I haven’t done much ‘entertaining’ in the last few years. I’ve asked individual friends round and had casual get-togethers but, other than the blog parties, I’ve not had more non-family organised gatherings, except once. That was last autumn and I asked two couples and one single friend, as well as Wink of course. Today, a single friend asked the two of us round for lunch. We’ve exchanged quite a lot of hospitality between the three of us and I especially value the fact that she was one of the very few – think fingers of one hand – friends who asked me round for a meal after Russell died. I had low expectations, so they were realised, but I particularly appreciate those who did invite me (mostly blog friends rather than local friends). A polite year later is nice but it’s when you really want and need it that it’s least likely to be forthcoming.

Which is apropos of nothing except, if you have a single friend and you’re asking people over, please include him or her and be relaxed about an odd number. Don’t make a ‘couple.’ It’s disconcerting. Tim and I talked about that – it didn’t happen to me because I wasn’t asked much, but it did to him; that he, a single man after Viv died, and a single woman of a similar age were asked to make the numbers up and they were seated together and both felt awkward. If it’s a big party, of course numbers didn’t matter. Anyway, just suggesting that you relaxedly have odd numbers or more women than men or vice versa, because match-matchy doesn’t matter. Being included, for your own sake, does.

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