I’d put out an ‘open invite’ on Facebook, and tried to put the word around about my leaving party – but realised belatedly that it’s always a good idea to actually ASK folk rather than rely on them just turning up – they prefer it. My original idea had been to turn up at the pub and have folk come there – seemed like the least work. However my neighbour and friend Sara had offered to host a party in her studio – a green oak building in her garden which her partner Sean had built. It would give her an excuse to clear it out, and besides, she hadn’t had a party in a while.
Come the day, we were both regretting it: Sara because she was still trying to clear the studio of all of her mother’s ‘stuff’ from when she’d emptied her house and moved to Australia backalong – and NOONE was helping – recalcitrant teenage and stroppy younger son hiding in house and husband busy building a staircase, like you do. Me because of course I wasn’t finished packing and still had loads of things to do before departure that I should have done weeks before. (I procrastinate – what’s new?). I also had to post stashes of wool to collect to various parts of Europe: Paris and Germany to start with. This means I HAVE to finish what I've got with me on the bicycle before I collect any more. That's the theory anyway.
Here is a picture of the ‘pile’ of stuff waiting to be organised.
But in the end, all was good. The studio looked pretty, lit up with fairy lights – and everyone who came brought food and drink (and I’d contributed some boxes of wine and bottles of beer). Chris and Susan from next door, despite both being poorly, had bought a barrel of Teignworthy Reel Ale. (There was loads of booze left over so Sean the host and Seth the son divvied it up next morning.)
It was an excellent send off and I will remember that night for a long time - as one of my cycling gurus said I would - waves to Rubina. The Mayor of Moretonhampstead turned up too! (Lovely to see you Jane). I’d bought a new camera to take some pics, but didn’t have a memory card for it. So I didn’t get many pics at all. But here’s two of the fire where the youngsters gathered: