2.3.13

46 Guest list


It is a truth recently discovered, that a woman contemplating a tea party will be in want of her grandmother's company. Or her grandfather's. Or her mum's. Or perhaps her girl friends, or her blog friends. If time and space were no object, I asked you, who would you invite to tea? And clearly the far away and the long gone are the people many of us would most like to meet or meet again.

Something else struck me though. When we look back do we always see the folk we've lost as we remember them? I think of my Grandma Eva as an old lady, but did the old lady she was feel so different to the young girl she'd been. I'd have liked to know her at 17. That's who I'd ask. And because you surely need more than two people for a tea party I'd also hope my biographee, 18th century entomologist Mr. M, and the poet and novelist John Burnside, might join us.

It's certainly going to be an interesting tea party if we include everyone on our eclectic collective guest list*. And ours won't be the only family and friend reunions as Anne Boleyn and Elizabeth I will be there, and so will C.S. Lewis and J.R.R. Tolkien. Jo wants to invite Sam Pepys and teach him how to blog, Cathy intends to get the lowdown from Richard III on what really happened to the princes in the tower, and Sue's including Judy Dench "because who wouldn't want to have tea with Dame Judy". The incredible illustrator Edward Gorey - I'm a fan too Mikal - will be attending in company with his cats, which as Kath hopes I'll bring the whippets could be the cause of some chaos. Quinn's brother will be bringing the Dalai Lama, who I can totally imagine deep in conversation with Milan Kundera - great choice Penelope - and Lottie's guest Brian Cox. Oh, and Ellie reminded me I've been intending for a long time now to read some of Elizabeth Von Arnim's books.

There'll be plenty of knitters too, supping tea and eating all the cake - Jared Flood of Brooklyn Tweed, Elizabeth Zimmerman, Stephanie Pearl McPhee aka The Yarn Harlot, Kaffe Fasset, Nicole from Coco Knits, Stephanie from Tiny Owl Knits, Katharine Hepburn and Audrey Hepburn - did you know they both knitted in their on set downtime Rosie? - and I wonder if we might count Pomona's invitee Elizabeth Gaskell among the knitters, so many of her characters knitted I feel sure that she did too.

I'm just thankful the giveaway was a random draw because it would have been absolutely bloomin' impossible to pick two winners on the basis of most interesting choice of guest. Instead the random number generator did its thing (and guess who forgot the screen shots this time, oops!) and the winners are - er, drum roll maestro, please - Vibeke of A Butterfly in my Hair, who wins the Brooklyn Tweed yarn and pattern, and Sandra of Cherry Heart, who wins the Jen Roffe print and the iitala mug**. Thank you both for entering, in fact thank you all for entering, and commenting, and reading my posts, and keeping popping by. I so wish I had a gift for everyone ... would a virtual hug each suffice do you think?

♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥

Now, I have two little changes I need to tell you about. Firstly, I've moved the comments box to above the comments, which I hope will make things easier for you, but do please tell me if you preferred things as they were. And moved it back, after some interesting feedback via email. And secondly, I'm experimenting with sponsor ads this month and I'd really appreciate your feedback on those too. Good idea? Bad idea? Downright annoying? Too obtrusive? Not obvious enough? All thoughts welcome, thank you. Oh, and if you were unlucky in the giveaway and really wanted one of those lovely prints ... you'll find a link to Jen's shop amongst them! And yarn lover's, check out Meadow Yarn and BaaRamEwe, two of my favourite yarn stores who are helping me out here by supplying me with test ads!

♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥

* I also asked The Farmer Boy, who's choice would be Jonathan Swift, and the Mr, who picked Alf Ramsey, the only sportsman at the table.

** Ladies if you could please email me your postal addresses (there's a link top left) your parcels will be dispatched forthwith :)

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46 comments :

  1. I am lucky to have had my grandmother to tea last year (I don't live near her) and it was lovely to do things properly, although she did tell me that in a very well-to-do setting the cucumber sandwiches would have had the bread rolled first with a rolling pin. Afternoon tea is just about my favourite thing, although it's probably down to all the baking and eating involved!

    Congrats to the lucky two!

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  2. I guess I like the comment box above, although I do often flick thru' the comments before I write...that's because I'm a nosey parker!

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    1. Me too! But when there are a lot of comments (as does seem to happen here) that's an awful lot of scrolling down if you just want to say a quick 'Hi'. Thanks Faith, it will be interesting to see what others think :)

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  3. Hi Annie,

    Noticed the sponsor ads straight away but they are by no means obtrusive. And is it just a happy coincidence that the colours fit in seamlessly with the rest of your blog too? Looks great and lovely sponsors too!!!

    Your tea party is sounding fabulous. I loved reading everyone's guest lists and I think you are absolutely right about meeting the younger versions of our loved ones - that would be even better and it's funny I didn't think of that before. Terrific photo too of Grandma Eva?

    Enjoy the rest of the weekend!

    Mel x

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    1. No, not a coincidence, and the intention is it stays that way! Thanks Mel :)

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  4. congrats to the winners!!!! (I think we're all winners with a chance to pop in here whenever we choose!!! ) Still anxiously awaiting a peek at the studio!!! coming soon????? room enough in there for a proper tea party, I hope!

