Monday, 14 April 2008

This is my....perfect dinner party!

Have you seen the meme that's doing the rounds which changes weekly? It starts with This is my....and has a weekly theme of something you can show or tell.

I signed up over at Three Buttons. This week the theme is your perfect dinner party guest list and Georgie and I talked it over yesterday at her place. I've been mulling it over ever since and let me tell you, it's tough.

I've always thought the best dinner party conversation covered everything - high brow to low, popular culture to yes, religion and politics. Whoever said you couldn't discuss religion and politics at dinner was wrong, in my view. Some of the most thought provoking and opinion forming conversations I've ever had have been over dinner.

Still, it's a hard list to build.

Do I go with all my favourite female writers? Does anyone else think a guest list that included Charlotte Bronte, Jane Austen and George Eliot might be difficult? With all that introspection and shyness, it could be a tough night for sparkling conversation.

What about my favourite comedians? Comedians are notoriously not funny in real life. I expect the conversation could actually become quite depressing as we all drank more and more red wine and sank into sad clown territory.

Favourite musicians and actors was another category. But the egos! Could you imagine? I've never actually thought that a room full of actors or musicians could be that exciting. Not all of them together.

In the end, this is what I came up with. Note, it's in no particular order.

Jane Austen. I'd rely on her for the witty one liners. I think she and guest #2 would have a fair bit to talk about. Stephen Fry. Comedian, actor, writer.

Again, good for the one liners but also a great lover of food and wine. I'd want to cook something extraordinary for him and late in the evening, pull out an amazingly good red. He'd also not be above the odd crude joke or ten. You need the crude joke people (classily crude, obviously) at a dinner party. It adds balance.

Speaking of people to cook for, I did really want to add Nigella Lawson to the list but it seemed too obvious. Since you can have living or dead people, I'd go for the woman without whom we probably wouldn't have a Nigella.

Elizabeth David. 1950s revolutionary food writer. See the glass of wine in her hand, in the kitchen? Enough said really.

But I would be rather scared of cooking for her. She was a pedant about food. I'd probably be safe with a very good roast chicken though. She did like things simple, too. We'd get very drunk and smoke a lot of cigarettes together.

Music is a huge part of my life. Has been ever since I can remember. I don't talk about it a lot here because I think it's kinda personal. But I'd have to include Tori Amos.

Few have been as influential, musically, in my life and she's not adverse to a good red either. We could discuss theories about Mary Magdalene and, with the next guest, get deep into the theological side of things.

Andrew Denton. My favourite Australian and a fabulous interviewer. Sharp wit, great heart, impressive intellect. I lifted him from one version of George's list yesterday.

It was either him or Germaine Greer. And frankly, I'm not sure Tori and Germaine would get on so well.

And finally, the eye candy. I don't like eye candy purely for the sake of it. I like my crush material to be both handsome and intelligent and though I've never met Colin Firth and have very little knowledge of him at all, I am sure he must be witty and clever.

I'd invite him to arrive early and we would have a champagne cocktail or two before everyone else arrived.

I'd never want the night to end.

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