Saturday afternoon we had a music jam at the Wildman’s house. Pete and Dot are a fantastic middle-aged British couple who stand in nicely as parent figures for all of us lonely singletons. They have a great house just above school level with a nice terrace and fabulous interior decorating. It is definitely the “homiest” of the staff homes I’ve seen. And they like to entertain, so on Saturday afternoon everyone was invited up for a good old fashioned barbecue. Those with musical instruments brought them, everyone provided food for the grill, and we all hung out for several hours singing, laughing and snarfing large quantities of food. Very Large Quantities. Not many people have grilling capabilities here and we all got a little over-excited at the prospect and ended up with about two tons of meat. Chicken hot dogs, shrimp skewers, lamb kebabs, pork chops, chicken breasts. A smorgasbord of carnivorous delight.
And then there was the music. Pete plays a mean guitar, knows half the songs in the world and can fake his way through the other half. Louise is fantastic on fiddle, JT accompanied on the electric keyboard, Laura took over the bongo drums and Lorenz and Brian also strummed guitar. It was great! We had song sheets full of classic rock songs from “All You Need is Love” to “Tambourine Man” and “Can’t Help Falling In Love With You.” So the adults sang with wild abandon while the children stared at us is confusion and demanded to know who Bob Dylan was. As the evening slowed down, Louise played some fiddle tunes and Lorenz sang a few Austrian folk songs. I’ve decided these are really best when you don’t understand them. Radha translated a few verses of one song and it was something about how being alone was worse than eating rats. Somehow it sounded far more romantic in German!
The other great thing about family-friendly gatherings, of course, is the presence of small children to worship and adore. Baby Anderson (also known as Petra) made an appearance, sleepily charming all she met. And Lorenz and Radha’s son Joseph is a perpetual favorite; a happy-go-lucky one year old with a penchant for playing the bongos. The older children cheerfully “khud-climbed”, scrambling all over the mountain side like goats and attempting to give their parents heart failure. A lovely time all around.