Waldensian Review No.124 Summer 2014 - Page 11

Heslams, could attend, not forgetting Tricia and Peter Graves, Margaret and Brian Beck and Prof. Morna Hooker-Stacey; last, but not least, the Principal of Wesley House, Jane Leach, and the Vice-Principal Jonathan Hustler and his wife Leslie. I shall spare you the details of the organisation of the evening with the Italian team, the endless exchange of emails and texts and the sale of tickets. I obviously checked that raffle, wine and auctioning were allowed at Wesley House and luckily they were, since this was to prove very profitable. I confess to experiencing panic and nightmares, especially since we suddenly had to go to Torre Pellice after all, for my mother’s funeral, exactly a week before the event, during which I had planned a big blitz of publicity and hopefully ticket sales … eventually I prayed to God for help, something that my rigid Waldensian upbringing still at times prevents me from doing for ‘small personal little things’; and which is silly, since nothing is too small for God and … obviously everything became easier! The evening could not have gone better: Carmel Ieraci, an Australian student with Italian background, Noemi, Valeria (Noemi’s visiting cousin) and Marta all spent most of the day in the kitchen, cooking special dishes and baking pizza. Richard and I fetched the drinks and went around Cambridge collecting Italian puddings made by friends who could not attend: a gigantic tiramisu by Eleonora and a delicious cake by Debora, herself an ex-student of the Waldensian Faculty, now famous here for her cakes and ‘Biscotti di Debora’. Lynne Harries brought her fantastic cannelloni and Anne Heslam came with one of her brilliant cakes, plus a lot of amazing prizes for the raffle and for the auction. Robin and Alison were in charge of the drinks and with £1.50 for each glass of wine they collected nearly £300! While everyone was enjoying their meal I went around pestering each of them with my raffle tickets. Before the pudding we had a PowerPoint presentation by Alison about their experience in Florence and their holidays in the Waldensian Valleys, followed by short talks – with a witty introduction by Simone, who was also in charge of the quizzes, which proved a great source of entertainment. The master of fun, though, was in my opinion Rev. Peter Graves, who after the great pudding feast helped me in auctioning several magic vouchers for free weekends for two people in one of the various Waldensian guest houses (often ancient palaces in the very centre!): Torre Pellice, Venice, the Ligurian coast, Florence, Isle of Elba, Rome, Palermo. The Servizio Cristiano in Riesi – near Comiso airport – and the lovely farmhouse centre of Reggello near Florence offered three free days for a couple! Everyone had a good laugh and the sales were really good. Then it was time for the excellent raffle prizes and the evening ended with more laughter with the projection of a short cartoon satirically comparing the Italian way with the ‘European/ British’ way in parking, queuing, waiting for the bus, etc. I was immensely relieved, especially when at home we counted the sum raised, which has now totalled £1500! A BIG THANK YOU TO ALL! 9