This entry is prompt #14 of The Book of Me, Written by You project.
This week’s prompt is Special People
If you had to hold a dinner party and could invite a maximum of 12 special people who would you invite?
This week You CAN include family.
What meals would you serve and why.
Perhaps include the recipe or a photo if you decided to actually cook the items!
If I were to hold a dinner party for special people I'd want to invite more than twelve …. Because if I was able to bring people back from the dead I'd want to make it a truly family affair and invite all the family along to meet their ancestors.
So that would mean as well as me there'd be Steve, Katie and Dan; my mum and dad; and my brother and his wife and two girls … So that's ten people straight away! So I'm going to assume that we don't count, and try to find twelve other people I'd like to see again – or for the first time.
Firstly I'd invite along my grandma, Mary Stansfield. She died when she was 79 and it was far too soon as far as I am concerned. At the time Dan was only five weeks old and we hadn't had a chance to take him to Wales to meet his great grandma. She doted on Katie and was thrilled about Daniel's arrival, and I would love her to see the wonderful young adults they have become, and also to meet her other two grandchildren, my nieces. Of course if Grandma was at the party I'd have to invite Grandad Fred too – he is still with us, 96 this month, but has dementia and doesn't know who anyone is any more. I'd love to bring him along at an earlier age as he was always the life and soul of any party, and he would love to see Mary again.
So that's the first two special people.
Next would be my paternal grandparents Evelyn and Roland Thompson – Nanna and Grandad Pussies. I was ten when Grandad Pussies died and I never got to say goodbye – and as I was so young I never really got to know him either. Nanna lived till she was 94 but I really feel I should have talked to her more about her life. She was born in Canada but I never asked her anything about her childhood, and I bet there would be some great stories to tell!
I'd also invite my Grandad's brother, Uncle Mervyn. Mervyn died when I was 18 and in some ways we were quite close – we used to exchange letters a couple of times a year. Mervyn was a very quiet, understated man but he too led an interesting life: among other things he was at Bletchley Park during the war, working on cracking the Enigma machines. I know a little about his life but I'd love to learn more.
I was lucky enough to meet two of my great grandparents – my great grandad Fred Stansfield (Mary's father) and my great nanny Jane Smith ( Evelyn's mother). Fred lived to 97, Jane lived to 101 and it would be fascinating to talk to them about how the world changed in their lifetime.
Next would be Jane's husband, Cornelius Smith. He was the last full gypsy in my family tree. It would be fascinating to find out about his life and his family culture and traditions.
One of my ancestors is Rodney Smith, the famous gypsy evangelist (photo, right). I don't know if I would like him much – I'm not hot on overly religious, preachy people and that was his job, after all – but he led an amazing life, travelling around the world preaching the word of the lord, and I would love to meet him and find out more about him.
Finally, I would invite my children's father, Ian. He died very suddenly earlier this year and while the relationship between me and him, and the kids and him, was rather fraught, we had seen him shortly before his death and cleared the air. There are a lot of questions I would want to ask him but I would also like my children to see him one last time to say goodbye. And if Ian was at the party then I rather think I'd like his parents to be there too, as I know they would welcome the opportunity to say their goodbyes too – and it would be selfish to deny them that chance.
That completes the 12.
In terms of the meal itself, I think the food would really be irrelevant when there are so many conversations to be had so it would be a simple finger buffet – sandwiches, sausage rolls and the like. And a very large pot of tea!