We are looking forward to the visit of a couple from the Netherlands. We met on holiday and since they had never been in Scotland, we invited them as guests, so that we could show them round our beautiful country. They have been kept up-to -date with our provisional plans, which include a rather important large birthday party.
They should have no problems handling the English/Scots conversations as they have an excellent knowledge of our language, but I think they were concerned about starting and maintaining a conversation with people about whom little was known. So they asked for some photos and a little background about some of the main participants, including both me and the Lady of the House, so that they did not put their foot into it by saying something wrong (would they understand the phrase ‘putting one’s foot in’, I wonder?).
So what to say? I’ts actually quite difficult in just a few words to sum-up someone you know well, into a matter of a few sentences. Facts on age, jobs, interests, familial relationship etc are useful enough for a passport application, but tells you little about the actual person. So to cut a long story short, it took a while to provide half a dozen brief synopses of the main participants, without giving-away sensitive information, but still allowing an entry into a discussion at the party.
Worst of all is trying to give a brief, unbiased set of facts about oneself…a sort of miniature autobiography, without appearing to be boastful, and ‘padding’ of one’s intersts. For better or worse, the requested information has been sent.
And to get my own back, I have asked them to do the same for us!