And I lifted that all-seeing eye of a TV down off its table and hid it in behind.
Also moved the rugs back in.
CIrcled the furniture around the perimeter of the room so we can all see one another as is the custom when this group reads aloud a play by Shakespeare, (though tonight we’re just taking a close look at a scene with Prince Hal from Henry IV Part 1.)
We’re only focusing on the one scene partly because we also have to vote on some changes in the bylaws of this near-150-year old group known as the Old Cambridge Shakespeare Association; but mostly we make the formal part of this last-meeting-of-the-season short so we can enjoy a ‘collation’, the lovely old word for eats.
We have shifted to more of a potluck menu in these last few years but because of the way I tend to do things, I have arranged to have enough food for all 28 people just in case..
We have Chicken Breast Supremo, 48 little cranberry-and-herb stuffed pincushiony creations with cream sauce on top. (I ordered these and will pick them up later). Also a platter of Smoked Salmon with Cream Cheese and Capers (ditto). Alsoa vast vat of Beef Provencale that I spent the whole weekend cooking.
And David, who is like me in these ways, bought a case of wine.
Because the custom really is not to eat until we have dug into the meat of Shakespeare’s words, we will hold off on the main meal until 7:30 or so, but since I also can’t stand to think of anyone hungry I believe I’ll ladle the beef dish into a couple dozen adorably mini ‘tureens’ and offer them right away as an amuse-bouche. That’s a thing you get in your upscale restaurants, the amuse-bouche. They don’t charge you for it. It’s just a free little something at the start of the meal that the chef presumably had a bit of fun putting together that day in the kitchen.
I certainly had a bit of fun arranging this event. (I think picking and arranging the bouquet of lilacs was the best fun. Such fragrance! Such abundance!)
And tonight, knowing myself, I will drink half a glass of wine, help myself to whatever potluck dish looks to be begging for attention, laugh, marvel, learn from these amazing co-members and then finally fall into bed and sleep like the dead.
And now one of my favorite songs from “As You Like it,” to set a nice tone for the day. I had to sing this solo at one night’s reading of a play. I was an absolute wreck about it – until others began joining in, because, great group that this is, they all knew it by heart, words and music and the joy beneath the words.