Yesterday, I was again invited to the house of the Lovely Catholic Family round the corner to a birthday party. In fact, I even got an early invite to spend time with the deep fat fryer and fry up various veggies into crisps, (one who is tired of deep fried parsnips is tired of life,) whilst the garden had been transformed into a party venue with a gazebo, tables, chairs etc. The weather was utterly perfect for Sept; warm, with a breeze right through the afternoon. The garden looked beautiful and I would have loved to play in it as a child.
Anyway, the birthday man, for now he is 21, had I hope, an excellent day. Certainly all the guests were having a very enjoyable time. Some climbed trees, some played with a guinea pig and some just chatted to each other, all whilst eating lovely food. (I was in the latter category, to be fair.)
As often happens in these parts, people squint at me, thinking we probably have met before and then I suggest that maybe I taught some of their children. Fortunately, it's always the parents of the children who you have plenty of good things to rhapsodise about, not the ones in Leutgeb's multi volume black book of 'teaching incidents I try to forget.' Moving swiftly on and getting to the point, someone I used to teach has entered a seminary for an order, not in this country, aged 19 and there he was in picture, beaming in a cassock. Believe me, when you get a list of leavers' destinations - university, apprenticeship, work, seminary/noviciate is not one of the boxes with a number in it. It's not even a box.