Tuesday, 26 January 2016

When the Queen comes to tea









A mixture of photos from the weekend. D'you like the art deco building above? I've walked past it many times, but on Saturday I approached it from a different angle and got a really good look at it. The Silver Rooms on the ground floor is a fantastic cafe with a high ceiling and walls lined with books. I'm dying to go in and have a little photo shoot there, but I'm not really brave enough to ask. Plus, who would take the photos? The biggest boy isn't very good at taking pictures of me, and then I start getting agitated and gesticulating wildly and then he takes some really ridiculous ones. But every time I go past I think how amazing it would look in photos. I'll do it one day.

I've been teaching the children nice table manners in case the Queen ever comes to tea. I like to say, "You won't be able to do that when the Queen comes". We've covered napkin sharing, eating things that other people have left and putting unwanted sprouts on someone else's plate. The middle boy wondered what we would be having for tea should the Queen come. He suggested halibut. The littlest boy wanted pizza. I think I might aim for something tea-like. Sandwiches with the crusts cut off, fruit cake and some sort of fancy delicate gateaux. The other half said if the Queen was coming to tea she could bring something with her. I suggested we get her to stop at the chippy on the way in. Do you think she's ever eaten pizza or fish and chips? I like to picture her kicking back in front of Luther with a quattro formaggio, slipping the corgis a bit of crust when no-one's looking.

I ordered two big bags of flour the other day. Locally milled, organic flour, substantially cheaper than a leading brand at the supermarket. And even better value if you bought it in 16kg bags. I was quite surprised at the size of a 16kg bag though. It's big. Big enough to fill the cupboard. I wrestled one onto the top of the freezer and ended up looking more than a little dusty. And the saucepans are temporarily unreachable behind the one in the cupboard. I may have to rethink the bulk ordering slightly. I can see disaster striking when I open the door and the open bag tips out. Imagine what big cloudy mess 16kg of flour will make. I'll try and remember to take a photo.

I'm leaving you with a word or two from the littlest boy.

Me: Right, off to bed now please.

Littlest boy: No.

Me: Come on, I let you use the laptop earlier, the least you can do is go to bed when I ask you.

Littlest boy: I played the guitar for you anyway, that's enough.

And you're a fatbum.

He speaks truth.

32 comments:

  1. Will the sandwiches be cucumber with the green bits cut off?

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  2. I think it's fun to pretend the Queen was coming for tea. Good manners will stand your boys in good stead their whole life! We work on those things around the table at our house too. Maybe next time you only need one huge bag of flour at a time? ((hugs)), Teresa :-)

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  3. Great photos dear C.J., there are so many interesting places in the U.K. It's good to instill good manners in children from an early age though I don't like your littlest boys comment to you and I'm sure its not true. Imagine if the Queen did come to tea, there would be mayhem here trying to tidy up. Dainty sandwiches and petit fours I think would do. I enjoy brussel sprouts, though I know many people don't. I watched Luther last night.
    Happy baking!
    xoxoxo ♡

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  4. That does looks like a great building! I would love to see more photos!
    I remember trying to teach good manners to the children however certain things remains like eating with just forks when just us in the house. I grew up with serious fork and knife in hand and fork on left hand please. Here in the US it seems people are a bit more relaxed so husband never said anything. Great bag of organic flour!

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  5. Ok…how awesome is that to get organic flour for a reasonable price!! I pay an arm and a leg for a tiny bag here! That is so great lady! And those breathtaking views! My goodness! It is like those rolling hills go on forever! I have been working with the beans on table manners…that my friend is a work in progress! Wishing you many more views and laughs with those sweet boys! Happy Wednesday! Nicole xoxo

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  6. You do make me laugh, CJ! Love the conversation about the Queen and with your boy about bedtime; so funny. I always wondered if the Queen Mum really did like pickled winkles or if that was just her Spitting Image puppet? I imagine fish and chips or a nice pizza would make a lovely change from all the formal occasion stuff Her Madge is obliged to do. That is a LOT of flour - just in time for the Sports Relief Bake Off tonight! Have fun. xx

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  7. I just love your blog! Makes me feel light as air when I've read one! Have a nice day!

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  8. I bought one of those plastic dustbins that I store flour in, hope that helps. I love the idea of fish and chips for when the Queen visits, don't forget the bread and butter and mushy peas of course.

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  9. definitely sandwiches with the crusts cut off. just remind littlest boy not to call her Majesty fat bum or she might have him locked up in the tower........

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  10. Would I be able to come to tea too, I'm very cheap to feed & I would bring a cake! Little boys, you have to love them don't you. I'm looking after my nephew this week - it's proving to be a trying experience xx

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  11. Looks like a lot of bread making to come. I used to buy sacks of flour from a cooperative when I was a student (I was a bit alternative: cycling, bread-making, vegetarian, making my own clothes - funny how all those are mainstream now - they are aren't they?) and wheel them home in a wheelbarrow. I love how you record your funny boys. My mum once had coffee with the Queen and everyone was told as it was a morning occasion hats need not be worn. When the Queen arrived (to view a huge embroidery my mum had worked on) she was wearing a hat as she was off to Ascot. Anyway I did find a lovely photo of the Queen and my mum and they are both laughing their heads off so I should think tea at your place will go down a treat.

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  12. As always a lovely, make me smile, post and interesting pictures. Flighty xx

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  13. Kids always know what buttons to press. I can just hear my Mum replying ' and you will be a sore bum if you don't move ', but smacking is not acceptable anymore....

