On Saturday we had our ‘Bon voyage BBQ’ and I’d invited quite a few people. Actually, I’d invited a lot of people, but some couldn’t come.
Just before it began, my BFF asked “so how many people are you expecting?”
We started counting… and gave up at 55. We looked at the pack of 25 paper plates I’d bought, and she immediately googled the local the nearest pound shop so she could stock up1.
I was in shock that I know that many people. Although, to be fair, several of them are babies.
Lack of preparation aside, the day was amazing. Hectic, full of fun, laughter, food and wine. And although the weather was rubbish, the party went on.
It rained on and off so N moved the BBQ under the big sunshade umbrella and did the thing you’re not supposed to do for fear of carbon monoxide poisoning. Luckily, he survived.
The horde of kids hung out in the front room, watching TV, playing Lego and eating. OMG. Constantly eating. Apparently, they also spent quite a bit of time smearing cake crumbs into the floor, but in an inspired moment, I’d taken the rug out before anyone arrived, so the wood floor was pretty easy to clear up. Once the weather perked up, some of them ventured into the garden, before it rained again.
LM and LS were brilliant hosts, making sure that no-one was left out, and keeping an eye on the little ones.
The back of the house was full of adults; sitting at the table, on the sofa, on the counter! Standing around, helping prep food, cook food, clear up, feed children, clear up after children. Chatting, drinking, eating, laughing.
I’d had a wee moment, before anyone arrived. It was just us and our besties, prepping food, and I thought “what if no-one comes?” Several hours later, with the house overflowing, I felt blessed.
It was lovely to see friends from different circles, who didn’t know each other, getting along. I had been a little worried that some people might not know many others to talk to, but they all just mingled perfectly.
It was also bittersweet, hanging out with friends knowing this might be the last time we see some of them. I did nag everyone to come and visit us, but realistically, some won’t.
N and I had considered not doing anything to mark our departure. We’d been tempted to just slink off, avoiding goodbyes. But I’m glad we didn’t do that. It was good to make more memories with these people.
I’ll miss this house. It’s perfect for this kind of gathering.
I’ll miss these people. They’re perfect for gathering about you.
1 Seriously, everyone needs a BFF like my BFF.