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Big fun's taboo - and is micro-fun really fun at all?

Updated: Oct 23, 2020

Fun's now a moral dilemma. Before you have it, you ask yourself: Is it best not to invite my friend Jim who looks after his dad with diabetes and emphysema? Or should you leave it to Jim to decide if he runs the gauntlet with your chicken fricassé and 4 other friends and their potentially symptomless COVID19? Having plumped for giving Jim the option to come, do you remind your other 4 friends in advance that Jim looks after his dad who has emphysema OR do you instruct them in no uncertain terms to allow lots of personal space, wash their hands a lot and not to shake hands or hug? Or you may feel that if not everyone can have fun equally then nobody should have it all, until things become a bit clearer.... vaccines, self testing, improved treatments, etc. Or, miserably - what with your having no good news, not having done much and the fact that you have job insecurity - you could decide to hole up alone. Who's going to want to see you anyway, much less eat your budget dinner?

Decisions on fun pose dilemmas like those of a government minister:

  1. Is it best to give people facts and advice on how to avoid COVID19 and let them manage their own risks with reference to their own community, friends and family?

  2. Or should you tell people how to have fun safely and make unsafe fun a criminal offence?

  3. Or do you ban fun altogether especially where the rates of COVID and fun are rising in tandem?

  4. You could even leave people confused, stressed and in the dark so that they won't want to leave their own front door anyway. A strategy that is definitely aided by no rays of light like; a clear long term strategy or any understanding of which data thresholds trigger which restrictive measures.

Our venue normally caters to private parties and events for 15-120 people, but currently we offer "micro-fun". How fun is micro-fun? It depends who you talk to. For those customers of ours who booked before the time of Corona, the reality is very different to the big ole ho-down they had been imagining. The barrier for most is that there's a lot to consider in terms of risks, protocols, guest lists (who to uninvite?) and possibly more don'ts than dos when you get there. But those who do it, don't regret it

People's approach to fun probably depends on COVID's impact on them, their livelihood and its potential impact on their family or themselves. It's likely true that the government doesn't understand you, but your friends do, so talk to them and stop shouting at the radio or tv or into the twittersphere (totally guilty). It's important at this time to share our different experiences, take the time to listen and learn to appreciate other people and their various perspectives. Take six. You won't regret it. For our sake and yours, do not put life on ice and let the organisational details of a mini break put you off.

For starters if you have cabin fever and are feeling uncertain about the future then it helps to do something different that may spark phosphorescent moments which in turn plant your mind back in the present. Your time away may not be the whizz popping, stage diving celebration that you had in mind, but it could be joyous on a more personal scale. Dinner parties, they say, are best with about six. Any more and you can end up chatting to just one or two people. With six nobody can hide behind a friend or lover or sink into the comfort of cliquey friendship groups. A micro-getaway or a micro wedding (in which case you can be 15) requires the same creative mindset you'd adopt to win a new game with new constraining rules. At an event for 6, go for it and plan all sorts of things; a night walk, a bonfire, a tasting menu with your absolute favourite food and wine, games, music. All of it is so much easier to organise and plan on a small scale. Micro or not, you will have had an amazingly cool and intimate time especially if it's your wedding. You could spin it out over a week and have multiple clusters of friends over a period of days and do different things with each cluster then what you lose in breadth you gain in length. Furthermore, you'll still be able to get a mortgage afterwards.

Our new, revised offerings:

- A snug night or two by the woodburner in the tree-boathouse or orchard wagon in the victorian walled kitchen garden with a fully appointed kitchen for self-catering and your own bathroom (shower, basin and loo). £180 for 2 people for a weekend.

- A gathering of up to 6 in the Barn with woodburner, soft seating, dining table, open plan

kitchen and HD projector and stereo. From £400 for 4 people for a weekend.

- A fully catered micro-wedding for up to 15 in Talton House complete with excellent food, a huge variety of cellared fine wine, games room, snug room with HD projector, astro-turf tennis court, croquet lawn, hot tub and woods and fields to roam in. From £3825 for up to 15 people for 2 nights including all meals

- A micro get-away, self catered for up to 6 in Talton House with the odd special catered meal available on request. From £2100

- We are also offering really good value fully catered weekend stays for up to 3 separate groups of 6 in the 10 bedrooms and 8 bathrooms in Talton House and the Courtyard loft room. From £220 pp for 2 nights plus full board from Friday night to Sunday breakfast.

- We are now offering mid-week day passes for homeworkers who want to get out of the house to work in a gorgeous environment with fibre to the premises (300mbs) WiFi and a simple lunch thrown in, plus the option for a game of tennis on the astro-turf court or a round of croquet. £40 per day - Tuesday to Thursday only.


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