Sunday, 15 May 2011

Tea Party

Oh how rock and roll, lets chuck a few tele's about while we're at it shall we?! 35 years old and I celebrate with a..... a tea party!!! Long gone are the days where I'd get dingbatted on mojito's and back comb my hair in a bar to make my friends laugh.

Mr C took the bigguns swimming so that I could indulge in a spot of baking and playing with my tea set.

I had a sneaky feeling something would eat into my play time because something always does, be it a knock at the door, a phone call...a baby needing his Mummy...

Yes, Mini needed me and not for the cooing cuddles I'm usually treated to. He was very sad. He has reflux and he'd been doing so well and grown so much I thought it was time to trial him without the medication.

Bad idea. Poor little mite was in a fit of vapours so I hastily syringed his medicine into his mouth and hoped it would work swiftly. It did but he was fractious for the rest of the day.

But it didn't matter that I'd lost lay time as I'd preempted it and had bought macaroon mix, scones, coconut ice, nougat, jam, and bon bons. So I was able to snuggle my poor little fella and still produce a nice spread, I feel very grandma-ish saying that. I like feeling grandma-ish these days, there's something very warming and secure about embracing the granny in me. Tea parties and crochet is total heaven to me...I'm sure you know what I mean.

Coconut ice reminds me of a story about my Grandad Bill. Years and years ago my Nanny Dot (his wife the original Cuckoo) had been caught in a shower of rain on her way home from the co-op. She was wet through as were her purchases. When she got home she laid everything out in the larder on paper to dry out, including a box of fire lighters. Grandad came home and feeling a bit peckish went yogi-ing. "Ooooh coconut ice!!!" he exclaimed and took a huge bite of................................ a fire lighter! He could taste paraffin for weeks.

You may be wondering what yogi-ing is. You know Yogi Bear? Remember how he was always on the hunt for picnics? Well, when someone has the munchies and is on the prowl for snacks that's yogi-ing. I'd forgotten all about the phrase till my Mum said it for the first time in years at the weekend. She probably says it a lot but I'd not heard it in a long time. Took me right back to when a was little and my Dad would go ferreting about trying to placate a greedy tummy (which I have inherited, blast!)

I made a lemon layer cake and plonked some roses on top. 

I made some cucumber sandwiches, popped some cute, gorgeous, divine little flags in then.

Made macaroons using Squires Macaroon mix, total cheat, they did taste nice but I think I'll get better organised next time I need macaroons and have a go at making them from scratch. Happily you can't tell from the photo but I scorched the green ones.

I made some sugar cube hearts in a tiny heart chocolate mould I have. I first saw sugar cube hearts at Coco Rose's, who followed a tutorial from A Day with Doris. I should have followed the tutorial as trying to get the hearts out of a silicone mould was tricky dicky.

I could do with some sugar tongs

I made little place settings for the Cuckoo Boys...

They really got stuck in. No surprise really as cake, sweets and sugary stuff is heaven to little boys.

Mr C looking as though he was enjoying himself

My Mum and Step Dad really did enjoy themselves
Mini had a smiley hour during the afternoon which was especially lovely after being sad all morning. Can you see that grin he is aiming at his current favourite brother. Mini and Little have a special relationship as they have two days together with out Big Cuckoo. 

And then it was all over and time to wash up. Washing up my treasure doesn't feel like a chore. I think of my china as treasure because I have chanced upon most of it randomly at car boot sales or at the local auction house. Now and again I find something on ebay or in charity shops. I simply adore all my old fancy stuff. Mr C on the other hand, now how can I say this kindly, he's not keen. Not at all. I think next year he'd prefer to visit the Apple store or something more appealing to his alpha male sensibilities. I don't blame him. I fell for the man that he is, all blokey and strong and hard working and ambitious and clever and all those things I am not. It would be foolish to expect him to be all fluffy when it suits me. Foolish and unfair. 

I had dreamed for too many weeks about my birthday tea party. Being the only girl in the house I really, really R:E:A:L:L:Y wanted a pink tea party. I planned, plotted and day dreamed about it. Of course that was a daft thing to do as reality cannot live up to a daydream. How can it? I'm not being all "woe is me", it's a fact. It's not that life is a disappointment in contrast to the day dream, far from it. In fact life is lovely, life is lush, my life is good and I'm grateful for it and for the amazing people in it. But the tea party... it didn't live up to expectations in that not everyone enjoyed it the precise way I hoped and I was left with a feeling of deep silliness. I felt silly. Silly for enforcing my femininity on a household full of testosterone and not for the first time did I feel an ache for a daughter.  I'd give anything for a daughter ...except my boys, I wouldn't give them. I am blessed with my boys. I love them insanely, all perfectly marvellous. Besides if I had a daughter she'd probably think I was an embarrassingly uncool Mum, she wouldn't want to learn my granny crafts or embrace my granny ways, she wouldn't want the things from my childhood I have packed away for a girl. She probably wouldn't want to wear the clothes I imagine I'd make for her. I hoped to have a daughter who would be my friend as she grew, someone to share things with when the boys are glued to the x box or whatever will have been invented by then.  I have my fingers crossed for marvellous daughter in laws! They might enjoy tea parties with me and might like to actually keep my tea set when I'm gone.

My step Dad sent the sweetest email entitled "Pink Sugar in my Tea" which cheered me up no end (I'd had an emotional out burst after washing up as Mini had kicked off a treat again and so I fell to bits, I'm prone to short melodramatic outbursts of despair. I blame it on the legacy of PND but in truth I've always been a bit of a "Victorian heroine taking to my bed" type. Best way to deal with me in those situations is to cuddle me out of it, which my Mum did) 

Here's the email content, now bear in mind my Step Dad is very old school Royal Navy so this email is more than just lovely words:

Thank you very much for inviting me to your 'Pink Birthday Party' I really enjoyed it, the cups and saucers and tea spoons, pink sugar hearts, cucumber sandwiches and several choices of cake-sweets and biscuits, what a visual treat.
              I hope Master Mini settled down after we went. He is great to watch, you can almost read his Body Language and only 10 weeks old.
              Again, 'Thank you' and I am looking forward to next years Pink Party already.
            Loads of Love,

In other news (since it's over a week since I did anything like a proper post) I went to my step sisters wedding and I did manage to squeeze myself into my dress. Phew. I'll post a pic when she puts some on facebook as I don't have any photo's of the day. I think I looked ok, scrubbed up well enough. Mr C looked very dashing in his suit and tie and Mini looked too cute as usual. I don't think we let the side down! Big Cuckoo and Little Cuckoo stayed home with my Mum and had a glorious time causing mischief

I had yet another Weirdy Wednesday in that I had to have a scan as things haven't settled down properly since having Mini. Turns out I have a weirdy womb and so I need another scan in 4 weeks and then possibly a small op under a general anaesthetic which gives me the willies a bit. In the mean time I'm taking Co-Amoxiclav which is just an oral antibiotic but they are big beasties and keep sticking to my gizzard. Yick!

I have finished The Nemesis!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Yes I have!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! It's done and it's gorgeous albeit littered with mistakes. But who cares? Not me! It's lovely despite it's faults and I'm so glad it's done. Just waiting for a nice day to take some photo's.

I have also mastered the art of crochet bobble stitch in a different colour and how to carry the yarn through instead of having a gazillion ends to weave in. I feel triumphant, I do! Here's a peak at a small project I started and finished in one sitting. 

You thought I was lying about the hair........

Age 33, there's no hope!


  1. Oooh next year, send me an invite! It looks so beautiful.

    Remember that even though it didn't *quite* live up to your expectations, you were able to enjoy it with your family, take some cracking photos of some cracking baking and make a cracking blog post with it all. When you look back over your blog in a few months' time you'll be all pleased and happy that you recorded it so beautifully.
    Lots of love xxxxxxxx

  2. Your tea party looked gorgeous! Perhaps you could throw another one just for your best girly friends - I bet they wouldn't make you feel silly! Hope your weirdy womb settles down without the need for the op.
    Love that last pic!
    R xxx

  3. what a lovely tea party, such gorgeous crockery and what a lovely family. My crazy days are over too, at least you didn't have a hangover to deal with. I think tea parties are the new rock n' roll anyway.

  4. I heart your tea set. Ive coveted a pink tea set for so long and yours is just perfect. That to me looked and sounded like the most wonderful tea party ever and its given me a fabulous idea for how to celebrate my bithday in June. Melanie x

  5. What a fantastic post! My blogger has been playing up (grr) so have missed some posts. Glad you gorgeous tea party was a if you could just send me a slice of that there cake.......xxxx

  6. What a beautiful tea party. I sure would love an invite too hehe! My son also had reflux and in the end the doc said to double up the dose of infant gaviscon which worked a treat! No more projectile vomiting. After 3 or 4 clothes changes you get pretty fed up I know. Big hugs. xx

  7. Looks likes you had a fantastic tea party! Happy Birthday! Although you've now made me feel old and silly for having an afternoon tea party last year for my 22nd (I wanted one this year for my 23rd too but I thought people might object).

    I love tea parties, and I love your beautiful pink china! It's so amazingly special, I hope to have a beautiful collection like that one day!

    I hope for a girl too. My fiance and I talk about having a child when we're married and we quite openly say we both want a little girl! I secretly don't know what I'd do if I had a boy :S

    Dw about the sad silly feeling, I always get that too, although things tend to go well, they never happen how you expected on wanted them to happen! I always try not to have too many expectations anymore so that things are lovelier than I imagined!

    Jewel x

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  9. Grrr at blogger for not letting me know you'd made this post! Love, you certainly do put on a good spread (!) We used to call this a 'special tea' when I was a kid and we'd occasionally have it on a Sunday afternoon instead of a roast dinner - it was a huge treat.

    Granny pursuits are the way forward. My friends laugh at me all the time for being an old lady: I drink sherry (in those little glasses), bake, crochet, sew, read old-fashioned books and speak like an old lady. Words like turd and fart offend me! (Ha!) Don't feel silly for enforcing your girly old-fashionedness on your boys, I bet they love you for it. Your step-father's email was lovely, had he witnessed your little wobble? What a love. I just adore that old-school way of writing.

    You did a fabulous job catering for everyone and dealing with a poorly bambino - the lemon cake looks heavenly with those fresh roses on top. Note to self to steal that particular idea. I also spied a cake dome in the background (yes, I devoured your photos) which I'm very jealous of.

    And there's me feeling chuffed with my bobble stitch... I want mine in different colours now!

    Nicki xx

    PS - digging the hairdo, man.

  10. Romi's right-tea parties- so the new rock and roll!!!
    re the passing on of the granny skills- thats what you do here thru the blog, and I for one appreciate it heaps!!
    and you're right- there will be the daughters in law who will gag for the tea sets and the skills
    You're stepdad sounds so kind, what a nice email!
    And I agree with Heather, you will look back and remember the tea party as brilliant, memory is great for eroding the not so great bits!!!
    And congrats on all that baking and amazing presentation

  11. Hello, good to see you back in the land of blog!
    This is a gorge post - beeeautiful photos and envy-inducing food/crockery/fairy lights. (What situation isn't enhanced by fairy lights or bunting?) Every girl deserves a bit of pink sparkly on her birthday and you've def done it in style.
    Mr N is still applying for jobs in sw and I've still got everything crossed (fingers starting to cramp up now...) Send him lucky thoughts please!
    Congratulations on finishing the nemesis - really looking forward to seeing the ta-dah post. How's the scarf of dreams shaping up?
    Love the hair dude (I spent a large part of the late 80s with a back-combed fringe - I blame my fixation with Robert Smith...)
    Emily x

  12. I know I only know you through this blog land place, but my heart went out to you for all you were and weren't saying. Hope you're feeling much better and your mum's cuddle did the trick. Sounds and looks like you put on a beautiful pink party. Sometimes we can get so lost in the planning that nothing ever can live up to the anticipation. I've done that a fair bit in the past.


  13. Oh, your tea party looks divine. What a lot of effort you went to, just beautiful. I am sorry that reality didn't quite live up to the dream, unfortunately that can happen.

    I have a significant birthday next month and a tea party has been on my mind for quite some time and I have spent many,many hours dreaming about how it would be, BUT I have since decided that it's not going to happen. Maybe a family dinner instead, I can relate to alot of your thoughts and feelings about it ............

    As a mum of an only child and a boy at that. I can understand where you are coming from on not having a girl, but take heart, although not sharing lots of girly activities, I have found that boys are very accepting and don't care too much about what your wear and how you look etc. They don't seem to judge you as much as girls might. At least that is my experience, boys are great and I'm sure your three are wonderful and as they grow you will share many special times with them and who knows one of them may take a liking to your tea set ............
    Lovely email from your step dad, too.

    Belated birthday wishes, I hope you have a lovely year full of fun, love, hugs and lots of crafty moments.