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    1. What a sweet thing to say Steph :)

      Re. the studio, there was a hiccup with the paper for the wallpapered wall, the design I wanted just isn't to be had, so now we're thinking we'll simply paint all the walls this coming week and then I can move in there the week after :) And yes, there's room for a tea party, just so long as I only invite one or two people!

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  5. Your tea party would be quite something, imagine all the dietary requirements you would have to cater for though! Your sponsored ads are not obtrusive at all and the comments box is quite a good idea being at the top. Congratulations to the two winners. Cherry Heart is well deserved! Chel

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  6. Accepting your virtual hug gladly this morning...and hugging you right back Annie! Tea with anybody is always fun. I am always amazed when just in conversation the most fascinating jewels in a person's life are revealed.

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  7. Now those are ads I can live with :)

    That would be one fascinating tea party! We still do tea parties round here - or the quilting group I belong to does. I'm looking into a few new cups because there are 11 of us and my set only has 5 cups at present. There are plenty of odds but it would be nice to find a few matching ones (second hand of course).

    viv

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  8. Hi Annie,

    I love the sweet photo of the tea party, how very cute.
    Also what a lot of fun you would have at yours, with all the wonderful guest list.
    I always think tea parties are a lot of fun, bringing out the pretty teacups and making delicious little savouries and cakes. My daughter is actually having one this afternoon with some of her friends and I loaned her some of my cups. Congratulations to the winners.
    Your blog looks lovely and the comment box at the top is fine.
    I have also been thinking of getting some Sponsor ads, hope this works out well for you.

    Happy weekend
    Carolyn

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  9. You will need a bigger table! Thank you for painting such a lovely picture with your composite guest list. And congratulations to the winners!

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  10. I enjoyed reading about your grandmother Eva! The photos of her are just lovely.
    I don't mind ads on blogs as long as they don't jump around which some of them do! This can be very distracting and put me off visiting a blog!
    Have a lovely Sunday!

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  11. What a great post Annie! I'm just off to a vintage fair, so no time to ponder, but will try to get back to you later, and I'll think about this ...

    Love Claire xx

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  12. Hi Annie, really enjoyed this post :)
    I've just recently started running some sponsor ads, I will drop you a line with some feedback so far if you like?

    Have a lovely Sunday,
    Sarah
    Xxx

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    1. That would be lovely, thank you Sarah :)

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  13. It sounds such a wonderful party :) Oh, I definitely prefer the box here at the top of the comments! M x

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  14. I loved going back and reading your post about your grandmother. I have very old photos of my family too - didn't they look old for their years a century ago? Underneath the dreadful hats and too-loose clothes were some true beauties.

    I think that if it is helpful to you to have advertisements on your side bar then that's fine. I find them obtrusive - too much to look at - and have in any case found your Big List of Yarn Shops very helpful indeed.

    Is the little girl in your photograph one of your family? Or have I missed something?

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    1. No, 'tis me who's missed something ... the picture credit! Sorry. It is a photo from The Commons on Flickr of an anonymous little girl in Queensland.

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  15. I always enjoy your posts and this one was very entertaining. I discovered something about my Gran last year and now so wish I could talk to her about it.
    btw I'm viewing this on my iPhone, there are no ads and the comments box is after all the other comments ... as I like to scan through before deciding to comment, this makes sense. I'm not sure I'd bother to scroll back if it was the other way round.

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  16. I like the comment box above the comments - and confess I only remembered the ads when I read Mel's comment and went back to look; so clearly not obtrusive!

    I really enjoyed reading about everyone's dream tea party and had some happy day-dreaming and remembering.

    My grandmother used to talk about when she was a young woman; a flapper in the 1920s, she was very well to do and lived in a grand manor house and used to climb out of the scullery window to party on the beach (her mother would always check the window was open before she went to bed so Millie could climb back in). She once stole her cousin's motor bike and took her best friend for a ride - only admitting 50 years later that she had had no idea how to ride it! The grandmother/granddaughter relationship is a very special one.

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    1. My most memorable tea was a welcome Cornish tea home-produced by my grandmother after a long train journey from Shropshire. I like your ads they blend in so well to your overall blog. It did ages to load your page, I don't know whether that was just me?
      Sarah x

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  17. Annie, that sounds like the best tea party ever! Well done the winners. The comment box at the top works for me and the sponsor ads don't bother me either! Just love coming here and reading.

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  18. I am short of grandmotherly experiences: one died long before I was born, the other lived an ocean away, and I only met her on a handful of occasions. So I love your idea of time travel (something I happened to be wishing for in my last blog post) to share tea with the matriarchs.

    Nana (the grandmother I knew) used to drink a concoction she called 'cambric tea' which was actually tea minus the tea leaves! Just hot water with a splash of milk. It took me a long while to figure out that the name came from the unbleached cotton cloth - which would be about the same colour. She was making a virtue out of necessity, no doubt, as she grew up in straitened circumstances, one of 14 children on a farm. Life was hard.

