Despite the torrential rain, we had a lovely time yesterday serving tea and cakes to over two hundred garden visitors in my best friend Anne's lovely cottage garden. The sun went in at 12 noon on the dot, and returned later on after everyone had gone home, but we were not daunted. After all, we are used to this sort of thing, we have survived the war, we are British!
...as I exclaimed dramatically to various people throughout the afternoon, including my proudly Irish former neighbour, at which point there was an awkward silence. Sorry, Joe.
Anyway, it was all a huge success and great fun. Everybody loves tea and cakes, don't they? I so enjoyed seeing the delighted expressions on people's faces as they took in the vintage china, bunting, pretty cakes, tablecloths and 1940s music playing over the loudspeakers, not to mention Anne's gorgeous garden. It was a treat to be a purveyor of simple pleasures and make people's afternoons into something a bit special. More than a few people have raised their eyebrows over the past week or two, unable to get their heads round the madness of homemade cakes for two hundred people, handmade signs and 'all the bother' of setting out tablecloths, doilies, and my eclectic collection of bone china teasets, but for me it has been a wonderful opportunity to be creative and do what I do best. It's that old chestnut again about homemade over bought, artisan over mass-produced, time spent on more than just the basics, a delight in doing things well and beautifully. Something that sadly for many people is lost and no more than a memory. Anne often says that people make the gardens they feel they 'ought' to have rather than the ones they'd really like, and I sometimes wonder if we extend that to the rest of our lives occasionally. Anyway, it was altogether a lovely day, full of fun and laughter, and hopefully lots of people will remember it and decide to fill their own lives, gardens and teatimes with a bit of creative gorgeousness.
One of the things I felt the occasion necessitated was a new pinny, and after a bit of research into patterns and a rummage in my fabric cupboard I decided to chop up a piece of vintage cotton I'd been hoarding for years and try to create something jollier and a bit more flattering than my usual. I was quite pleased with the result which I hope has the feel of a sort of 'going-out' apron... what do you think?
Lastly, a very big thank you to all of you for your help and encouragement with our moth problem. We now have a nice new carpet and everything but everything has been hoovered and sprayed and replaced carefully with a bit of extra hoovering just to be sure. As much furniture as possible has been raised off the floor to allow for better housekeeping and we are all going to be very, very vigilant from now on. Fingers crossed!
Finally, a couple more photos of Anne's lovely garden where we have spent many happy hours putting the world to rights over a glass of wine!