I’ll be the first to admit that I’m not always the most comfortable with social situations – at least until I’ve people watched enough to at least get a high level Cliff Notes view of the people around me – so at parties I’m usually a bit of a wallflower. Lady M is, in many way, exactly the same, but will then usually hold court and engage a more active set of information-gathering skills that entertain as well as deflect attention.
So an invitation to a double birthday celebration by my youngest brother and his wife – popularly known by their gestalt identity as The MegaNick – was in equal measure a joy and a moment of uncertainty as I cast about for thoughts of who in their friends circle I might already know. With Lady P off at another convention, and Charleesi decorating her bedroom with her mum, we got ready to launch ourselves into the fray.
I first had to convince Lady M to go at all. This wasn’t entirely down to social anxiety, but in large part down to the imminent date of her next CIPS exam. I convinced her to bring a subset of revision material with her so that she could sit in a corner with it before things got really busy, and with that notional armour to hand we were ready.
Does this sound as if I’m over-thinking these things? You’re probably right. In the event itself, we had a great time, despite my getting stung by a bee. Some ice and a forced smile dealt with it, with beer a wonderful distraction. At least I’m not allergic, and to be fair I’ve inflicted worse things on myself when unwell, so I can’t really make a huge fuss.
The celebration took the form of a barbecue, and the weather was kind. We were home before any spots of British Summer rain troubled us. The next day, with most of the Sunday gaming group unavailable for various reasons, we took Charleesi to Thorpe Park for the afternoon.
An afternoon of adrenaline, soaking, and high speed inversions in glorious sunshine was yet another great family day and distraction for Lady M. We’ve wound up the day curled up with Netflix, finishing season one of Person of Interest. Really can’t complain…