Wednesday, January 16, 2008

We Didn't Take Pictures of the Liverpool Family

I wish we had done, though. They were hilarious. And I now can't find the tiny notebook where I wrote their names down. But they were just naturally extremely funny people, and Jenny and I adored them.

After our gingerbread-and-ale supper, we went up to our Preciously Appointed Accommodations, made tea, and decided we'd take it with us down to the capacious lounge at the end of the hall, to meet fellow-travelers and have some laughs and be social (something I really could do more of at home).

In the lounge, we met two of the daughters of the family, about a decade senior to us, and their husbands arrived shortly afterward. And then their parents arrived, and then their parents arrived. And each new relation brought booze. Whiskey and all sorts. They offered us absurd quantities of liquor; we accepted, humbly and in moderation.

But a party ensued, and we heard tales of comedians viewed in town, and a very shy older man named (I think) Mark (who never usually spoke to anyone, let alone strangers! we were told) opened up to Jenny and told her about how he'd been in a nude firefighters revue. And many stories were told, and we laughed and LAUGHED until we were all in tears from laughing too hard. Mark took rather a shining to Jenny in particular, and the whole evening was just hysterical. I couldn't believe how much alcohol they trucked around with them. "A bar in each room -- and since we can't count on one being there when we get there, we bring our own!" I remember someone saying.

They were alarmingly funny people -- extremely witty, excellent timing, just brilliant. I began to worry just a little bit at this point -- did I have any business at all barging around their castle, trying to make them laugh? And yet, during conversation, we were exchanging zingers and laughs aplenty, Liverpudlians and Milwaukeeans alike. I thought, "If I can just make sure I'm always chatting with people, I'll be all right."

We stayed up until all hours, and we even had to interrupt the last tale of the evening to drag ourselves away and to bed and sleep, but we had heavy feet as we went. It was that family's last night in Muncaster; they wouldn't be staying during the Festival of Fools. Like all British people, they invited us to come and stay with them whenever we were in Liverpool, but I read in my Culture Shock! guide that that's just what British people do, and it shouldn't be accounted a concrete invite. But I would love to see them again, just for laughs, as they made our first Northern night a riotous good time.

We saw them at breakfast in Creeping Kate's Kitchens the next morning, but that's for another entry.

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