Old folk at lunch

Monday, October 10, 2016

A busy weekend

I have on a number of occasions on the past put on a party late in the year in my backyard with the theme being "Pizza and champagne".  I shout the pizza and champage for all.  For one reason or another, I have not done it recently, mainly because two families who used to come now live far away -- one in Scotland and one in the Shaky Isles.

But at short notice it occurred to me that I should do it again while Von & Co. are here. We decided to have it at Jenny's place, which limited the guest list a bit but I made sure to get George along, as I always do.  Jenny sent out the invites and also ordered the pizza.  That way she could get a gluten-free pizza that she was happy with. I brought along  three bottles of Seaview Brut -- which people always seem to like -- but only two were opened.

There were ten people present, including Joe and Kate -- plus the three kids.  When Joe arrived he was grabbed by the kids even before he could get though the door. So Kate was left standing outside for a bit while Joe fended off his young admirers. He plays rough games with them, which they can't get enough of.  The mothers of the kids concerned are not worried about what Joe does -- for the excellent reason that I used to play the same sort of games with them when they were kids.  Generational succession!

George was in great form.  He entertained the kids with nursery rhymes -- little Miss Muffett etc. But George acted the rhymes  out so he had the kids all sitting enthralled in front of him.  The bit about the spider coming down was infinitely popular.  George had to do that bit over and over again.

George also spent a bit of time with Anne and she later commented how she could always have an interesting conversation with him. He and I talked a bit about the way the media present Aborigines.  George was disgusted that everything is said to be our fault rather than the fault of the Aborigines themselves.  I heartily agreed.

At my request, Von dressed Hannah in her little red Gingham dress and Von herself wore one of her long skirts.  Such skirts look very good on her in my opinion.  The one she wore was a 3-tier skirt, which I last remember as being fashionable about 30 years ago.  But I liked that fashion at the time so that is probably another instance where Von and I see eye to eye.  Von was born glamorous so doesn't need to spend much money on clothes.  She tells me she spends more on clothes for her daughter than clothes for herself

I have always spoken of Suz as having a good heart and I have now become a beneficiary of it!  She has noticed that I am a bit doddery these days so does small things to help me -- like standing up to offer me her seat.  She has got her mother's good heart 100%.

Jenny was aware that there have been some difficulties beween Anne and myself recently so Anne wondered how welcome Jenny would make her.  I told her not to worry and, in the event, Jenny was particularly welcoming to Anne, which really touched Anne.

We had the pizza in the BBQ area out the back of Jenny's place, where the kids could run around like mad things, which they proceeded to do. Russ was not present because of work demands.

Then on Sunday we had a lunchtime BBQ at Jenny's place, with Jenny cooking sausages, kebabs etc.  George sent his apologies and Anne had another engagement but my brother came and Russ came.  Kate was busy working on her thesis for her M.A.  So we would have had similar numbers to Friday.

Simon did up a quantity of his NZ cheese sandwiches and there were some good Dim Sims too.  We had another bottle of Champagne plus a bottle of Houghton's white that Jenny particularly likes.  With so many good things, I rather overate but still had room for a couple of small pieces of cold watermelon at the end.

Joe was pretty quiet until he got up and played with the kids.  Then he ran around like a mad thing too!

Nanna also took charge of a couple of games for the kids.  She in fact got around a fair bit.  She helped clean up at the end of proceedings too. It was great to see a 92 year old lady still making herself useful.  Since most people present shared some of her genes it must have been a great source of hope for a good old age.

At one stage someone mentioned Aborigines.  My brother is married to a lady with some Aboriginal ancestry.  But practically everyone chimed in to say that Aborigines are mostly a pretty hopeless lot and need to stand on their own two feet more.  There were of course several Pauline Hanson supporters present.

My brother noted the red Gingham dress that Hannah was wearing and said she looked like a tablecloth in an Italian restaurant. Neither he nor I are big on tact!

I mostly talked to Simon and my brother but I spent most of my time watching the kids, which is always a great pleasure to me.

At one stage we revisited a lot of the old family stories -- about Suz being denied a cream bun, about me getting her drunk at the time of Joe's birth and about Von telling me that I couldn't have her hair! -- etc.   The old stories are the best stories.  Always good for a laugh.

I subsequently remembered a couple of stories I should have told -- about Von telling me she was cold -- what a fool I was there!  -- and when Suz had lost her "Pacer" (propelling pencil).

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