So I am just giving bullet points, more to jog my own memory later than anything else:
- Stayed in an honest to god castle like something out of a Blandings story as guests of the count and duchess (lord and lady? I've always been hopeless at those things).
- Danced Scottish reels with men in kilts that were so complex I felt I would have needed a manual the size of the Bombay phone book and about four years of intense instruction to do them well. Everyone else, of course, knew exactly what they were doing and had no problems at all. Because they are all annoying and Scottish and gifted, clearly.
- Got to spend the night flirting with someone normal who had no intention of discussing Burma's stance on aid, the coup in Khartoum, the state of the roads in Yei or which donor just screwed them over. Also unlikely that he was married with children, a serial misogynist or riddled with diseases that make people cringe and reach for the penicillin. I think we talked about families. And collegiate hijinks. And, most likely, the state of Brittney Spears. Extremely pleasant.
- Produced a series of pictures with friends that look like a cross between promotional materials for a high-end champagne company and a cautionary tale of Bright Young Things Being Silly in Scottish Stately Home.
Summary? I can now say that I have literally jetted in to somewhere just for a, wonderful, party, worn the Bond-girl-esque cocktail dress and had the kind of glittery, tinkle-y evenings we all wish we had when we were younger. Even though I know I'll be back at work and in the middle of the mud and the bugs and the heat and everything else soon, I also know I am quite possibly the luckiest person on the planet and completely insane for ever questioning that fact.