We hosted a couple of events this past week, bringing our total entertaining for the year to just under 150 folk. The first was a faculty “un-caucus”, and the second was staff and friends from the research centre. They were both to welcome new people, offer best wishes to departing people, and end-of-summer gird-your-loins-fall-term-starts-soon events.
The pre-party stressing was less than usual, in part because we have done this sort of thing a few times now. And in part because we had plenty of warning, no last-minute disasters, and were prepared. Okay, last-moment *purchases* got a bit out of hand, but not disastrous!
The afternoon event was wonderfully low-key. Even though most everyone had never been to our home, no one seemed to get lost and everyone who needed parking found it. It is very nice to be only a block from a bus corridor to-from the campus!
The evening event was also pretty casual, but a bit more cooking involved as I continued to experiment with Trifle – baked a silver-and-gold angelfood cake for this one, and also made a mostly successful English Cream (a bit thinner than I had expected) to layer with the fresh whipped cream and raspberries. And plenty of people brought things to share – mostly beverages, which rounded out the evening excellently.
The best thing, as host, was just how well the guests entertained themselves. The volume occasionally was pretty high, which I understand is an excellent proxy measure of the success. People moved out to the … well, it’s not a yard if it’s is all flagstones. Call it the back garden. Anyway, some of them hung out there, some nearer the foods and beverages, some standing some sitting.
All-in-all unexpectedly good luck that in two parties there were no obvious problems. Except for the cats, who were freaked out by all the people.