Saturday, 5 March 2016

Palladian splendour

A delightful evening with WOM at Ditchley House, OXON.

WOM = Women on the Move; a group of influential ladies who met around the UN in New York in the noughties & have been meeting regularly ever since.
We were invited by Lady Penny Holmes (we met her and Sir John when he was UK Ambassador to France 2001-6)....
Other members of the group are Nane Annan (wife of Kofi) & Lady Anne Greenstock (wife of Sir Jeremy) as well as women from India, the USA, Singapore, Kazakhstan, Austria, Luxembourg... a very global meeting!

Ditchley House is a wonderful mansion which was a secret refuge for Winston Churchill during WWII; and after being bought by Sir David Wills became in the early 60s a place continue/foster good Anglo-American relations, & has since encompassed dialogue between the nations of the whole world... especially since Sir John and Lady Holmes have been in charge.

But enough of serious purpose... we had a lovely afternoon and evening... started by walking the Holmes splendid labrador, Maddie...

...and then a glorious dinner at which we sang twice... including a special version of New York, New York celebrating the retirement (and final homegoing) of Babli Sharma (wife of the outgoing Commonwealth General Secretary, Kamalesh)... she was gracious as we discussed her life!

A fine evening of bonhomie (bonfemmie?), good food, and delight.... & they liked our singing too... how splendid!
Some discussion ensued of our joining other dinner parties around the globe... what can I say? what a terrific idea!

Next stop Barcelona; then Palma, The Netherlands & Belgium...
... to say farewell for the moment; here is the lake at sunset...

No comments: