They forgot to mention Son. He is a nine, too. A 1989 baby. Other than that, I believe our weekend hosts had got their nines together. People came from Baltimore and Bangalore, and from Hungary and Dublin. They even came from Slough and Scotland. The hosts could offer up two 50-year-olds and a twentieth wedding anniversary and an 18-year-old and A-levels. The guests comprised at least another three 1959 babies, one 1929 baby, a 75-year-old, and quite possibly more secret nines hidden away. Oh, yes, and a second twentieth wedding anniversary.
Oxfordshire offered up the kind of summer Sunday afternoon that people always think they are going to get in July, and hardly ever do. It was barbecue and barn dancing, and the chicken and the Halloumi weren’t the only things roasting. Most of us came away considerably more ‘done’ than when we arrived. Pimms and Pavlova were consumed in the grassy quad next to the old barn.
We’d started the previous day with family members nibbling Indian snacks, before a wonderful Indian feast for lunch. People took turns on the piano, and second cousins who hadn’t seen each other for years, got to know each other all over again.
Did I mention the barn dancing? I suspect the hosts remembered the family do ten years ago, in Scotland, when we had a Ceilidh. So, this being England, a barn dance was the obvious solution. Great musicians and patient teaching of the intricacies of the dances. Even the witch could have managed the Gay Gordons at the end, had it not been for her Haggis-knee. And yes, I know GG is Scottish. It sort of turned Scottish for the finale, after the dancing master had insulted the Swedish people and their dancing. I suspect he’d got his Danes and Swedes all mixed up. If it’s one thing Swedes can do, it’s dance. And sing and play. Other than that; yes we are rather stiff and boring.
The witch being the exception. I’m stiff and boring but still can’t dance, sing or play.