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veer_gw

It's time to 'Put a girdle round about the earth' . . .

veer
17 years ago

. . . and invite you all to the Midsummer-Night's virtual party here in hot and sunny England.

No expense will be spared, nothing is too much trouble so send in your requests.

We can hold a big bash in our garden, which will, of course be weed-free and well-mown. Friends from across the Pond, or further afield can go on virtual journeys to visit old and new places of interest.

What would you like to see on the menu?

A never ending supply of 'afternoon tea'? Perhaps roast beef and Yorkshire pudding, sausage and mash, steak and kidney pie or fish and chips all washed down with plenty of warm beer? Or smoked Scottish salmon and strawberries and cream? The decision is yours.

Do you want a ticket to the tennis at Wimbledon, a box at the theatre in Stratford, a punt on the River Avon, watch a cricket match? Your word is my virtual command, and I promise no mention will be made of football.

Please don't leave me standing like a lemon in my best party frock dancing by myself.

RSVP


Comments (76)

  • martin_z
    17 years ago

    How about a ceilidh? A strangely Gaelic word for the entertainment - I feel there ought to be an English equivalent. But still - get a good band and a decent caller and we can dance all night. Traditional English country dances like the Nottingham Swing - wonderful fun. A friend of mine got married a few years ago, and dispensed with the evening disco - he got an excellent ceilidh band and everyone had a terrific time.

    And don't worry, you lot from the US - you know them as barn dances - it's exactly the same. The caller walks everyone through the dance first time, and then away we go...!!!

  • woodnymph2_gw
    17 years ago

    Anyanka, I love the idea of archery! (I used to teach this rustic sport.) I've brought to virtual life again my 2 beloved Samoyeds, quite large, the pure white Arctic breed which hails from northern Russia. The cooler climate in England will suit them well, and they are quite sociable. (I'll keep them well away from the tables where our food is spread).

    Marianne, I enjoyed hearing about your Swedish traditions. I traveled to Scandinavia some years ago and found it beautiful. Indeed I was in Norway on Midsummer's Night and everyone was out in the streets, walking around all night long, as it was like daytime.

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  • lemonhead101
    17 years ago

    Vee -
    I'd love to attend your gathering. It sounds splendiferous. I'd love some fresh scones with home-made strawberry jam and a dollup of double cream on top. Some fresh tea and my grandma's sponge cake to follow up...

    Some fresh strawberries and some champers, of course, and baked potatoes cooking in the bonfire for later on after we have danced our little toes off...

    And then getting up (or staying up) for sunrise at Stonehenge. How fabulous that will be!

    Thanks for the invitation.... Can I bring my other English ex-pats as well? They are here in Texas and would love to experience this as well.

    liz

  • veer
    Original Author
    17 years ago

    anyanka, our garden can be virtually anywhere you choose, but is actually in western Gloucestershire, between the River Severn and that strange and 'unknown' part of the county, the Forest of Dean.
    Did you get your greyhound from one of those 'rescue' societies? It always seems so cruel that owners/trainers are willing the destroy their dogs once they stop bringing in the winnings.
    Liz, bring your ex-pat English friends. While on our recent hols we met two sets of people who had connections with Texas and had enjoyed the hospitality of the 'locals' in Dallas and Houston.

    Martin country/square dancing sounds a good way to sweat off some of the extra lbs.
    Some years ago we attended a Harvest Festival in a Cotswold village and the entertainment was provided by some square dance 'callers'. Everyone was well-fuelled by my late father's home made cider (probably about 15% proof . . . the DH says to make anything stronger it would have had to be distilled).
    No-one knew any of the steps to the dances and we fell into several undignified heaps, to the disgust of the 'caller' who's instructions we ignored.
    My brother was once invited to a very grand Scottish 'do' held by one of their ancient and famous regiments, maybe the Black Watch. He had to hire white tie and tails and spent the evening being flung between partners as they got into the Highland ceilidh spirit.
    Many sore heads the next day.
    Something from which we will not suffer this week!

  • litlbit
    17 years ago

    A ceilidh sounds fabulous - I've danced for years, and can help lead the English Country dances, and Scottish, as well! (We'll have the bagpiper on the next hill over, I think!) I only ever learned a few Welsh dances, but in the virtual world they will come back to my feet as soon as I hear the music, right?! There are also some fun and very easy French/Celtic dances done to a hurdy-gurdy....

    During our last visit to England, we stopped by a small village near Leeds during the Saturday morning street market, and there was a traveling competition of Morris Dancers - it was really very fun to watch.

    I'd love to bring past and present mutts - we might provide some sheep in the next pasture to see if the border collie-crosses have any instinct for herding; Duncan the terrier-mix would be happy as long as there are folks to throw a ball for him; but the present little spaniel mix will probably need to stay on lead - she would otherwise just launch herself into all the food tables and eat everything - including the peaches and strawberries!

    Oh, I'm sooo looking forward to this! (and in the real world, looking forward to joining some girlfriends to go to a mountain cabin this weekend for wineries and hiking and relaxing sans DH's and kids...)

    take care, litlbit

  • Kath
    17 years ago

    Looks like I've got to this post just in time to come to the party!

    I love trifle (especially my mother's which tends to be heavy on the sherry), cream teas and shepherd's pie, and can I ask for some Devon fudge too? Absolutely delicious and too good to pass over while it's calorie-free.

    For drinking, when away from my favourite Aussie Shiraz, I'll have to ask for some single malt Scotch. Beer is a beverage I can't abide at any temperature!

    And the ceilidh idea sounds fine, perhaps we can invite my favourite British band, Capercaillie, to do some of their mouth music. And Vee, I can play the lagerphone!

    Here is a link that might be useful: If you don't know what a lagerphone is.....

  • annpan
    17 years ago

    Just back from sunny Darwin up North and am now freezing in Perth, Western Australia so have only just caught up with the party planned for Mid-Summer.
    I'd love to see the Heavy Metal Morris Dancers. They were on TV once and I laughed 'til I cried, watching them.
    I will eat anything but with good home-brewed ginger pop, please. Very Enid Blyton, no?
    Martin, would the English for ceilidh be "knees-up" do you think?

  • veer
    Original Author
    17 years ago

    annpan and kath good to have some representitives from Down-Under.
    Ginger beer: it must be years since I tasted that. The commercial stuff always tasted soapy but I am told the real home-made variety with plenty of fresh lemon always hits the spot. Stand back the 'Famous Five'.
    Kath is the lagerphone a second cousin of the didgeridoo? And do bring a couple of virtual crates of Aussie vino; very popular over here.
    litlbit . . . bagpipes?!?
    I wonder if the Scots pipe-in the sunrise? I believe a piper does a wake-up call at Balmoral every morning; lucky old Them.
    The pipes sound wonderful from the far-side of a misty loch.
    I am always amazed by the number of 'Scots' pipe bans found throughout the world.
    It seems to me that we in the UK don't admire the art of Morris Dancing as much as our overseas visitors. ;-(

  • ccrdmrbks
    17 years ago

    Midsomer here looks to be hot, humid, stormy and "inside in the AC" so a sunny day with soft breezes through the leaves, perfect for lawn dresses and big straw hats, followed by a night that welcomes a bonfire, sounds just perfect to me.

    We had a bagpiper at our wedding, as we both have Scots in our family tree-I loved it.

    re: morris dancers-familiarity breeds contempt? I did enough "square-dancing" in phys. ed. classes growing up to last me the rest of my life-and dress up like a cowgirl? pleezzee...but I know there are "Wild West" clubs in England and Europe that have a whoopee-ti-ie-ya time!

  • woodnymph2_gw
    17 years ago

    As it is hot and humid here in Tidewater, Virginia, my arctic dogs and I are looking forward to the cooler temps, with no a.c. running!

    I forgot to say that I adore Trifle, too.

    Cece, there is a huge difference between the quaint Morris Dancers and our US square dancing. I'll let one of the Brits explain the intricacies.....

  • litlbit
    17 years ago

    Well, instead of the Scottish bagpipe (altho, distantly, in the misty morn, it's not so bad!), we could have the slightly more dulcit tones of the Northumbrian or Uilleann pipes....

    I mostly meant it for a little bit of evocative, mood setting music...I much prefer to listen to the fiddle and bodhran, with maybe harp, piano and cello as accompanists...

    I'm enjoying this so much!

    litlbit

  • ccrdmrbks
    17 years ago

    I know there's a huge difference-the stories and traditions behind the costumes and steps of the Morris dancing are much older and involved than the steps and stories behind the square dancing- I was answering Vee's comment about overseas visitors liking the Morris Dancers more than the Brits, the native home of Morris dancing. Familiarity breeds contempt. I would find Morris Dancing interesting because it's new-but our square dancing-even with the history-a shrug and a smirk. But there are Wild West clubs all over the world-that adore our early Western history, music, dancing and stories.

  • rosefolly
    17 years ago

    Lovely suggestions, Veer. Yes, put me down for both Hobbit Town and Stonehenge.

    (In fact, I'm going to really, not just virtually, be in England for a couple of days in October. My mind is plotting a way to swing a trip to one or the other. I'll be with my DH, and he has already consented to a garden trip that was not his idea. I don't know how far it is fair to push things.)

    Rosefolly

  • veer
    Original Author
    17 years ago

    The site below gives a good picture of 'Morris Men'; I was amazed at how many groups there are throughout the UK. This lot are from the village of Pebworth in the Vale of Evesham "Piping Pebworth" as the Bard called it.
    Cece you are right about the faint smirk that appears on the face of most Brits at the thought of Morris dancing. Big hairy men (most of them have beards) dressed in fancy clothes and jingling with bells dancing together, followed by an evening in the pub quaffing 'real ale'; probably as much as a pint.
    litlbit, it's interesting what you say about the Northumbrian pipes or what ever one associates with a 'mood set' because what you are describing is not really English. These 'customs' such as Morris dancing etc were mostly reinvented in late Victorian times along with folk songs (with words much purified) and quite a few Christmas 'traditions'.
    Wales, Ireland and Scotland have always had a long history of heroic tales, national dress etc but not England. Maybe it is because the English are such a 'mongrel' people
    a hotch-potch of all those waves of invaders from 'Europe' over the centuries. I'm probably not putting this very clearly.

    Back to Virtual Land. Is anyone familiar with the dessert syllabub? I found a recipe for it. Lots of sugar added to spice-soaked wine, gently cooked then cooled and whipped cream added. Sounds a bit rich but . . .

    Paula, a two day trip to the UK doesn't sound as though you are going to have much time for anything, except jet-lag. Where abouts is the garden you are hoping to aim for? There should be a bit of colour about in October, but nothing to compare with what you have in the US. If you have little time Stonehenge is probably not the place to head for. I can never understand why those Ancient Britons decided to build it right by such a busy main road.
    Janalyn was planning a trip over here at that time, I think to visit Cornwall, but she hasn't been around RP for a while.
    I had also hoped to meet up with Jankin on her hols. while we were in Wales but the dates clashed with her house-move; I don't even know if they made it over there.

    Has everyone packed their floaty frocks, sheep dogs, greyhounds, dragons, umbrellas (oh, it's me that will need one in real time rain forecast and now very windy). The beds are aired, the booze is cooling, the beer is resting in our dusty cellar, the salmon are caught, the DH's bread is baking, the hens are laying. Any volunteers for pea-podding and new-spud washing in the morning?
    What have I forgotten?

    Here is a link that might be useful: Morris Men

  • anyanka
    17 years ago

    A friend of mine used to be very much into the Smiths, and spend happy hours swaying along to their music in his bedroom. I call that 'Morrissey Dancing'.

    Vee, our darling greyhound is an ex-racer who needed rehoming, but we got her via the racing kennel. My older daughter works there on Sunday mornings; they treat their hounds very well and help find good homes for them. A lot of owners want nothing to do with their dog once it has finished making money for them, though.

    {{gwi:2117370}}We still have our little lurcher, too, but she attacks Morris dancers... the bells and the sticks are just too much for her; she tries to rip the coloured ribbons off their clothes!

    Anyway, see you all tomorrow night!

  • rosefolly
    17 years ago

    Veer, we will actually be on our way to Italy for a cooking school vacation, but the reservations worked out better if we flew into London. My son lives at our house and will watch the dog, so we have promised him wonderful meals when we get back. We decided to take a couple of days off and spend some time in England since we were there anyway, and we both like visiting there. A friend of mine who works at one of the National Trust gardens is going to take us to a garden of his choice -- I presume he could pick better than I what would be best to see at that time of year.

    I'll take your advice and skip Stonehenge. We won't be driving so it would be difficult to get to anyway. I wonder if Janalyn will be there at exactly the same time? Wouldn't that be fun?

  • books4joy
    17 years ago

    Anyanka, thanks for sharing that great photograph. She's lovely.

    I'm raising my hand to help with the pea-podding. I'll also bring along some fresh blueberries from the garden. They ripened just in time for the festivities.

    See you all then!

  • woodnymph2_gw
    17 years ago

    Happy Midsummer's Day, everyone! On our local radio station this a.m. at exactly 8:26, was played a song from the 13th century: "Summer is a-comin' in, loud sing cookoo...." The announcer said some of the verses were not fit for the radio :-)

    I am so glad that Cromwell and his Puritan lot got kicked out, or we would not be allowed to celebrate. According to the history I've read, all such festivities, Morris dances, Maypole celebrations, etc. were banned, as they were thought to pertain to the "pagan" past....

    Vee, we do have "syllabub" as colonial fare on some of the menus in Colonial Williamsburg.

  • anyanka
    17 years ago

    Hi there, just popping in before the party starts to set up the archery gear - safely at the bottom of your garden, facing away from the festivities! You will be pleased to hear that you are in the hands of a champion - during my three years with the Reigate Priory Bowmen I reigned supreme as Female Recurve Champion. (Do I have to mention that I was the only female recurve archer all that time? - Nah...)

    I'll be putting up a couple of straw targets, the stuffed crow on top of the high pole and the castle for Knock down a Norman.

    {{gwi:2117371}}While I do that, my two dogs will keep the rabbits from your rosebushes, Vee ;-)

    First price in the archery competition will be a week in Nottingham with Robin and his Merry Men (you will need to arrange your own time travel, but in this virtual universe that shouldn't pose too much of a problem).

  • veer
    Original Author
    17 years ago

    Your mini castle looks most impressive anyanka. What does recurve mean?
    Did you read in the paper that a woman from Somerset was being 'investigated' by the police when the pub she runs used the dragon on a Welsh flag for target practise on St George's Day? They claimed she was a racist.
    I'm sure you could use your shooting abilities on the rabbits, the dogs would retrieve them and we could cook rabbit stew on the bonfire; very medieval.
    At the moment we have a local thug-cat Dexter the Sinister Bunny Muncher, who eats his way through a least one little bundle of fur per day, leaving me the entrails to dispose of. I am not a 'cat person' but am willing to put up with him as we can easily count 30 rabbits in the field next to our garden . . . and these are just the 'boys', the 'girls' are down their burrows being broody and knitting millions of pairs of bootees.

