My kind BIL, knowing my plight, has come over for a family meal with his laptop, all for me!!
Last Sunday was a Big Occasion as our niece Stella went through her 1st communion - this is a massive thing here, accompanied by a huge party and lots of presents etc (they made far more of a fuss of it than of her birthday for example, which passed almost unnoticed). It is the culmination of months of catechism and 50 children went through the occasion at Mamie's church. It will be followed up in years to come by Profession de Faith and then Renonce.
The party was kept for this weekend, as it is bank holiday (yup, yet another one!) which gives plenty of recovery time. Well, more like another opportunity to finish the enormous leftovers in family! And those still left after today will be for the Mother's Day party at Nadia's next Sunday!
Preparation for the party has been going on for weeks, and this week got serious as Wilson painted and spruced up the house, a huge mutton was brought home (it looked like a bag with a corpse!!), we filled baskets with dragees (favours?) - LissaLou was a dab hand at this - and Mamie's sewing room looked more like an off licence! Saturday was spent cleaning cleaning cleaning (or in my case entertaining all the children, including Meddy!) and the place looked great at the end. The mairie lent us some tables and chairs and it looked like a restaurant with Mamie's fine china and glasses out.
Lunchtime was a family meal so there were a mere thirty of us! Then in the evening all the friends and family of Stella's father came so it was a much bigger affair, carrying on into the wee hours. My BIL laughed at me for going to bed early - I took the girls up at 9pm and fell asleep with them! Fortunately there were still some cakes left this morning that we tucked into (note: cakes - there were at least five or six HUGE affairs to begin with!) None of us feel that we should be eating for another week!
It is a major issue for Evangelical Christians here as to whether or not to attend such parties - many have a clear stance that they don't, and their point of view is known among their Catholic friends so they are not invited. We were happy to attend the party and help out where needed, and have been involved in numerous debates with others as our position was discussed.
I worked furiously on my photo albums over the past days and put them out for the family to browse through. It was nice to hear people remarking that they had never seen this or that photo before, and it is certainly a big improvement on the last. I used up all the acid-free sticky stuff Evs brought me and had to resort to pritt stick to finish, much to my sorrow!!
During the party, upstairs became the kids' hangout, and they were particularly impressed with the flying pig mum brought over for us! LissaLou got her hair done by her tatie and now has little beads for the first time - cute! But a nightmare to sleep with!