Another year has passed by a and so we found ourselves organising our Posh tea for another 80 people – not an easy task. Tickets to this years event sold out in just 3 weeks – whilst still hot off the press! and no advertising, I dropped round about 20 flyers and emailed previous customers and that was it all tickets gone. Thankfully we had a fantastic group of people beavering away in the background- Squirrel organised the raffle supported by Lemming, Puffin and Rima, these prizes were then beautifully presented by Aines mum. Alex and Lemmings mum made not only the slow roasted chicken sandwiches (thank you to Lori Everrett for the four chickens) but also a couple of vegetarian options and organised the bread. Sophia’s mum bravely took on the challenge of scone baking and an apprehensive Snowdrop the chocolate brownies, this is a very unusual recipe containing very little flour hence the apprehension. A fantastic work colleague of mine for the third year running mustered up the lemon drizzle cakes which was a real achievement as she was unwell . Scarlett’s mum between acting as a taxi driver to her three daughters many and varied activities squeezed in making a job lot of free range egg mayonnaise sandwiches. Rima created meringues artistically decorated with blueberries, strawberries and raspberries….but the biggest challenge award goes to Romany’s mum who together with 6 loaves of bread took delivery of an enormous frozen salmon (head, tail, fins ‘n all!) unbeknown to me she was a vegetarian for 20 years so appreciated the fish as much as I: another vegetarian (i.e not at all!!!!)still she persevered and produced apparently delicious sandwiches. On Thursday evening Sophia’s dad dutifully came to collect 5 tables from St Laurence and put in his vehicle whilst we cleared up from the Guide meeting, all went well until it became clear the tables were about 2 inches too long meaning we had to rethink our plans. Everything then came out of Foxi’s car (quite a large job) accumulated in the car park before being placed on top of the tables and a new arrangement for Sophia’s dad and I to meet at Tigers Lair 3pm the following day – I don’t think Sophia’s dad realised the quantity of items required for such an event. On the Friday whilst producing boxes of cafetiers, teapots, saucers, cups etc.etc. the monotony was broken intermittently with “is that it now?” from Sophia’s dad, he took it in his stride until 2 boxes from the end he added to his usual question ” I don’t wish to alarm you but there isn’t much more room” we did just manage to squeeze the last two boxes in before setting off our separate ways & I realise it had taken us just 23 minutes . Normally I do the job alone & it takes over an hour. I was well pleased
Saturday started bright and early with the collection and deposits of bread – so early one poor family were still fast asleep (sorry for waking you I won’t mention who it was!) time flew by and before I knew it , it was 12.15 and time to leave in a very well loaded car smelling of freshly made chocolate brownies and lemon drizzle cake. A couple of Guides and their parents were already at the barn and others arrived at the same time as me, all clutching a t-towel, vase of flowers and a milk jug. The parents and girls did a super speedy unloading of the car (thank you to all helpers that joined in with this) Our first conundrum of the day was having been told there were 14 small tables and 3 large we set off in search of them, the 14 small ones were easy to spot but there were no large tables to see…anywhere, in the end we did some rapid rejigging and made do with what we had. The Guides were all fantastic, all 13 of them, they busily put tablecloths out, laid tables, and folded serviettes. Whilst this hive of activity was going on Granddad arrived with his ladder and set to work on putting up the bunting. Ali from Funky Chutney appeared and headed straight into the kitchen with her apron, chopping boards and other paraphernalia. Then when searching for something I entered the kitchen to find a newly formed lagoon with a feature waterfall coming from the dishwasher and Ali busy in her work was unaware of being cut off by the increasing water levels. A large beach towel quickly made the area safe again and removing the sink plug from the dishwasher filter hole meant the water quickly drained away and off I pottered still on the search for whatever it was I had been looking for. At 2.30pm everything started to happen: sandwiches appeared, Fiona and John Regan came to help with washing up as did Jo Tuck in charge of the urn./teas/coffees, Bob Cunnington the pianist and Emma, Janet and Sally the viol players. Whilst Squirrel was doing the final bits for the raffle Bob Smytherman the town crier came for his instructions, there was just time for a few minutes sit down to eat our snacks (or lunch in Squirrels and my case) and also go through the “do’s and don’ts” of waitressing, we did this in the beautiful sunny courtyard. Some of the girls were feeling quite nervous by this stage and Bob was great at geeing them all up. 3pm prompt (Grandad had only just disappeared with his ladder!) Bob rang his bell, the Guides were all in a line to greet their guests, Bob the pianist doing his bit, whilst Squirrel and I had the job of frantically scanning the seating plan and directing the relevant waitress to their guests as fast as we could. The atmosphere was lovely, lots of chatter and smiles, this was soon joined by the beautiful viols playing in the background, Teas and coffees were served, followed by the sandwiches at 4pm, these were very kindly sponsored by Russell Marlow painting & decorating and Goring Physio. At 4.30 out came the cakes served on tiered cake stands then 2 of our Guides Rachana and Scarlett chose to stand in front of all our guests to make their Guide promises, I was so proud of them both, it was even more special as neither of the girls had been a Rainbow or Brownie before. We also celebrated two of our guests 56th wedding anniversary and were serenaded to by Bob the pianist. However behind the scenes in the kitchen the scones were presenting a bit of a problem: 20 were missing so whilst frantic searches were being made the raffle was drawn, one guest was a bit bemused as she won a scented candle that she had donated! Once the scones were handed out our guests stayed for a bit of a chat before heading home, leaving us to rapidly clear up. All the girls: Asha, Chloe, Ella, Emmy-Lou, Grace, Hollie, Jena, Maisie, Rachana, Romany, Scarlett, Sophia and Tilly, did brilliantly, we are so proud of you…and as for the scones, they didn’t appear until long after the guests had left but are now safely in the freezer for another time. Thank you to every one who I haven’t had the opportunity to mention
PS Message to Romany’s mum – I promise to never give you a frozen whole fish ever again!
Message to Sophia’s dad thanks for all the heavy duty lifting :o)