Tag Archives: Sandy’s Tea Parties

Still alive and kicking

I have to apologize for my prolonged absence this past autumn and winter. When I came home from my splendid Toronto adventure and the even more splendid conference of the Research Society for Victorian Periodicals at Yale U, I fell into a big, fat, black hole, and it’s taken me all these months to crawl out of it. For the most part, I felt like this unfortunate kitty …


… with bouts of self-pity of the locked-into-the-bathroom-and-bawling-one’s-eyes-out variety thrown in for good measure. Assembling the aformentioned unfortunate kitty didn’t help, even if the result was rather pleasing, if I may say so myself …


Not even hosting two tea-parties helped (despite the huge amounts of yummy left-overs) (people went home with doggie bags and I was told I had baked too much cake) (this is not true, btw; it’s just that my friends didn’t eat enough cake!).

And no, buying two more Nordic Ware bundt cake tins didn’t help either. What’s worse, the fir trees surrounding the Fairytale Cottage cake broke off when I attempted to free the cake of the tin. Thus the fir trees became strangely shaped bushes, but thanks to copious amounts of chocolate icing you (almost) couldn’t tell they were supposed to be trees. Ah well …

In the end, it was the writing that did the trick: one day I sat down with my AlphaSmart and took up the threads of a story I started back in … uhm … 2009, I guess. It’s a rather over-the-top story, BUT (and this is really the most important bit) loads of fun to write, and thus I threw myself into it with gusto. Naturally, I once again committed a naming faux pas, yet thanks to my ever watchful, native-speaker friends, they were caught in time (unlike poor Heavens to Murgatroyd! Troy). So my poor, homely, potato-nosed, cousin-to-hero secondary character is NOT nicknamed Flopsy after all (due to the Beatrix Potter connection) (having been reared without Beatrix Potter, I had no idea of the existence of a fluffy rabbit called Flopsy – see that’s one of the dangers of writing in a language not your own: you never perceive the pitfalls until you’ve stumbled straight into them!)
Anyways, I’m having a great time with my still titleless WIP – so far the heroine has managed to shock a carriage-load of strangers, the hero and the hero’s sister (who fainted, poor girl) and I’ve high hopes that she’ll manage to scandalise the hero’s mother in no time at all. The hero surprised ME by suddenly talking dirty about things not to be mentioned in the company of ladies.
Now I only need to find a title for the WIP – must be a title suitable for the first book in a trilogy. “Irresponsible Pleasures”???? Hmmm ….
Must also find suitably silly new nickname for the unfortunate Flopsy. I first thought of Grannie, but alas, my hero’s called Griff, so we wouldn’t want another male Gr-name in the novel. (This just shows you with what kind of difficulties we writers have to deal with. Names! Silly names! Titles! Characters behaving shockingly!)

Light-bulb Moments

Beyond the fishpond in our backyard there stands a garden shed. A rather large garden shed with a porch with a table, bench and two chairs. Perfect for summer tea parties! (Well, of course I had to mention tea parties. That’s all my mind can focus on these days: dragonz and imaginary tea parties.) But the overall look is somewhat rustic, which means I’ll need to doll it up with fabrics to make it “girlier.” More fluff and flowers, that’s what this porch needs!

As the June issue of Homes & Antiques contains instructions on how to make a lovely summer quilt, I thought I might want to make a quilt for the bench. Not that I’ve got time to make a quilt right now, mind you. But then I don’t have time for tea parties either, so there. We’re talking about future possibilities here! Still, I don’t have a sewing machine, which would turn quilting into a really time-consuming affair even if I would use large squares.

Then I leaved through the current Ikea catalogue and spotted the pretty, pretty, oh-so-pretty Alvine bedlinen. Hmmm, I thought. How about I stuff the batting into a duvet cover, tie it in place and sew the whole thing shut?

Sounds good, eh?

But THEN I had an even better idea for I stumbled across the very, very, very cheap, very, very thin duvet in the Ikea catalogue. Very, very, very cheap duvet + lovely (and cheap) bedlinen = fantabulous cover for bench on the porch of the garden shed. Pair it off with cheap white tablecloth and pretty china, and you’ve set the stage for a summer tea party.

Have I already mentioned that I can’t wait to finally finish the dratted diss????

Let the Tea Parties Begin

Okay, not really. Not yet. Still working on the dratted diss. But I’m already preparing for the tea parties to come (and we’re not just talking about my slight dishaholic tendencies here!). First I’m going to metamorphose into a domestic goddess:


Then I’m going to bake delicious muffins in adorable what-cha-call-’ems:


And after that I’m going to organise a big office/hallway tea party. And after that I’ll give regular tea parties at home. Week after week after week after week until everybody I know is sick of my baking and runs away when s/he catches sight of me.
And after that I’m going to make jams. *g*
So please, dragonz, drop dead, will you?