We had a BIG NIGHT OUT on Wednesday when we went to the Charter Night of George's Rotary Club at Selwyn College. Don't we scrub up well ! It is always a pleasure to dine in the colleges in Cambridge and I think that over the years we have dined in most of them, although Selwyn is one of the newer ones. You can nearly always be sure of a good meal, lovely surroundings and certainly fine wines and this week
was no exception. We had an excellent dinner and a good excuse to get togged up - I'm afraid George does look a bit flushed, I think the port had been round a bit too often! He didn't drive home!
On Friday we had a brilliant day - a cousin whom I haven't seen since the last family funeral came to visit with his charming wife and son and I asked the widow of another cousin who lives just a few miles away to come for lunch as well and we had a real old wallow in family history. My mother was one of seven sisters, Audrey was married to one of the sons of the eldest girl Dorothy and she was able to put quite a few names to some of the old photographs. My grandmother was quite a charismatic lady - three marriages - I think we could write a book about what we do know about her, and another if we only knew about her life before she married grandfather. She was born in Calcutta, her father was in the army and she was sent to England to be educated under the guardianship of two ferocius looking maiden aunts. WHY didn't we ask all the right questions when she was alive! Anyway, we had a great time remembering things from our childhood and filling in gaps. Ancestry will be red hot this week as we delve a little further. It has been easy-peasy on my father's Angus line, straight back to 1530, no hassle. When Audrey arrived the first thing she said was, Gosh you DO look like your mother! Oh dear.
Yesterday George spent the morning rattling a Children in Need box for Rotary and when he got back we leapt into the car (leapt is a figure of speech only, you understand) and drove up to Birmingham to hear grandson William play his euphonium in the University of Birminghamconcert at the Conservatoire. Of course, you can't see William but he is the dark thatch of hair next to the blond boy sitting underneath the Big drum! Such is grandmotherly devotion! It was an excellent concert and we were so proud because this is his first term. Afterwards we went back to the flat which he shares on the campus with four other boys and this is the kitchen
Not too bad, I thought, on a Saturday night for five lads who have probably had mother doing everything for them for eighteen years. Will showed us the contents of all the cupboards - quite hilarious what the boys did or did NOT have in their cupboards. One lad just had a jar of coffee. One boy had everything labelled with his name. Will had a HUGE supply of food from his mother and, not being a bad cook, apparently often whips up a pasta or rice dish for the boys. He also showed me the big pile of soap Inga had given him and pointed out that in eight weeks he had barely used one bar. I said she had probably given him enough to last all the four years.
When we arrived in Birmingham we could hardly get out of the carpark for the wind and rain, all the umbrellas were being turned inside out - we made a dash into the Bullring which was HEAVING with people. And so noisy! Well, we had to look around the shops as there was no possibility of walking round outside and I just happened to try on a little black dress and a leopard print jacket which looked so nice I just had to buy it, and George bought some fine black cords so the afternoon was not wasted. We also got a big tin of luxury biscuits for William which he decided he would keep in his bedroom rather than in the kitchen! We didn't get back to Cambridge until well after midnight but had to be up early to go off to church this morning followed by the AGM of SOAS (Supporters of All Saints Church) of which George is chairman. Guess what, we made nearly £600 from the sale of our re-cycled cards and gift tags this year! There is about £25,000 in the bank which will be used at any moment now to replace the lead on the roof.
So tomorrow it is off with Marian, Liz, Margaret and Vanda to take down our exhibition at Art Van Go - it has been up for six weeks and we have had some good feedback so it was all worth while. The next thing will be our exhibition at Textiles in Focus at Cottenham, so I'd better get stitching before Christmas gets in the way.