I love Thanksgiving, so very secular, hence different from the Anglican Harvest Festival since most city-dwellers stopped ‘ploughing the fields and scattering the good seed on the land’ a while back. There are – remarkably – some very civilised Americans living in my building with – even more remarkably – some very young-looking Filipina wives. It is, I suppose, a sign of sophistication not to snigger about the Internet being a marvellous device for social cohesion. The hostess at the party by the pool tonight was 47 and looked 30, in sharp contrast to someone like myself, well, me actually, who looks like a Sharpei puppy whose skin is too big for it. A most amiable evening. Children splashed in the pool, oblivious to the chill in the air and young Filipina girls wiggled with characteristically curious insouciance suggesting their permanently disarming smiles fool everyone. The Brits gathered near the beer cooler and swapped dirty stories. Pumpkin pie, is, of course, disgusting unless properly flavoured, which this one wasn’t. A friend does clever things with cheesecake and kumquats which might render it more palatable, but I rather doubt it. A small sliver of dung-coloured dessert is de rigueur, however and I shovelled it down like a man, wishing for key lime pie instead. The turkey and fresh cranberries compensated adequately, the laser show made one look as if one was a target for a dozen snipers on the roof and the company was congenial. Excellent. The image is Jean Ferris’ ‘The First Thanksgiving’.