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Tuesday, March 16, 2004

Living the good life

My other half's family have an annual tradition. To celebrate the birthday of the family matriarch (my other half's grandma) the entire clan decamps to a bungalow camp in the south of Holland for a weekend of games, sports and relaxation. This has been going on for some twenty years and when it began the participants numbered about ten.

This year there were nineteen, assorted children, boyfriends and fiances having since joined the ranks. The prospect of two whole days with your girlfriend's family is the kind of stuff that's supposed to make the blood run cold, and Maria did her best to up the tension by briefing me exhaustively in advance on the assorted rituals and rites that would be performed. However since every one of the nineteen attendees is a lovely person, and the park is home to things like tennis courts and bowling alleys it didn't exactly live up to the hype of 'death by social occasion'.

Each year there is a theme, and this year's theme was 'Old Dutch Games' the idea being to hold a small 'Olympics' based on old Dutch childrens games. It turns out that Old Dutch Games are pretty interchangable with Old English ones. There was skipping, there were hula-hoops, a sack race, marbles, bubble blowing and so on. There were also costumes, which I suspect have warped my notion of old fashioned Holland beyond all recognition.

So all in all a fine weekend. Good food, good company and good fun. Now I just have to wait a year for the next one...

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