Peter's Party

Saturday, 19th November 2005

partyCan our nephew really be that old?! Family and friends have come to celebrate his 40th from as far afield as Paris, Amsterdam, Glasgow, the Isle of Mann . . . and Middlestown, 2 miles down the road (that was us).

trawlersIt's good to get together again and the tales of what people are up to are fascinating. One relative, having gone through fairly stressful spells as a detective with the police and a teacher in a secondary school (a school which wasn't without its problems) has been taking time off to spend the summer sailing a 32 foot yacht down the west coast of Scotland.

It's obvious to me that this should be his next career move. Being the skipper of yacht brings plenty of problems, but dealing with sea and sky, tempests and tides, isn't the same as being caught between police and public, or steering a course between the demands of the headmaster and needs of your pupils.


partyThe buffet is excellent but, like any party, I find the secondary smoke so bad that I give up talking and just listen (I've had a sore throat this week anyway). The teachers we speak to, I notice, can make their voices carry, even though they talk in a relaxed way. When I speak, even if I belt out my words raspingly, the sound seems to stop as soon as it gets out of my mouth and melt in the smoky, noisy atmosphere of the party.

As the disco ups a gear, I find even listening impossible. By the end of the night, when I'm catching up with the projects that a creative relative has been up to, I'm having to lean down and hold my ear a couple of inches from her mouth so that I can hear what she's telling me.

Tough business, partying! Next Page

Richard Bell,