Life begins at any age one cares to mention: it begins when one is born, of course and also at eighteen, it begins when one ties the knot, when one is forty, fifty – whatever age one wants to quote. For me it really begins with every new day I wake up to in this lovely part of the world. As far as the British government State pension office is concerned, however, it begins (for males) at sixty-five (usually).
So, on my birthday a new “official” life began for me and I decided to celebrate it (the idea came to me a couple of days beforehand) with a garden party in our allotment or “campo” which is a short distance from where we live.
Actually, only a small part of the allotment is dedicated to cabbages, tomatoes and the like (which, for us, are a bit disappointing this year: more fertilizer, more water, more crop rotation needed?). Some of it is meadow with areas of olive and fruit trees and a lot of it is nicely forested.
It’s hot in Italy at this time of year so we decided to start the party at 4 pm when the temperature begins to cool a bit. We also decided that it would be a drinks with finger food party. That morning we baked pizza, quiche and I managed to make my own birthday cake without burning it. We brought everything down from the house to the field in our little cinquina and Sandra prepared the catering table.
As there would be children we thought out some activities for them. Football, of course. Then also badminton (tennis is not a very good idea here as the balls go all the way down the hill and no-one can ever find them – the shuttlecock is a perfect solution). For the grown-ups there would be bocce (or petanque).
How did it go? The food and drink went very well. The children liked playing badminton and loved playing football with Stella, one of the dogs. The adults were too happy meeting with and talking to each other to worry about a bowls tournament.
The weather was ideal: the sky slightly overcast, the temperatures did not rise much and the area, anyway, was shaded by trees. There were showers during the previous night and some light rain descended just as we were leaving.
We were really happy it went so well as several of the guests had travelled some way to be with us. New friendships were struck up and old ones renewed. Everyone got on swimmingly. We are glad we got the mix of guests (which numbered a little over thirty in number) right.
Everyone said we should repeat the party next year. Maybe…