The housewarming party was a great success. The timing was good, the attendance was good, and the environment was good. At least half the program showed up, and probably a rather higher fraction. Food and drink were consumed; the completion of the QT was celebrated; and people interacted with one another in a way well outside the academic. In particular, it was interesting to meet the significant others of a number of fellow members of the program: Iason, Emily, and Tarun - for instance.
I am sure the gathering could have been a fine sociological opportunity, but I was far too entangled to reach any judgment. I just hope that people enjoyed themselves.
PS. There's something about playing a Melissa Ferrick song in the UK and having it recognized that is profoundly cool. In the end, it is the unexpected that propels us forward in the social universe.