Last weekend was one of the most successful near spontaneous social occasions I've ever taken part in. I posted on LJ saying I was going to be in Cambridge and asking if anyone wanted to meet up. And I got lots of replies and managed to coordinate everybody into a reasonable plan. I went to synagogue on Saturday morning. Beth Shalom may have its political problems but liturgically, it feels like home and on an indivual level I have so many good friends there. It was particularly lovely to be there after two months in Stockholm, which I am growing to like but it's a strain when you don't know anybody and the style isn't what you're used to. And I had good fun introducing hatam_soferet to everyone; I'm not sure I found quite the right balance between showing her off and not embarrassing her by telling everyone how wonderful she is (but she is indeed very wonderful).
Addendum 11 July: I meant to say, I discovered that someone I've known slightly for a while, and who has made a very positive impression on me, is on LJ after all (and knows people like neonchameleon independently of me). So a most enthusiastic hi to lavendersparkle, and welcome to the madness.We spent the afternoon and evening chez pseudomonas, and doseybat joined us. It was insanely hot; even getting up to fetch more water from the kitchen was a serious effort. So we didn't move very much, but just enjoyed eachother's company. And pseudomas' excellent gazpacho was very refreshing, and he had provided lots of food in general which was tasty and easy to eat in the boiling weather. And we phoned compilerbitch and darcydodo who should have been there if it wasn't for hateful geography. And when it cooled down late in the evening we went to play on the swings and were generally silly. hatam_soferet makes a better job of describing why it was wonderful than I can. I always hesitate to write posts like that because I'm afraid to appear sentimental, but I think hatam_soferet is naturally a less sentimental person than I am. Anyway, what she said:
bright, beautiful times with the friends who know me best and whom I love most.
The wonderfulness got even more wonderful on Sunday morning when lethargic_man joined us. He smuggled in a surprise curious_reader, so it was fun to see her as well. And we went to Oxfam books (it's a delightful novelty for me to have access to charity shops with a good selection of affordable English books; I bought Lud-in-the-mist, Against a dark background and a new Jane Gardam). doseybat got us all into Kings so we could eat lunch in the beautiful and very favourably priced cafeteria there. Then we met up with taimatsu and went punting. Which is always fun but we probably should have been a bit more careful about being out in the sun with the weather as it was.
The plan had been for taimatsu to leave our party to meet up with j4, but the latter spontaneously invited the whole horde of us to join her and addedentry at their picnic. Which was really very generous of her, and the picnic was excellent with food, music and good company. Thank you so much, j4! The only negative thing was that curious_reader was really suffering from the heat; I do hope you are feeling better now.
hatam_soferet came back with me to my parents' in the evening and very generously spent Monday morning helping me pack up my books. I had been rather dreading the packing, so I greatly appreciated her giving me the benefit of her considerable experience. Many thanks.
And when I got back to Stockholm, the social theme continued with a delightful visit from fluffymark. Very good fun to see him. We went out for a fairly indifferent Chinese meal on the basis that we wanted to find somewhere quickly rather than wandering all over the city. And then we came back to my place for chatting and icecream and we had a lovely evening.
Yay. It is so very wonderful to spend time with my friends! *bounces madly*
Oh, and on the trip back I finished Possession, so have a review.