Pheasants. They are lovingly fed, looked after, released, shot, cooked and eaten. Marvellous!
Not exactly the topic of conversation one might expect at a baby shower, but there it was, plain as day – the miracle of life, we all agreed at my very first today.
There are all sorts of manifestations of today’s ‘global village’. One of them appears to be the embracing in the UK of many of the celebrations which have always been a standard part of life in North America.
Did it start with Halloween? We always marked the occasion over here with a few stories at school, but going ‘trick or treating’ was nowhere near the radar when I was a girl.
Anyway, I digress.
A friend of mine is about to have her baby and two of her other friends, one from Canada and one from South Africa decided to throw her a baby shower. So this is how about 12 of us found ourselves enjoying a sumptious feast this afternooon, courtesy of the Candadian friend (she is available for all parties, events, bar mitzvahs etc).
Even if I do say it myself, we all surpassed ourselves. Firstly, we refused to play any of the frankly ghastly sounding games which are apparently part of the agenda at these events (‘guess the smell of the nappy’ anyone?). Secondly, we all mingled beautifully, given the mix of people who knew each other and who didn’t. It was as if we were enjoying a wonderfully civilised ‘excuse me’ with perfectly balanced plates and glasses. Thirdly, we indulged ourselves suitably in lots of cooing and ahing over all the gifts we had each bought for the family-to-be. Great fun.
So for me, a mid-forties, happily childless blogger, who could in theory have found the whole thing a bit dreary, it was a totally delightful few hours. I met really nice new people. I caught up with others whom I already knew. I ate delicious food. I talked about interesting things – everything from the history behind different parts of Edinburgh to the study of the impact of migration on diabetes.
And, oh yes, those pheasants. Well my Canadian friend’s fiance is a gamekeeper – hence our conversation. On one level, it could have been a strangely dramatic topic to be discussing. But on the other hand, it didn’t matter whether we were likely to be out on a pheasant shoot, admiring the birds through binoculours while walking down country lanes, or watching nature programmes on TV. I looked over at our extremely pregnant friend; looked around her warm, welcoming home; looked at our group having made instant connections which I felt would endure. We had one final gift from all of us to the new baby, mum and dad – a cherished circle of love and protection.“There is a love of wild nature in everybody, an ancient mother-love showing itself whether recognized or no, and however covered by cares and duties.” John Muir, the Scottish-born American naturalist