Jaqui's Daily Blog

Short Shorts and Afternoon Tea

One of my more modest ambitions when I retired last June was to shed my corporate “uniform” and spend almost every waking hour, at least during the summer months, in shorts. This sunshine garb, I reasoned, would signal to the world at large that I was now on permanent holiday.


Sadly while I already had the shorts, bought in honour of holidays of yore, there wasn’t an awful lot of sunshine around last summer, if you remember. As a result there was very little wearing of shorts in Summer 2012.


Summer 2013 is turning out to be another matter altogether enabling me to don my shorts and tee-shirts and amble around in holiday mood, just as I had dreamt of doing last year.  Such a feeling of freedom!


OK, they are not particularly short shorts. I gave those up long ago in favour of the cropped trouser variety. I still look back, with a certain tinge of regret, at the photographs of me in the early 1970s, leggy in what were known (then as now, I am given to understand) as “hot pants”.  Nowadays my shorts are not so much hot as safely forgettable.


I wore my forgettable shorts to the quarterly meeting of our branch of the U3A (University of the Third Age).  Many others were similarly attired. Others wore floaty type dresses which looked cool as well as elegant. Maybe I should invest in a floaty type dress or two? Or just stick to my tried and tested shorts? Mr B was no help, not having noticed what I was wearing anyway.


Our guest speaker wasn’t wearing shorts but was sporting trousers and a natty blazer. He looked hot and uncomfortable.  I bet he was wishing he had worn his shorts. A floaty type dress, however, would have been a step too far. His talk was entitled “Afternoon Tea Around the World” which was a kind of combined history and geography lesson with a strong leaning towards Domestic Science.  Mr B observed that our speaker was, in his view, more than a little “full of himself.” I knew what he meant, but then he was donating his fee to charity which was enough to make me view him more kindly.


Maybe I could give talks to local groups and donate whatever they paid me to some worthwhile cause? I am sure I could fill a 45 minute slot talking about how I started up my Daily Blog, the Inconsequential Ramblings of a Jolly Girl with Nothing Better to Do than Delight in the Deliciousness of Every Day.  They might even pay me not to come back again...


Ah, