Sipping tea and eating and cucumber sandwiches, what a perfect way to spend an English summer day. Inspired by a visit to London a couple of years ago, Bean Counter and me stumbled across a Pimms tent nearby a string quartet playing the Who’s greatest hits on the band stand in Hyde park. You have not lived until you have heard Pinball Wizard played with much gusto and skill by a string quartet in the open air. It was one of those surreal moments and I decided I had to recreate the feeling at home one day. Knowing I was not going to be hosting one of my monumental Barbies this year, I settled for a cream tea and Pimms event. The rules were fairly simple, Floppy hats and floaty dresses for the ladies, panamas and cravats for the gentlemen. Blazers were to be optional as were parasols.
The weather was kind to us as the great day dawned after much preparation by myself, Roger Moor, Bean Counter and a myriad of others such as the lovely Sophia Loren who provided cucumber sandwiches and made pots of Early Grey tea for the masses while RM mastered my secret concoction of Pimms and kept the jugs overflowing. The lawns had been mowed, a croquet set had placed along side the garden skittles and a lawn sized snaked and ladders game along with a game of bug splat (twister) were laid out for the amusement and merriment of all. To compliment all the sandwiches BC’s auntie made over a 100 fairy cakes some with individual butterflies and others with bees made from icing and they were brought along.
Just for those who wanted a more carnivorous affair Commander Riker gamely volunteered to man the charcoal barbecue for the day and it has to be said he did a sterling job. As people arrived, the ladies were greeted with a glass of Sherry and the gentlemen were offered a glass of Port. To stop the waste from those who did wish to partake in such refined offerings I finished off the already poured glasses. At this point, roughly 3pm and we only started at 2pm, RM and me were the worse for wear. We had already made two jugs of Pimms to get the blending right and it was decided that we could not offer our guests any of our experimental blending’s so we drank them just to make sure they were safe for our guests.
The music for the day was string quartet and this only stopped later on in the evening when we decided to spice things up a bit for those who wanted a soft shoe shuffle or to tap their toes with some Jazz. Later on in the evening when things cooled down a bit a fire was lit. This caused some discussion as to whether it would ignite the huge parasol over one of the tables or not. A decision had to be made and so it was that I started spraying the parasol down with a hosepipe. Unfortunately several jugs of high octane Pimms and one or two too many glasses of Sherry and Port had taken their toll and my aim was not as good as it perhaps should have been. Apologies to Auntie Barbara and all of the other ladies who looked as though they could have supported a wet duffle coat all by them selves.
At around 10-30 the Taxman (real identity kept secret) let off some fireworks to the strains of the 1812 overture. It was a triumph until some one told me it was 1-30 am. Thank God the neighbours from both sides had been invited and duly turned up. Ogri and Bodicea had turned up with their children as well as RM and kin.
Thanks to everyone including, Legs, Teech, Ted Magnum, the Revellers, Taxman and his family, Commander Rikers family, little Miss Sunshine and the ever present Miss Décolletage who incidentally has amazing lungs as she demonstrated when she blew up the snakes and the large dice for the ground games. It was a truly memorable event and I cant think of a better way to spend a summers day than sipping tea and eating cucumber sandwiches.