Funny things, parties. If you give them, you [almost] cannot enjoy them: you are so busy making sure that everyone has all they need, and someone to talk to without getting stuck somewhere.
We had 53 people whom we especially wanted to thank for their support and encouragement during the past 2 years, while we tried our best to sell our previous house - so this was also to celebrate being 'the proud owners of ONE house, and NO bank bridging loan'
A huge buzz of chatter, as if these were people who had not seen one another for months, instead of on an almost daily basis! and trying to get them to start eating the food while it was still hot - or even warm - was quite beyond me. However they polished everything off, and seemed replete, and only afterwards did I re-discover the foil-covered dishes in the hotbox! with yet more food...
We thought of the villages which have lost their school, their post office, and their shop - just as our village has - and how often that seems to mean that everything is lost: and the residents think only of how they might reach the nearest town for their shopping - with diminished contact locally, so that new people moving in find it 'unfriendly'. We have a small village hall - previously the school - which is used for a variety of different activities, from a murder-mystery dinner; to a weekly lunch club; to a committee room, etc. and through that, and the church, we have a way of meeting one another regularly, and no-one is left out unless they choose not to come to anything. [Our other neighbours, for instance, don't accept invitations, although they came to the small drinks party we had soon after they arrived, to introduce them - and have never asked back. They probably took a look and decided not to bother!!]
Clearing up this morning: hoovering, taking away the dishes/glasses/cloths and flowers: life back to normal, the farmyard full of plump chickens, dogs, horses, and geese. As if parties happened every day and were swept away with the yard broom. Funny, satisfying, and 'please will you have another party next year, same time same place?' said someone last night, and all concurred!