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Dublin: 5 °C Thursday 24 April, 2014

9 useless things we learned from Pippa Middleton’s new book

It’s here, and it’s going to irritate you.

Image: Penguin Books

IT’S HERE, EVERYONE. Pippa Middleton’s party-planning book is here.

The royal sister-in-law launched her pet project, Celebrate, in London yesterday, thus ensuring that no insufferable party will ever be the same again.

But what does the book actually contain? Well, it’s not on shelves yet, but the Daily Mail is running some exclusive extracts from Pippa’s section on autumn celebrations. We’ve picked out some essential answers to life’s major questions.

1. Why did you write the book?

I’ve always loved to write, so it seemed natural to try to combine this passion along with my enjoyment for entertaining.

2. How does the book work? Should I just read it, or what?

Celebrate is structured around the seasonal cycle and focuses on tradition, ritual and rhythm, providing a glimmer of anticipation and hope – like that warm feeling on your back on the first sunny day of the year or spotting the first signs of spring.

3. Is there such a thing as overdoing it when it comes to Halloween?

There is no such thing as overdoing it when it comes to Halloween.

4. How can I accessorise my dishes?

You can accessorise dishes with a trickle of tomato ketchup ‘blood’ and black plastic spiders perched on serving trays or in drinks.

5. Could you please tell me how to play conkers in great detail?

Each player has a conker threaded on to a piece of knotted string [...] and pairs of players take it in turns to hit each other’s conker. The conker should hang perfectly still, ready for your adversary to strike. If you hit your opponent’s conker, you have another go; if you miss, it’s their turn. The game is won when one conker is destroyed or knocked off its string.

Pippa holding a glimmer of anticipation and hope in this cold, empty world (Kirsty Wigglesworth/AP/Press Association Images)

6. How should my house look, though?

Your home should look the part on the outside to greet your guests and any passing spooks and spirits. A few mournful ghosts floating in the garden will add to the effect.

7. You say autumn party food shouldn’t be too fiddly. But why?

The likelihood is that you will be perched on a bench, hay bale or log.

8. I’ve got literally all the time in the world. Can you teach me to play ‘pumpkin bowling’?

Save ten small drink bottles (with tops) for pins. You can give them the appearance of ghosts by pouring in 5cm (2in) white gloss paint and a drop of paint thinner and shaking. Add faces to the outsides with a black marker pen. You’ll also need small pumpkins with short stems for bowling balls. If you can’t find any, oranges work just as well.

9. When should I serve a hot vodka cocktail?

Serve it for elevenses with sausage rolls.

So there you go. We trust you don’t have any more questions. Go forth and party!

Tell us: What was your greatest ever Halloween costume?>

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