    Mary, you are right, the Puritans have a lot to answer for, not only for the cloud of gloom that they caused to descend on this country but for all the miserable b*****'s that went to the New World and kept the tradition alive for so much longer.

    books 4joy, blueberries are not a fruit that grows easily over here, we understand they are the 'latest thing' in good-for-you-vitamin-packed-eating. I should love to taste some.

  • rosefolly
    17 years ago

    Blueberries are my favorite fruit. I have them on my cereal many mornings. They like an acid soil. In fact I'm having some for my late breakfast right now.

    Since this is the virtual world, and it is not quite 10 a.m. here on the west coast, we can stretch the celebration out for a very long time. Very appropriate for a Midsummer, don't you think?

    Paula

  • dido1
    17 years ago

    Anyanka,

    Have you really got a greyhound? What sort of noise does it make? I really need to know this for a recent project I've got on. I'm getting quite desperate! (and do you know what 'a small Italian greyhound' is? Is it a whippet? circa 1850, is the reference. Madame Bovary is the book.

    Thanks.

    Dido.

  • carolyn_ky
    17 years ago

    I have blueberries with cottage cheese almost every morning for breakfast. It looks kind of bad but tastes wonderful.

    I'd like to help with podding the peas, too. It's a job I used to help my mother with, and we got in a lot of talking time. My husband is a retired forklift driver and says in Heaven his job will be to drive a gold forklift and stack halos. I told him he can drop by my mother's mansion where we will be on the porch shelling peas.

  • anyanka
    17 years ago

    Dido, that is my greyhound Piper in the picture above (with my daughter). She makes very little noise at all; we've had her since Easter and I have heard her growl once and bark once, a fairly pathetic little bark compared to our lurcher Bonnie's rich voice! However, many of the other greyhounds Kyra works with bark lots and howl, too.

    Italian greyhounds are very dainty, even smaller than whippets. They look just like a miniature grey, but were bred purely as lapdogs/ornamentals. Beautiful creatures, but awfully fragile looking!

    Here is a link that might be useful: Italian greyhounds

  • anyanka
    17 years ago

    Vee, whereas the longbow has the one curve only (when strung; unstrung it is fairly straight) the recurve bow curves away at the ends. It's the traditional bow shape, such as Eros carries.

    These days many archers use compound bows which have all sorts of little wheels, pulleys, bells and whistles on them; they are extremely accurate. Rather unsporting to my mind - might as well use a rifle!

    There's a picture on this website and good explanations.

    Here is a link that might be useful: Archery intro

  • ccrdmrbks
    17 years ago

    I live in an agricultural area-where in the summer you will see signs at the end of farm lanes that advertise: "Pea Shelling" or "Bean Stringing".

  • litlbit
    17 years ago

    Ahhhh midsummer's evening - here in N. Calif. it was nearly 100degrees F.during the day, so I am longing for the twilight breezes...but in the virtual world, it will be just cool enough for a bonfire to feel good.

    Sure wish I'd been really there today, instead of at work. We blamed all the patients' odd conditions and people's attitudes on the solstice. (of course, we also do that on full moons, new moons, and anything else we can come up with.)

    Blueberries are indeed wonderful and heavenly. In upstate New York where I went to college summers were for picking and eating strawberries til we burst, then waiting impatiently for blueberry season so we could do the same, and then argue over whether the high-bush or low-bush blueberries were sweeter. And in the meantime, also gorge ourselves on sweet corn.

    I'd love to take a turn on the archery course, but I think I'll take the target rather than the rabbits. (I'm just not that good a shot - we might end up with lots of notched ears and cottontail fluffs!)

    Is the band playing?? Can I start dancing??

    litlbit

  • rosefolly
    17 years ago

    I'm dancing in my mind, whirling around that bonfire under the starry night. I can hear the music, can't you, too? What a wonderful party this has been.

    I spent the day pruning my redwoods in the real world, and hot, dusty work it was too. But in the virtual world it was quite different indeed.

  • veer
    Original Author
    17 years ago

    You all dance away. The temp. last night at about 10 o'clock had gone down to 53°F (yes really) chilly even by UK standards, and still enough light by which to read the thermometer, so a bonfire, baked spuds etc was just the thing.
    As Paula says this party, plus the various side-visits may take some little time to finish.
    Litlbit, the music should be coming through loud and clear or soft and dulcet depending on your taste. And talking of taste I confess to prefering raspberries to strawberries.

    anyanka the archery info is really interesting, thanks.

    On the visit front for anyone keen on things ancient (and I used to be the 'looking at churches' bore) a virtual trip to Deerhurst near Tewkesbury might interest some of you.
    A small village with two Saxon churches and a 'long' history.

    Here is a link that might be useful: Deerhurst

  • dido1
    17 years ago

    Anyanka,

    Thank you so much for the info on greyhounds - though your picture, unfortunately, didn't appear - not on my computer, anyway. But I got through to the website and took in the Italians.

    Vee,

    Wonderful thrash! You were very generous. But I always feel sad on 22nd June, to know that the year is on the turn, though it doesn't look it.........

    Dido

  • anyanka
    17 years ago

    Dido, strange that you couldn't see the picture. If you're interested, try the link below - it's a messy page because I only use it to 'dump' photos for posting on forums, but has several shots of my darling dogs.

    Vee, thank you for a lovely evening. A bit quiet in the end, wasn't it... must be that world cup again!

    Both in the real and the virtual world, the midsummer night sky was clear and starry. I usually feel sad on 22 June, same as Dido, but this year we've had such hot weather already that it's not so bad. Usually the summer arrives so late here that by the time it is warm enough to sit out of an evening, the nights are drawing in again!

    (In the real world, however, I spent the two hours before midnight watching the final double-bill of 'Desperate Housewives' with my daughters. Girlie tv time...)

    Here is a link that might be useful: Bonnie and Piper

  • woodnymph2_gw
    17 years ago

    Vee, thanks for hosting such a lovely party. I am very tired this morning, having danced myself silly and leapt over more than one bonfire. Vee, glad to have a chance to finally see your "wallflowers."

    Anyanka, I see my virtual Samoyeds got along well with your greyhound, thank heavens...

    Hope everyone enjoyed the strawberries and fresh peaches from the South. Would have been nice to have had some clotted cream to serve with them -- a splendid breakfast.

  • annpan
    17 years ago

    Apparently I have missed the party and it is all the fault of the Concise Oxford Dictionary published in 1996! It gives Midsummer Day as the 24th!! To my shame, I had to look the date up and it was WRONG!!!
    I expected to come over today, Friday 23rd. If I put my girdle on backwards, would I still be in time, do you think? It sounded like such a lovely party too and I adore Bonfire baked spuds with sour cream....

  • books4joy
    17 years ago

    Chiming in to say I had a lovely time also. The food was so well prepared and flavored; my pants are a little snug this morning.

    I really wanted to head over the way and try archery but I got mesmerized with the music and swayed with the evening breezes.

    Thank you for hosting so kindly Vee.

  • veer
    Original Author
    17 years ago

    Mary, how did you miss out on the clotted cream? Maybe it was because you were so busy jumping over the bonfire. I bet you were glad of your asbestos underwear.
    In 'real' time we English (and even more so the Scots and Welsh) don't go in for fruit at breakfast time. A hotel, restaurant, café will serve what we call a 'fry-up' bacon, sausage, eggs, fried bread and anything else that can be added to hot fat. Followed by toast and marmalade or honey.
    In this household we freeze much of the summer fruit (not strawberries) and stew-up apples, plums and pears in the Autumn for either breakfasts or 'dessert' . . .which we call 'pudding', but we may be unusual in this.

    annpan, it's never too late to party!
    Re the 24th June thing. The DH tried to explain the differences of these dates over the breakfast table moving plates, mugs etc around and then went to the computer which was even less helpful and confusing.
    So, as far as he can explain it:

    The solstice is when the sun reaches its highest point in the sky, which was at 12.26pm this year.
    By tradition this is now celebrated as Midsummer's Day 21 June.

    The aphelion is the point at which the earth is furthest from the sun, it varies between the 3-4 July.

    24th July is the Summer Quarter Day and the Feast of St John the Baptist, the nearest Christian festival to the summer solstice. The Church liked to 'take-over' what they saw as 'pagan' festivities.

    annpan, it's never too late to party. There are still plenty of left-overs, I notice a few bodies under bushes and the beer is still cool.
    The dragon, what a disgusting beast, is tied up well away from the chickens. Dido has been feeding him rabbits as there is also a shortage of virgins in this part of the world.
    Sheri, looking very fresh after her swim in the Roman baths, is working her way through an enormous pile of yellowing books, Carolyn is shelling peas for lunch while eating a choccy bar, Kath is polishing her lagerphone, Paula is digging up my ground elder and tut-tutting over the blackspot on the roses and several others are removing arrows from distant trees. In a far field I spy an angry farmer trying to round up a flock of sheep, hindered by several large dogs.

    If you go to the site below, DO NOT click onto the Click Here button at the bottom of the 1st paragraph unless you want to feast your eyes on naked flesh and other unsavoury sights, esp. first thing in the morning. The rest of the info seems OK. ;-)

    Here is a link that might be useful: Midsummer

  • Chris_in_the_Valley
    17 years ago

    AnnPan, Come join me in a croquet game. For some reason I always think of the 24th as Midsummer, too. Strange, because my puritan heritage certainly wouldn't have held to any feast day. Anyhow, I choose to celebrate all week.

    Mary, I'll take some of those strawberries. Here's the clotted cream, if you want it.

  • annpan
    17 years ago

    Thanks, Vee, for putting things straight. Due to the time differences and the back-to-front girdle, as you see, I have made the party.
    Chris, you will have to teach me how to play croquet. Do we need flamingoes or was that just in "Alice in Wonderland"? I watched the live actor version on TV at the Darwin hotel on my recent trip there. Also (in the commercial breaks) a very hardy bunch of young American tourists who had just arrived and were swimming in what I had regarded as a very cold swimming pool. Ah, youth, youth!

  • lemonhead101
    17 years ago

    Vee - thanks for a lovely party. You are definitely the hostess with the mostess. :-)

    The baked potatoes were fabulous fresh from the bonfire and then the scones with the clotted cream and jam - very delicious. Plus the strawberries fresh from the fields - how lovely!

    The music was wonderful and even the dogs all got on well. My Australian Shepherd and his best friend Muttley (the mutt) really enjoyed themselves. Please apologize to the farmer next door for the sheep chasing incident. The dogs rather got carried away. (Not many sheep around where we are and they thought they were big rabbits.)

    If I can just make it through my workday (although it will not be easy after playing all night), I can take a nap tonight.

    Thanks again everyone. I had a wonderful time.

    liz

  • litlbit
    17 years ago

    Uhhhh, good morning, she says, crawling out from the haystack, trying to brush off her skirt....between the dancing and the hypnotic bonfire, and the melodic music, and then all the food and wine - I think I was one of the "bodies under the bushes"....what a wonderful party and celebration of friends and the sun...

    Veer - Is there a "real" legend that on St. John's Feast (June 24th) King Arthur and his knights are supposed to ride forth at midnight? or is that just from a novel?

    Cheers, all - I will go help retrieve some of the arrows that I sent soaring to the next county... And did my little cocker get into the peaches after all???

    litlbit

  • martin_z
    17 years ago

    Oooohhhhhh.....

    Vee, it was a mistake putting me in charge of the bar....

    I'm feeling distinctly queasy and my head is thumping.....

    Hair of the dog, anyone?

  • carolyn_ky
    17 years ago

    Vee, you have nailed me to perfection, although I do find it easier to eat chocolate bars while reading rather than shelling peas!

