Collecting Ideas …

… for the perfect sitting room tablescape. ๐Ÿ™‚

For Saturday next week I’ve invited a few people for tea. It’s been ages since I did some entertaining. Last year and the year before were so utterly horrible that most of the time I simply didn’t have the strength for any kind of entertaining. Heck, some days I didn’t even have the strength to go to other people’s parties. And before things became so very awful, I generally felt rather self-conscious about my flat when I invited people. I mean, I had two cats and thus there was the problem of cat hair, the smell of fresh cat food as well as the smell of fresh cat poop. (Dinner parties or movie nights inevitably clashed with the cats’ dinner and potty time.) (They still do, btw.) In addition, I felt that my flat needed to look perfect before I could let other people step through the door. As a result I got a reputation of being very tidy. (Ha! If only they knew!) As you can imagine, entertaining became something rather stressful, and I usually couldn’t even relax after my friends had arrived.

I’m not quite sure what had happened between living in Hofheim and moving to the new house to make me so uptight about entertaining. Back at the old house, I was usually much more relaxed when friends were coming over. (Or at least, I remember it that way.) But perhaps that’s no big surprise, given that the people I invited were usually very, very close friends, whom I had known for years.

Now fast forward to 2009. As you might remember, one of the reasons for buying lots of tea sets was to make me force to entertain more (after all, you can’t really justify buying china if you don’t plan to use it, can you?) (the other reason, of course, was that I fell in love with that tea set and then that tea seat – Wiesengrund & Bergeshรถh’n, sweet! -, and then – oh my gosh! – the Burleigh tea set). In addition, I (re-)discovered my love for home decorating magazines and blogs (the “re-” refers to the former) like Little Red House, The Nesting Place, Southern Hospitality and 4 Reluctant Entertainers. While reading these blogs I had a major epiphany. Or perhaps it was more of a slow dawning, a prolonged a-ha! moment: Entertaining is not about making your home look perfect, it’s not about making it squeaky clean, it’s not about impressing people with either your decorating or your culinary skills. It’s about, well, people. It’s about having a good time with friends.

Of course, I will vaccum my flat, clean the bathroom and remove cat hair from the couch next Saturday. But I will not worry about stray litter tray stones in the bathroom after I’ve vaccumed it. I will not worry about the state of my sitting room windows which I ought to have cleaned … uhm … months ago. I will not worry about Cara joining us on the couch during tea. (If people don’t like my cat, well, that’s their problem, not mine.) And I will not worry about whether the bit and pieces sitting on my library shelves make the room look like a child’s place. (More or less all of the decorations in there have been presents from family and friends, and they always make me smile when I walk into that room. So who cares about what other people might think?)

Instead I will enjoy making lovely coconut-and-cranberry cookies and itty-bitty tea cakes, creating a beautiful tablescape in red in my sitting room, and then I will enjoy using my beautiful Burleigh china for the first time and visiting with my new friends. (I will also enjoy the cookies and the tea cakes, of course.) And I will have a great time and I hope my friends will, too.

I’ve already started planning the tablescape, and when I went food-shopping earlier today, I had another (tablescape-related) epiphany: It’s almost Easter! There are Lindor easter eggs! Red Lindor easter eggs! Which would look rather fine on the white, 3-tier cake plate next to the itty-bitty tea cakes. And so the cake plate with the red eggs in turn would look extremely fine next to the Red Calico and Red Prunus Burleigh china. ๐Ÿ™‚


And now I need to get back to that horrible chapter I have to proofread. Argh! Hate proofreading!

6 thoughts on “Collecting Ideas …

  1. Laura Vivanco

    I think your friends will have a lovely time, and so will you if you’ve stopped worrying about trying to make everything perfect.

    “I will not worry about Cara joining us on the couch during tea. (If people don’t like my cat, well, that’s their problem, not mine.)”

    Some people are seriously allergic to cats, so it might be worth mentioning this to your visitors beforehand. I suppose you have mentioned your cats at work, but sometimes people forget things, so it might be prudent just to check.

  2. Sandra Schwab

    Geoffrey!!!! *waving* Are you back in Mainz? Will you be at uni next week? Must talk to you about CS1 – we’re going to change the exam this semester and make it sooo much easier to mark.

  3. Geoffrey Miller

    Change CS1 exam – as in get rid of?!! That sounds like change I can believe in! How about we meet just after Easter then? Say Tuesday or Wednesday?

    We also need to think seriously about the Bachelor assessment for CS1 – with individual presentations and a greater proportion of BA/BEd students this could become a major time-sucker, especially when the summer semester is shorter anyway. I think we need to change these to group presentations somehow.

  4. Sandra Schwab

    No, no, we won’t be able to get rid of the exam. But we can make it so much nicer for us! Well, and for them, too, I suppose. Oh, and btw, I’ll be teaching Sebastian’s class.

  5. Geoffrey Miller

    Oh well, just my wishful thinking ๐Ÿ™‚ Let’s make it all multi-choice then haha!

    It’s great that you’re teaching CS1 again. I know I can rely on your expertise.

    Let me know when you want to meet and I will come in to the dept.

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