Friday, February 13, 2009

Geneva in mind

This evening Clare and I had the rare pleasure of dining out with friends. On this occasion the friends were from the Pays de Gex, across the border from Geneva, both international civil servants, still active, doing consultancy work a decade after retirement. Michael and Barbara had come over to gather English friends for a weekend to celebrate Barbara's birthday. As their hosts lived in the Vale, Cardiff, with a banquet plus a night at the opera next day was all part of the plan. Twelve of us sat down to supper at Manor Parc Hotel Thornhill. Apart from a couple we met at Michael and Barbara's wedding five years ago, the rest were strangers to us, but all shared the experience of having been expatriates in more than one place. Very much a reflection of the mobile world we now inhabit. A lively evening, full of laughter and anecdotes, reminiscent of times past in my Geneva chaplaincy days, and the convivial life we learned to regard as normal in that kind of environment. Our lives are much quieter now, with lots of time for reflection. It's not the lifestyle that I miss, but so many conversations with special people, glimpsing the world from the vantage point of the much travelled working to make this a better world.

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