engage with the fantastic new products. Blake pounces on the Expressions Round Server with its carrying handle: he is a big pie-maker but complains that he can never take his pies anywhere. The Pina Colada must have hit the spot too because almost everyone bought an Expressions pitcher for their own home cocktails. Most peoples' orders stretched over two separate order forms and when I calculate their rewards, my joint hosts come out with over £100 worth of free Tupperware.
I leave with the sun still blazing and the Tuppered-out guests lazing shirts-off on the terrace. Giddy with the sun, I accidentally leave my tablecloth behind. I will collect it from Jason when I drop the orders next week. Although looking at the order forms in front of me now, I may need to hire a truck.