Musical Soirée chez les Small
22ndJuly 2017

Mme Patricia Curd

Word had evidently travelled through the grape vines spreading the news that events at Michael and Irene Small’s charming property are not to be missed. The evening meeting hosted by them 22nd July this year attracted a record number of 66 members and friends. People began arriving in their attractive garden at 5pm and within an hour groups were dotted around on the lawns chatting happily. There were many familiar faces and several new ones. We were pleased to welcome 2 new members as well as people who had not been amongst us for a long while.

Supper took the form of a bring and share picnic. All those attending had been asked to bring along a dish that could be shared with others. This entailed a lot of work on the part of the organisers who made sure there was a balanced menu with a variety of dishes to cover all tastes. Many thanks to Dorothy and Roy, and to all the cooks involved, for giving up their time and for spoiling us with their favourite recipes. The consensus was that the selection of food on offer was a superb spread and a similar picnic should be repeated at a future event.

Jazz Swing and Co entertained us with well-known pieces from their vast repertoire, including tunes by Duke Ellington, Cole Porter, Miles David, John Coltrane and many others. As last year, the music was perfect for the occasion: loud enough to be heard by all but not so loud as to stop the conversation. People were able to listen to the music yet mingle and chatter and get to know each other at the same time.

Michael and Irene’s lovely lawns offered a perfect setting for the gathering. Visions of a long leisurely evening in warm summer sun, with frequent dips in the pool to cool off, were unfortunately swept aside by a drop in temperature. We were fortunate in that the rain that had been forecast did not materialise, but the cool conditions meant that most people had left by the time the band finished playing. Those who remained enjoyed a warming cup of coffee around the refectory table in the kitchen: a delightful room designed not simply to be functional but to preserve the history of the building, with vestiges of the original mechanism and architectural features of the former water mill.

Once again, a huge thank you to Irene and Michael and the Jazz Swing and Co. for a truly lovely, unmissable evening.