Tag Archives: afternoon tea

Rule Britannia!

Aaah. It’s a great time to be British. Britishness abounds at the moment all thanks to the Queen’s diamond jubilee and the Olympics.

What a great year it is to be a Brit ( hold on a sec while I wipe a tear from my eye and allow my ample breast to heave with national pride).

The shops are full of items all bearing the Queen’s face or the Union Flag, or more likely the Queen’s face and the Union Flag. The shops are selling anything they’ve been able to squeeze a flag or the Queen onto: cups, cushions, sofas, carpets and all manner of houshold items. It’s now perfectly possible to decorate your entire house with Union Flag accessories and soft furnishings. I wouldn’t be surprised to see wallpaper in it as well, I haven’t seen any yet but I bet it’s out there somewhere. Not only are the shops full of Union Flag ‘stuff’ they’re also flying the flag outside their shops as well.  Even if you weren’t patriotic before, I bet you are now.

If you’ve just gone, ‘Huh? I thought the British flag was called the Union Jack?’  then give yourself a sound slap and Google it.

It’s often been a subject for scrutiny, Britishness and two of my favourite photographers, the late Bill Brandt and the brilliant photographer, Martin Parr,  produced work that focused on Britishness, or more specifically, Englishness.  As sideways looks at the lives of upper and middle class people, they weren’t always the most flattering images but they are oh so interesting. Worth going and taking  a look at.

Anyway, back to the plot. This Sunday.  The  local village held a small jubilee street party for charity. I know it’s a month early but hey, any excuse for a party. They can do it again on 2nd June!

Boofuls and me popped along with Douggie the doggie, lured by the promise of a dixie jazz band and afternoon cream tea. I have to say, it didn’t disappoint. It was so quintessentially English that it was almost a caricature of itself. I loved it and was proud to be a part of it. (hold on again while a belt out the first verse of Rule Britannia).

While we sat and sipped our afternoon tea, or coffee in my case, and nibbled on our scones, we listened to the music, the ‘thwack, thwack’ of bean bags being thrown at a target on one of the stalls and the sound of Dads encouraging their children to ‘Just throw it a bit more to the left/right/up/down (delete as necessary)  and you’ll get it. ‘ Of course all the kids won a prize if they managed to throw the beanbag through the hole or not.  It wasn’t a day for tears or tantrums. The atmosphere was light and jolly, just how I like it. Strangers stopped us every few feet to pet the dog and chat for a minute. We should have put him on a stall and charged for cuddling him, that would, have raised loads for the charity.

There was Union Flag bunting, so much bunting, all flapping in the breeze, it sounded like applause for a job well done.  The tombola was doing a roaring trade, the ubiquitous ladies selling raffle tickets jollied everyone into buying some (we won!) and everyone mingled, chatted and generally enjoyed the occasion. What a marvelous way to spend a Sunday afternoon.


There’ll always be an England………

Royal wedding afternoon tea

Ok, we don’t live on a street so there was never going to be a street party but we did manage a very passable afternoon tea in honour of the royal wedding, even managing to sit outside because although it was as windy as a windy thing it was coming from the north east so the house made a lovely windbreak, allowing us to enjoy the sunshine.

Earlier in the day, Len and Lashes had turned up about two minutes to 11.00am, just as the wedding was about to begin, with Lashes all flustered and cross that no one was bothered about watching the wedding except her. She plonked herself down next to me to watch it.

At about one minute past 11.00, the client turned up. Complaining that no one was interested in watching the wedding except her. We invited her to come and watch so she gratefully  plonked herself down next to Lashes to watch it, leaving her poor bewildered new husband to fend for himself. He eventually gave in and sat down as well to watch it.

Once the wedding was over, the clients, Len and Lashes left. Boofuls busied himself in the garden creating our new pergola while I busied myself in the kitchen preparing for our planned, very English  afternoon tea.

At the appointed hour all the family turned up and everyone tucked into the delicate cucumber,  smoked salmon  and ham sandwiches,  sausage rolls (or as Munki calls them; sockage rolls) , scones with jam and cream, chocolate bread, malt loaf, trifle, strawberries and cream and of course Bucks Fizz to toast the Royal newlyweds.

What a lovely afternoon.  The food was polished off amazingly quickly, I was even asked for my scone recipe (thanks, Delia).   Everyone thought that we should have a proper afternoon tea on a regular basis as it’s all very civilised and lovely. Well, you know, as civilised and lovely as my family can be!!

When we were children my Mum often used to make afternoon tea on a Sunday, high tea, we called it then. It was nice. I think we should have afternoon tea more often.

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Amazingly, I  managed to get a rare photo of big N. Not looking terribly happy about it though. I really must remember to tell him that cameras don’t actually steal your soul.

The kids and Len were there as well but somehow they managed to escape the camera. I think they were playing with the dogs weaving poles.

As you can see, a good time was had by all – except Mrs Woofy.  She came a cropper on a walk out with the dog club last week when some unknown dog decided to take a £2 coin sized junk out of her side. Gembolina has been marinading her in honey at the vets request and it’s all looking much better now.

If only she could work how how to navigate with that cone on her head. She bumps into everything and I can tell you it doesn’t half hurt when she runs full tilt into your legs with that thing on.