Saturday April 14th was probably the worst day this year to have
had a party. Rain fell in determined torrents without let up from the moment I looked
out of the window as the first blue light was spreading over the valley until
long after I went to bed. It was freezing cold. I wanted to cancel. In between cake
icing disasters and general moodiness I suggested
many times to Leon that we call the whole thing off-he just looked at me
witheringly. The invites had said, ‘from 2.30’ and banking on Spanish tardiness, I was still in my scruffy jeans making the last of the savoury food thinking about how I would get the glass lamp shade down to give it a dust before I got changed, when Leon’s face drained
somewhat of colour and he said that he was suddenly certain that somebody would
arrive on the dot. A lambs whisker later there was knock on the window and the family Leon had suddenly thought of peered through the living room window hair already slicked down their faces from the rain.
From that point on it didn’t stop, I never got changed, I didn’t dust the lamp shade and I didn’t take a single photo. Loads of people came, filling every corner of the house, talking and mixing, bringing an amazing array of gifts. I felt very touched that so many people had come so far on such a rubbish day. That people were so positive about the house and so appreciative of the work we’ve put in. It would have been amazing if the weather had been better and people could have enjoyed the garden, the balcony and the front yard, but as Leon pointed out in his irrepressible optimism- had the weather been better, it’s much more likely that people would have splintered off and stuck with their own in some sunny
corner. They would never have talked to new people and socialised, so maybe it
wasn’t the worst day of the year to have a party.