When I first saw what would later become my house on Rightmove, I disregarded it; it was too big. Why would one person need a three-bedroom house? And it also had a big garden. I'm not much of a gardener! But then I remembered the mantra 'location, location, location', and bought it anyway. But I hoped I could sometimes use my house to be hospitable. And when it became illegal to entertain indoors for a long time, it became an extra waste to not put my huge garden to use. And then a few opportunities presented themselves in short succession.
I wanted to catch up with Kate. She had suggested popping by at my place. But then she ended up sea kayaking with the other Kate. She then suggested they pop by together for a cup of tea! But I figured that after a day of sea kayaking they would be hungry, so I suggested they come over for dinner instead. And so they did. I had made my interpretation of pizza, and it went down well! It was nice to catch up. And it's nice to cook for friends.
The other opportunity was on the next Monday. We had the book signing session, and quite a lot of us would have to come to one and the same place to sign these books. And some of my colleagues decided that we could then all go for lunch together. We haven't seen each other very much in the last 1½ years! And one of my colleagues quite likes the chippy here in the village, and I like my big garden, and we figured that if we do all of that in Bethesda, chances were that Martin would join us. So that's how we organised it!
After the book signing, I hastened home. And I got my garden ready. And after a while we sat there with four of us. Not much, considering that all academic staff together is something like 27 people, but still nice! And we had a nice uncoordinated amount of food. I had made blackcurrant clafoutis and olive bread. And others had brought chicken fajitas and crisps and whatnot. It was great! And then when I didn't expect it any more, a fifth person appeared. He had accidentally initially driven to the wrong village! But in the end he had found it. And he had brought some more food. He had strawberries and baklava! What a choice.
I quite like it that my garden clearly sometimes functions as a social hub! I suppose that I live quite central, and I conveniently live next to a parking lot, which makes the logistics easy. I hope it serves that purpose a few more times this summer!