Old folk at lunch

Sunday, November 16, 2008

Another poetry night

I got Michael Darby up from Sydney again last night; This time to help expand Joe's awareness of English poetry. Anne was down in Sydney at a conference connected to her work so Jenny came in and cooked us our dinner: Roast lamb followed by trifle. And a very good dinner it was. The menu was designed to fit in with the English theme and I also flew the flag of St George from my flagpole.

Dinner started at 7pm on time but it was a close run thing as Michael got here only about 5 minutes before that. Joe, Sam, Jill and Lewis made up the party. Jill and Michael are old friends.

I have recently had a few minor renovations done so my place was at its best for the occasion. As I usually do, I set the table with EPNS silver and bone-handled knives: Genuine living in the past! I opened the proceedings with a champagne toast: "For St George and merrie England".

Much poetry was read and recited, including a lot of old favourites: Tennyson, Shelley, Shakespeare, Coleridge, Hopkins etc. As the years go by I become more and more impressed by Tennyson. I helped out by doing some of the readings but I get hoarse very quickly these days so I was pretty croaky by the end of the night and retired exhausted at about 10pm. Michael was his usual stentorian self during his readings and recitations and Jenny stayed on chatting to him until about 11pm.

The table conversation was rather rabidly conservative. Lewis and Michael both tore into Australia's Leftists with Jill and I just occasionally chiming in with a few similar remarks. It must have been a contrast for Joe when compared with what he hears in the university environment. Since Joe's own views tend conservative, I think he would have found it refreshing.

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