    Thanks for the lovely party, and please don't tell the others how many strawberries and peaches I helped myself to. With cream. And sugar. I've always liked the nursery rhyme "Curly Locks."

  • rosefolly
    17 years ago

    Best party I've been to in a long time, great company, great food, wonderful gardens. And I most definitely would not point out black spot to you, Vee! Though it is true I might pull a weed or two when no one is looking. I have been known to be guilty of public weeding. It is a grevious fault, and I am working on mending my ways.

    Paula

  • Chris_in_the_Valley
    17 years ago

    AnnPan, In this virtual world we use flamingoes! The challenge has been keeping the dogs away from the hedgehogs. I'm afraid I was the one who sicced them on the sheep to keep them away from the croquet court. My bad.

    Martin, here, pour me a slug of that Shiraz over the strawberries in this bowl, pretty please.

    Vee, it has been lovely. Thank you for having me.

  • anyanka
    17 years ago

    The archery competition is now officially closed, and the winner is... you! Yes, you who are reading this. The week in Sherwood Forest is yours as soon as you are ready. Just close your eyes, click your heels together three times and (you know the rest).

    But not you; you there - you know who you are. The head gardener will not be able to sit down for a fortnight and we are not amused.

  • woodnymph2_gw
    17 years ago

    Dido, thanks for keeping your dragon in check and teaching it basic manners. Thankfully it did not devour my virtual dogs or virtual self. The magic charm I learnt off a Druid seems to have also worked. See you at the next gathering?

    Vee, I hope those bonfires are fully out; I don't picture your DH as a firefighter. Who was it playing the harp in the background?

    Hope Martin made it home ok. If you weren't there, you missed a great bash!

    Ave atque vale....

  • twobigdogs
    17 years ago

    Oh I MISSED it, I MISSED it! Oh vee, I've heard it was perfect. My head is spinning during summer vacation time from school. Please forgive me. My party dress, still on its hanger, hangs alone near the dressing room.

    PAM

  • veer
    Original Author
    17 years ago

    PAM, it sounds as though it is time to give your Diary Secretary the elbow. Wait until you reach my age and have to write everything down and will beable to remember what you received for Christmas 1955 better than what you just had for lunch!
    Sheri I hope the cargo plane has at last trundled over the Atlantic with your mountain of secondhand books. It must be so handy having that air-strip behind your backyard.
    Mary, I think you heard the Welsh harp being played. We only live about ten miles from the border and, as you know, the Celts like to spend their spare time, especially when fuelled by 27 pints of Brains beer, making music and singing.
    I was just re-reading Puck's farewell speech from Midsummer Night's Dream and realise how well Shakespeare was able to foretell our virtual world

    "If we shadows have offended
    Think but this, and all is mended,
    That you have but slumber'd here
    While these visions did appear.
    And this weak and idle theme
    No more yielding but a dream."

  • sheriz6
    17 years ago

    Vee, my apologies! I spent so much time in Hay-on-Wye and loading that plane (thank goodness I brought the cargo plane, the smaller one would not have borne the weight of books!) I think I might have dozed off a bit during the party. That bonfire was mesmerizing, and the cushioned garden chairs were very comfy! It must have been the Welsh harp that lulled me off to sleep, or perhaps it was that last pint of Martin's beer ... but the sunrise was beautiful over Stonehenge, and your hospitality was greatly appreciated!

  • ccrdmrbks
    17 years ago

    Well, PAM...there's always the 4th-they set off the fireworks in the park one house away from me-there's great seats on the deck...come on over! The only caveat...everyone is on spark watch.

  • annpan
    17 years ago

    Vee, I agree with you about the Shakespearean view of the Internet world and would add the last few lines to cap off the lovely party you threw,
    "So, good night unto you all
    Give me your hands, if we be friends..."
    See you next year and I will get the date right!