In “the Club of Queer Trades”, G K Chesterton says of a character:
“He welcomed a human face as he might welcome a sudden blend of colour in a sunset; but he no more felt the need of going out to parties than he felt the need of altering the sunset clouds.”
What a wonderful way to describe how I feel. I do like people but I couldn’t eat a whole one!. Seriously, I do enjoy the company of others and meeting new people but it has to be in the right situation and parties just don’t do it for me. They always seem contrived and orchestrated and often “put on” either to impress, keep up or just because it’s the thing to do.
I much prefer impromptu gatherings and when I was a girl I dreamt of having the sort of home where anyone was welcome to drop in anytime and a corner would be easily found for them, in the plural, to stay a night or four. But life’s not like that and I ended up married to a quiet man who doesn’t find it easy to allow hoards of people into his safe place. You can’t have your cake and eat it. I would have run a mile from anyone who phoned up from work at 4pm announcing “I’ve invited Fred and Ginger round to dinner tonight”. When our eldest was a baby I knew someone whose husband did that all that time and also ran his finger across the top of doors to check for dust. Phew! A lucky escape. I’ll stick with my mildly anti-social spouse and be thankful.
So why GKC all of a sudden? Many years ago when I was in secondary school I remember reading some of his Fr Brown detective stories but I hadn’t even thought of him until this morning when Stuck-in-a-Book was talking about authors who had initials rather than first names. Then I discovered LIBRIVOX , blogged about it and even had a comment from the project’s founder, Hugh McGuire. He reassured me about a minor technical query and was kind enough to suggest some audio books that I might enjoy. I browsed a while and then wandered over to Project Gutenberg and came across the words that I decided to share with you my virtual friends. Is there anyone there? Party anybody?