    Claire :}

  14. LOVE your tea party, wish I had been there, I would have had a ball. Love your stepdad with his little 'pinky' out drinking his cuppa. You know I always become a little disappointed too, it is all fantastic in my thoughts but reality doesn't seem to live up to it. Look at mini smiling at little, that is so cute. AND all that scrummy food, oh my!!! You did such a good job all on your own with a sad bubby too.
    Well I had two boys and then had my daughter, she never liked dolls and she is not interested in learning crochet or knitting or anything like that, she is a dancer/photographer so I am happy she is doing something creative. She likes what I make, thinks they are cute, she wears some of my clothes, must be trendy enough. We are great friends and for that I am very thankful. She still comes to me to talk things through (at 20) something I have never been able to do with my mum. My friends used to think I was a weird mother because I talked to my kids about everything and was their friend. Well the proof is in the pudding, we all get along so well and they have respect for me, talk through problems with me and love me.
    xxx Sandi

  15. Your Tea Party looked awesome! God, I soooo know where you are coming from! Being in a house full of males and being so bloody girly, I find it hard at times. I love my boys to bits, but I don't see the appeal of lego, cars, football, nerf blasters. I hate that they walk into a room, smell it out, laugh and leave! What's with that? Why don't they appreciate girliness? My mum was a practical lady, I was sanwiched between two brothers so I thought I might have been blessed with a girl, but hey ho,such is life and I am immensely grateful for what I have. Maybe I will get a grand daughter! I think males and pink china is never going to give you a complete satisfactory feeling! Maybe do another one at a later stage with all your gals, it would be a right hoot! Beautiful photos though and lovely memories to cherish!

    Can't wait to see the nemesis and loving the sneaky peaky at the bobble piece!

    Have a super week!!!!


  16. Oh your pink party looked wonderful,the lovely cakes & sandwiches, I love your china collection especially the pink plate pile :o
    I know exactly what you mean about retiring to bed,I ve done that plenty of times when it all gets a bit too much.......
    Love the bobble piccie ,sneaky peak,cant wait!xx

  17. What fantastic comments Cuckoo. I really enjoyed it, a special tea with very special people. Loved the eats too, especially the cakes. Great Nanny Cuckoo would have been proud. Love you my super Girlie cuckoo, and love this blog thingy.

  18. You know, I bet your lovely tea party was enjoyed by all much more than you think it was. Men (and boys) can take all those lovely feminine touches a bit for granted but they surely would miss you and all you bring if you were different in any way. I bet when they grow up your boys will seek out girlies who remind them of you and your lovely pretty ways. You are giving them all so much but children are not very good at recognising that and men, well often they are just not good at telling us. Remember how you fell for your husband's macho ways? Well I bet he fell for you because you are just the opposite and I bet he loves that too. Never apologise for being who you are and expressing that side of you that wants to do girly things. You support them every day in all their boy stuff and do a great job. I think your Step Dad's lovely email shows that he really did appreciate your efforts. And you know a wobbly never hurts - sometimes if we don't let people know when we are hurting they never will guess which upsets us even more. I go straight to my bed and have a good sulk and a cry if I want too. It doesn't last long and I feel better afterwards. Anyway, you did an amazing job with all the lovely food and I bet it tasted as good as it looks. I adore all your pretty china, it's gorgeous. Your family would so miss all you do and your lovely homemaking if you didn't do it - it's just families are a bit ungrateful, they don't mean to be but they are. Sometimes I have wanted a bit of appreciation for my efforts but scoffing down your cakes is often the most you get to show they like what you do! You have a huge amounts of talents and skills and I am happy you share them with us! Loving the bobbles too. Can't wait to see nemesis!

    Please don't worry about the anaesthetic if you need one - I was so worried about it but really it was absolutely fine and not much to it. The good thing is I will never worry about it again having had it!

    Take good care of yourself. You do amazing things with 3 children - I could never be so together (I know that for sure as I never was with just one littly). xxx

  19. Gorgeous pictures! I wish I could have come to your tea party. I think I might have to have one myself. I don’t think my boys will enjoy it though. :0(

    Lou xxx

    PS. love the hair! ;)

  20. So love this pink china! it's so beautiful.
    Don't you love being born in May!
    Just had my birthday too!
    My boys are loving china at the moment and often request it for breakfast!


I L♡VE your comments. Thank you ever so for taking the time. I do try to get back to everyone but I am rather scatty and I have these 3 big distractions....(and I'm just generally a bit rubbish lately, so please don't feel obliged to leave a note) Sorry about the word verification too, too much spam.