From the corner of the sofa where I had sunk, sometime so late that the silhouette of the trees could be seen, again, I admired the amazing people around me. They were speaking of nonsense, sentences interspersed with song lyrics and imitations of YouTube videos. They knew the names and relationship statuses of various beautiful people whom I had no idea existed. They knew all the words to whatever that song is called in Frozen and sang them in a chorus, which wasn’t quite as tuneful as the songbirds outside.

I can neither recall all the events in the Royal Henley Regatta, nor name all the words in an unspecified Beatles song. I can’t sing along to Cher’s Believe with such gusto because I’ve got no idea what the words are.

Nor can I think of a single song to add to the playlist. Even if I know there’s an artist I like, and even if I can name a song title, I can’t imagine the song in order to decide if it’s the right sort of song for the moment. And then there’s my problem with comedy, I’m uncertain as to what sketches are funny, and I’ve no idea why some clips provide such apparent addictive entertainment.

In other words, I’m completely oblivious to what’s going on around me.

I enjoy watching though, as the conversation bounces around the room, as spurts of laughter rock back and forth. Somehow, these little things, song lyrics and comedic references, build a warm connection within the room. Indeed this feeling is so familiar I can hardly believe it’s been so long since we were sitting in a similar arrangement singing the same familiar tunes.

It’s just a simple evening – a few friends, a few drinks and frivolities – but it means a lot.