|Look, no crowds.|
I am more and more aware of how much I prefer silence and quietude to social chatting nowadays. Not that I’ve ever been a chatterbox; an only child growing up in a small family rarely is. They do say that people living on their own feel the need to talk at length when they get together with others and I have frequently been the victim of such unfortunates myself. It’s almost as if such people need to pin you down with a flood of verbal diarrhoea whenever they get the chance.
At three different parties in the last two weeks have I been reminded of this dislike of crowds. Moving from room to room, standing and shouting to make yourself heard above the din, balancing a glass and a small plate, at any time of the day, has not been a pleasure.
Conversations are pretty dull on these occasions. As you are moving from person to person and group to group you ask and are asked a pre-ordained series of questions. It’s like ticking multiple choice boxes:
Will you be at home for Christmas?
Are you going away for Christmas?
Do you have family coming?
When, who and for how long?
Answers are equally predictable, a variation on the same theme.
Frankly, I don’t care. I am glad if you are happy but, for a while now, I am going to try and avoid you because the sole topic of conversation would surely be :
Did you have a nice holiday? With all the details repeated.
So how wonderful to have received one final invitation ‘to an informal lunch’. When we got there we were delighted to find that we were the only guests and that the very civilized host had provided a small but delicious meal to be eaten at a very civilized table. No mention of Christmas, families, travel arrangements, not even the weather; idle chatter to be sure, but about books and music, food and art and gardening.
Beloved and I are so used to living in our quiet bubble that major disturbances are almost an affront. Right at this moment I am escaping from family; lovely people, intelligent, sweet and friendly, all four of them but I simply needed time and space to myself. Coming up here to my study, unburdening myself to ‘virtual’ blogging friends, has been such a relief.
Thank you all for being there and thank you for listening.
I hall be coming visiting at the earliest opportunity. Roll on the end of the festive season!