    Thanks for a beautiful idea, Annie. Tea, cake, and the darning out. ;))

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  19. Congratulations to the lucky winners and thanks for summarising all the fascinating comments from your giveaway post, Annie.

    I'm one of many who would love to have tea with my grandmother. I so clearly remember asking her on her 70th and last birthday what it felt like to be 70 and being told that she didn't feel 70 inside but 30. To me at 13 that was incomprehensible, but rising 67 I know just what she meant. :D I know what she looked like at 17, as I have a lovely studio portrait of her playing her violin.

    The comments box at the top works fine, though I usually skim through the comments first before making my own. As for the sponsor ads, they are so discreet and tasteful, I can't see how anyone could object to them.

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  20. I missed your giveaway! Never mind...I'll tell you who I'd like to invite to tea anyway...maybe it's best I didn't get in at the time because I am going to lower the tone somewhat, I fear. I'd have Kenneth Williams over, for his ascerbic wit. And a good showbizzy gossipy, tell-all.

    And then, definitely Steve McQueen. Oh yes. Lovely man- fab actor. And a decent bit of eye-candy too. :)

    Definitely not bothered by your ads - you could move them to a more prominent spot too and it wouldn't annoy me...it's your blog, and if you can earn some pennies from it so much the better.

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  21. well how interesting! thanks for sharing the guest list.
    Funnily enough Cleggy and I were pondering how we've been in love for 25 years and yet still feel like the same people...but if you'd asked our 18yr old selves what we thought we'd be like in our 40's it would be someone different. And yet I still can't quite believe we'll be the same in our 70's!
    fee
    (to be fair, I was pondering/wittering on...Cleggy barely looked up!!!)

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  22. Since you asked... The Comments Box is cool, up here! I like!

    Personally, I very much dislike adds on blogs. I mean, real adds. Not a link to a friend's spot or something, like that.

    But I'm not sure which you mean....

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  23. Congrats to the lucky winners!! What a fun tea party that would be! Have a beautiful day! xo Heather

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  24. You do have an impressive guest list for your tea party!! My family, (blog) friends and colleagues are my favourite guest!


    Happy new week!

    Madelief x

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  25. Have you set a date for our tea party Annie? :o) Oh, what an incredible choice of guests! Congrats to the winners too and thanks for the offer of entering your fab give away. We all understand that its part of this great community and that its just bonus time if you win.
    RE; the ads, I didn't notice them till you mentioned them, they are very stylish and sympathetic to your original beautiful design and I'm a little like Faith...a wee bit nosey and like to read other peoples comments too, but I can always scroll down no problem. Here's to you and your tea party xox Penelope

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  26. Congrats to the winners! I too would like to hear what happened to the Princes....

    The ads look just right to me, and the comment box works well in either place. :)

    What an adorable photo in this post.

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  27. congrtulations to the winners!
    xxxx Ale

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  28. It would certainly be a great tea party to go to! I've had more time to think about guests now. J R R Tolkien is a good one, plus I wouldn't mind Nigella Lawson to bring some of the tea party treats, and maybe Marie Antoinette so that I could ask her if she actually did say "let them eat cake", as some historians believe it was said by an earlier Queen, and some say she actually said "let them eat brioche" - so who knows! (shrugs shoulders)

    I think the addition of the adds is subtle and fits in nicely. I think it's great that your blog can generate a small amount of money :-)

    Sarah xx

    PS Congrats to the lucky winner!

    PPS Thanks for all the comments you've been leaving lately Annie, I've been a bit tardy in getting back to you!

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    1. Oops, typo - I meant ads not adds :-D

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  29. i would love to come to that tea party , some of my best friends are there , old and new. xo

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  30. Some interesting guests coming to this tea party, tickets will be a sell out. Congratulations to the winners, lucky people. I don't think the ads are obtrusive. If a blog is going to have ads on it, I prefer them to be for something which the blog is about, like the ones you have here.

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  31. What a lot of fun that tea party would be! I can only begin to imagine the conversation...

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  32. What a great thing to blog about - sorry I missed it. I was hibernating! I am loving your shawl in the last post too - gorgeous muted pink colour! xCathy

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  33. It's a funny thing how we remember people. I've been thinking lately that I'd rather wish I could meet my mother and my grandmothers at my age... of course I can remember my mum at my age, but she seemed so old!!!!

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  34. I think your ads are tastefully and unobtrusively presented. I am biased though, as Baa Ram Ewe is my local yarn shop. It taught me to knit and crochet and I am half in love with the place, and the staff.

    What a fabulous response to your tea party post. I suspect that many bloggers, you included, would throw a rather spectacular tea party with an abundance of cakes and sweet treats.

    Gillian x

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  35. It would be interesting to know our older relatives when they were younger. My kids were both home visiting this weekend and we talked a little about that this morning. My daughter can't really imagine me as a young woman of her age, I think.

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  36. Fantastic thoughts here. You are so eloquent.

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  37. Almost forgot to comment! Of course you are a fan of Edward Gorey - because you have excellent taste! :-)

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