Another very enjoyable weekend. Having to work all week makes the weekends so much more precious. I'd forgotten about that feeling when you wake up in the morning, and take a second or two to work out whether it's Saturday or Sunday, and if it is - well, that's just wonderful.
Mr A had a bad morning because of an important appointment he'd missed, and we found ourselves in the car on the way to Cambridge in a bit of a low mood to say the least. Eventually he cheered up, and the Garden Party at Family JJL&J was lovely. (Manufacturing pseudonyms for friends is starting to be tiresome, but putting real names out on the Interwebnet doesn't feel right nowadays.)
There have been many Garden Parties at this venue, and they have changed in character over the years. Originally they were held jointly with Party Next Door, and while Family JJL&J had wine, beer, nibbles and sophisticated conversation, Party Next Door had hard liquor and boisterous rowdiness. Mr A and I enjoyed both types: intellectual and gastronomic stimulation at Family JJL&J, but adult language and rude behaviour at Party Next Door. Occasionally we were even allowed to turf the children off the bouncy castle so the adults could have a go.
With increasing age, the party Next Door has mellowed and all the children have become older and more unruly at Family JJL&J - there was a trip to Accident and Emergency a couple of years ago. This time, there was no Party Next Door at all, and many of the stalwart attendees couldn't make it - I think we were the only non-local guests. It was great fun, although J (of Family JJL&J) says she likes the bit at the end when everyone goes and she can sit down with a cup of tea.
Sunday was good too. I went to see Dr C, who had given me my first job after university the first time round. He seemed very grown up then, with a wife and small children and running a company, but he can't have been much more than 30. I remember very well that he told me once that I hadn't 'internalised the work norm'. I hadn't a clue what this meant at the time, but with hindsight it was probably that I kept turning up late for work. It was nice to see him again.
Then we went punting. This ought to be a terrible cliché, but we didn't go in the direction that takes you past all the colleges, but the other way, alongside fields and woods instead. Our hosts were experienced and skillful punters, including the children, so all that Mr A and I had to do was lie back and enjoy the sunshine. And eat the picnic: delicious leftovers from the party. We came home nicely tired, and in the sort of mood where you want to hug your friends and tell them you love them.
Oh yes, my exam results came out on Friday, and I did very well. My expectations are now getting too high - what if one semester I don't get a First? I'd be horribly disappointed. Anyway, we treated ourselves to supper in the pub to celebrate.