Thursday, September 16, 2010
"Let's have a movie night," said Natalie. "We can invite the Ferals.*"
"Mm," I said. And so it began.
The Ferals are fine. Mum and Dad Feral are wonderfully cool, and their son is on frequent best-friend terms with Jake (Elder Son) Flinthart, and their other two offspring are intelligent, funny, well-behaved, etc. Movie night with the Ferals? Cool.
Oh, but things never stay simple here, do they? A few days later, Natalie realised we needed to invite The Vikings **. It made sense, since Small Blonde Viking is the Mau-Mau's best and dearest friend on the planet. And what the heck: the three Viking boys are smart and fun, and Smallest Viking is still so wee that she couldn't possibly be too much trouble.
But... we were up to six adults and eleven kids at that point. And then Natalie remembered the Hyphens. *** Great friends of both the Vikings and the Flintharts, it was true: a movie night during school holidays which eschewed the Hyphens simply could not be contemplated.
And so it came to pass that on Wednesday, I began to prepare for an evening involving fourteen children, eight adults, and Rob the Visiting Doctor. (Who is adult. But has been known to drink Absinthe, which puts him into a category very much on his own.)
Long story short, eh?
It went pretty well. I fired up the barbecue, and with sterling assistance from Rob Viking, much food was dispatched. Much. Very, very much. Also there was beer, and cider, and wine. And music. And children in all directions. Even some that don't exist purely in three dimensions.
Afterwards, there was an enormous mass of popcorn, and we all settled in to watch "The Dark Knight". The loft bore up under the task admirably, and a good time was had by all. The Hyphens stayed the night, and Little E Hyphen only woke us up once, at three a.m, trundling up the stairs in search of her mother...
I abbreviate these things because frankly, they're a blur. I know I enjoyed myself. I remember that. I just don't remember actually stopping at any point, until halfway through the Batman flick.
And of course, in the morning it was all about pancakes and syrup and bacon from the local Butcher Of Amazing Talent. (Mmmm... thick-cut smoky bacon from organically raised piggies...) Oh, and archery. And wood-splitting. Because that's how it went, okay?
I guess I'd have been okay, except that on Wednesday I got a rush-job: a manuscript that needed to be assessed, like, yesterday. So Thursday I sat down, read it, annotated it, and began the writing. Somewhere around one in the morning I stopped, but I took it up again this morning, and by the time it was done, I'd put down about ten thousand words. That's kind of above and beyond your usual MS assessment, I know, but I'm kind of thorough. It's an exercise for me, too.
So, anyway. That's been my last two days or so. Meanwhile, the newspapers tell me half of Tasmania has blown away, and the other half has frozen. I hope Terri and her family are okay, if they're still out there!
*Very nice local people. Not their real name. Not Feral at all.
** Another lovely family. Not named Viking at all.
*** Why would I suddenly start using real names now? Jeez, you can be dense sometimes.