We did have our evening party on the Friday. It took quite a bit of organizing: on Thursday and Friday I need to be in to the works by 11 and not homeward bound till after 5, so nothing could be left to last-minute improvisation. The freezer was groaning with stuff, but the great facilitator in the whole enterprise was the arrival of the ex-Tropical Godparents, who turned up on Wednesday evening, with rolled up sleeves and a general air of determined confidence. The good Olga polished and tidied with a will on Thursday, and Godmama, who cooks, was left on Friday morning with a list of what needed to be done to what, while I trotted off to give sundry lectures and classes on eunuch saints, the idea of the Roman republic as refracted through the French and American revolutions, the Black Death, and the rise of the Dominican order. I got back at quarter to seven to find order, calm, a merrily crackling fire, and a high state of polish generally. Guests arrived at about half past, and our singer friend then gave us Dicherliebe, with the assistance of a talented youngster who is one of the Professor’s current PhD students. This was lovely going on magnificent. Schumann in a domestic setting with a concert standard singer is quite something. Miss Dog, incidentally, was shut in the kitchen. The last time we had lieder in the home she was seized by the misguided notion that it might help to sing along. I can only say that it didn’t. Without canine interventions, this time, all went well, and the subsequent supper was a very jolly occasion. Three cheers for Godmama.