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    1. Oh no, you mustn't smack. You need to sit and talk through their feelings. They are allowed to smack you though...

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  14. Hey CJ,
    I think the Queen often has her chippy tea on a tray on her lap in front of the telly. And I bet she watches Luther; she gave him an OBE at Christmas after all. I think she's actually rather cool, and I'm no Royalist. I love bed time exchanges with my boys. Mine are often along similar lines. Olly wanted me to read his bed time story downstairs last night, and then while I was in the middle of reading it (and doing a very good impression of Raj the man who owns the corner shop), he buggered off! Just got up off the sofa and left! Wait until they turn teen, CJ. Bedtime shenanigans are on a whole other level.....As for fat bum; Olly is fascinated with my under arm flop. 'Wobble it again,' he cries gleefully. I wouldn't mind, but I always thought that my arms at least had been spared the ravages of time. It would appear not.
    Leanne xx

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    1. Oh I meant to say. I could pop over next time I'm in Bristol and be your official photographer, and then we could have a lovely cuppa too! xx

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  15. My children are now of an age when they sometimes think before they speak and manage to soften any personal comments. Unless they are in a rage, of course. Hey ho. Family life. We try to insist on good table manners by warning them that any potential date will be totally put off unless they're civilised. Doesn't work with my daughter, though, who is 11 and is delighted at the thought of disgusting a suitor! Kimsbury Hillfort looks fascinating. Be careful with your flour sacks :-) Sam x

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  16. We raised our five with good table manners. The funniest one at our house - the dining room was packed with people when one young man, in his late teens, said in a loud carrying voice "hey! there's no ketchup on the table!" Before I could stand up to go get some my five year old daughter said very quietly " and you won't get any if you don't say please." My husband gave me a look, I sat back down, and no one asked for ketchup.

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  17. We buy our flour in 50-pound bags, sugar in 25-pound. You'll think this is weird, but it works for us. Go to a supermarket that has a bakery and ask whether they'd be willing to give you the huge plastic buckets that their icing comes in. We were able to get several of these buckets, with tight-fitting lids, to decant our flour and sugar into for storage. Food storage is actually a really important part of our lives, and one I'd like to blog about sometime, but I'm afraid people will think we're even weirder than they already do. :)

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  18. Ha! Love the conversation with your littlest:) At least he did serenade you with his guitar. We have a store here where you can buy items in bulk for a lower price. Wade went there last night and came home with quite a few good deals, but you're right that it's difficult to figure out where to store everything. We better get to working our way through the stash:) Hope you're having a great day, CJ, and I'd love to see those photos of you in the cafe!

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  19. That's the only down-side to buying things in bulk -- where to put them. And I'm very impressed at your getting local, organic flour more cheaply. The price of flour went through the roof a couple of years ago due to some crisis of wheat-growing...the crisis has passed but the price of flour hasn't gone down. That sort of thing irks me to no end.

    That's a lovely old building...a photo shoot inside sounds just the thing.

    I shudder to think of how the Queen would react to dining at our house. When I was small, I used to scandalize myself by wondering if the Queen actually went to the toilet like the rest of us. I was a strange child.

    xo

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  20. Can I come too please? I like a nice afternoon tea :)

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  21. Good for you for buying organic local flour - what a find! We buy organic wheat berries in 50 pound bags and keep it in two large plastic buckets with screw top lids. I try to steer away from plastic, but these work great for keeping out bugs and mice.

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  22. I love the Queen for tea conversation. I like to think of her having a shut-in "hold all my calls" day with some pilling old wool throws maybe a onesie and grilled cheese and tomato soup. lots of tea and chocolates. The boys when allowed to speak their mind can honestly bruise one's ego too easily. That's why I try not to listen too carefully. For example this morning when my special little snowflake (sarcasm) was lollygagging to get out the door this morning despite his father's barking he replied, "I'm sorry I'm a little slow sometimes, I get that from Mom." ugh. brat ;)

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  23. When my Mum told my little brother, then aged 11 or so, the facts of life, he said "eurgh does the Queen do that ?" lol

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  24. Hope the flower was OK! Hope too that all goes well if the queen ever does come to tea! What a great idea! xx

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  25. I have questions. Will the queen bring the corgis? How long will it take you to use all that flour? And where is that stunning building?

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    1. PS I've met you, he is lying about your bum.

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  26. What is it with boys and their thoughts on their Mother's behind? My eldest, when he was small was walking behind me saying this, "Mom has a long butt, a really, really long butt" Over and over and over. Lucky I did not reach back and smack him.
    Hugs,
    Meredith

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  27. I daren't get into verbal wrangles with L these days, he's far too good at it. Laughing at the flour! If the queen ever came here she'd have to take us as she found us. It would doubtless be a relief after all that high formality stuff she endures. Dogs and mud on the floor is the norm here ;-) xx

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  28. Similar phrases in our house at the tea table - "you won't get invited to the palace with manners like that etc etc". feature regularly. I was wondering about buying flour in bulk and how to store it without a big white cloud type spillage. I have yet to find big enough flour storage bins online that don't look like they belong in Greggs. Let me know if you come across any. xx

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  29. I too buy that flour in huge bags & store it in the garage. Buy a brewing bin - fits a 16kg bag perfectly and being food safe & with an air tight lid, it keeps it perfect! Plus WAY cheaper than any of the bins designed for food storage :-)

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