Sunday, 14 September 2008
Tea for Eighty
Yesterday I attended a Victorian tea party, part of a fundraiser for a church in Bradford, a neighbouring town. After I crawled around the house looking for two matching black shoes and squeezed into the only dress that still semi fits, I picked up my neighbour Carol and her friend Rosemary.
They had an art sale, with paintings arranged along the pews. Lovely stuff! A big room at the back of the church was filled with ladies of all ages at tables that seated six. Tiered trays were placed at the centre of each table, adorned with little sandwiches and cakes and scones and tea and coffee. Alas, no sherry.
There was a contest for Best Hat, but all I had were cowboy hats and baseball caps. Some of the ladies really worked hard to make their lids attractive. A woman in the corner made hers by hand with satin, pearls and ostrich feathers in the back. It was lovely.
Another lady in her nineties decked out her mother's jewel green wide-brimmed straw hat with flowers from her garden. She even visited the field behind her house and snagged a few clovers to complete the look.
One lady had a red hat with a cardinal perched on the top. A fake one, not a real one.
After the awards were handed out for Best Hat, a woman arrived late - decked out in a wide brimmed hat, white elbow length gloves and a parasol. She was obviously wearing a corset because her décolletage almost grazed her chin.
Her friend at a neighbouring table asked if they could sit with us since there were two chairs free. Victorian Lady sat down and announced she was a writer. Everyone at the table pointed at me. "She's a writer, too."
Our new guest told us she writes for Red Sage under the name Chevon Gael. She's a lively, exuberant lady who's been writing for many years with several novels under her belt. We immediately exchanged cards and passed around to the rest of the table, too. I fully intend to pick her brain for tips on giving readings and signings in our area.
Her friend is a librarian. She graciously listened without interruption while Chevon and I babbled enthusiastically about the e-publishing world. It's refreshing to be able to talk about writing without the listener's eyes glazing over.
I had a great time. In two weeks Carol and I embark on another adventure, all the way to the foot of our street to attend a fund raiser for our local hospital.