Tuesday, 21 June 2011

The Family Bon Voyage party

It is now Tuesday, and I have just recovered from the family Bon Voyage, Bon Collage party.  I so wanted to see all the family before I left - but I am not a natural host and find it all completely exhausting.  Maureen Lipman observed in one of her books that some people are natural hosts, some are natural guests.  I am a natural guest - I go round and talk to everyone, am interested in other people, will eat whatever is provided, and generally have a good time.  I am not a natural host, find it very stressful to be cooking, conversing, and facilitating others to have a good time, and worry about whether I have enough food, drink, fridge space, whether the weather will be good, will everyone talk to each other, etc. 

So sensibly I called on some key friends, "the kitchen fairies" to run the kitchen for me.  They were an intelligent, eclectic mix - Esther who read physics at Liverpool, Matt who read history at Kings, and Lisa, an artist from Goldsmiths.  They divided up the kitchen work between them - Esther on salads, Matt on the cooker, and Lisa hanging my artwork and generally assisting as required.  What a brilliant bunch!  Having them there, was certainly like magic for me.  Snippets of their conversation were around, how to earn an alternate living as a history/maths/physics tutor, the principles of atomic physics from a black bin liner; medieval history; how to run a kitchen like a station!   All I had to do was indicate where things were kept, and talk to my family. 

Me and Lisa
It was lovely to see everyone.  My 4 aunts had a good opportunity for an extended conversation with each other (they live a long way apart) and so did the cousins.  I think they are all very pleased with the travels of Jim and me, and delighted at the opportunities that are opening up to us.  I might have been stressed by entertaining, but I was so glad to see them all.  It was lovely to realise how many people I have batting on my side.

11 year old Grace was delegated the job of family photos and made a good job of handling an unfamiliar camera with minimal (non-existent!) instructions from me.  A girl with initiative! Obviously a woman from our family!
Aunt Lily, Aunt Joan and Cousin Allison

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