Disclaimer: it’s really obnoxious to start a post with some mega-quotable philosophy. But:
We speak not strictly and philosophically when we talk of the combat of passion and of reason. Reason is, and ought only to be the slave of the passions, and can never pretend to any other office than to serve and obey them.
It’s worth pointing out that ‘passion’ here is not just Romeo-and-Juliet-style-tumbling, but anything that comes down to what we want. Even if what we ‘want’ is not a thing (mmm hotdog) but just to uphold some social or moral custom (mmm avoidance of unnecessary physical pain within an organised legal framework). The ‘reasoning things through’ bit just helps figure out the most effective way to get the hotdog, or how best to avoid your neighbours getting beaten up by the police, but it doesn’t set the goal. (What does set the goal? Well, y’know, evolution, society, hormones, culture, wise words from your parents… but that’s another story.) In other words, it’s not illogical or irrational to do something bad \ stupid \ reckless \ joyously silly and ridiculous, as long as that’s what you were going for.
Point is: if you accidentally fall in love with someone who lives in a different continent, the logical course is not to complain but to kick your reason into gear to try and make it work anyway So far, the main casualty seems to be reading and sleep. And I’m working on the reading. Yay.
Anyway… the last few weeks have been a summery sleep-deprived blur of lounging outside, cider and sunburn. In the revolving door of awesome American visitors to the family, we’ve had Roger and Lily Ann and Daryl and Ermila. Over on Highbury Fields, Holly came to picnic and reminisce about QPCS, while at the school itself Katie graduated Sixth Form (we didn’t do that in my day, we just ‘left’) and finally freed that great institution from having to cater to the strange whims of Selfs.
In the ‘surreal Friday night’ corner, exhibit A is going for drinks with Henry and ending up sitting alone in a church at midnight and listening to a sermon before retiring to his for whisky. (I am neither a Catholic nor a whisky-lover as a result of said experience, but it was fun all the same.) Meanwhile, yesterday’s house-cooling braai at Abbi and Paul’s was excellent, and the perfect trigger for that all-important ‘I am calm, content and full of barbecued meat’ feeling which we all need in our lives. (Non-carnivores may substitute ‘meat’ for ‘vegetarian sausages’, of course.)
But of course, the social event of the season was clearly the Self Sisters Shebang: Tash and Katie’s joint 21st and 18th birthday party. Far too many lovely people to list, but special thanks to Alix and Adam for doing the photography which I am about to steal for this post. The theme was ‘black tie with a twist’, although it should be noted for future reference that the ‘twist’ of a long white beard comes with the rather debilitating drawback of stopping you from drinking anything, and so did not last the night…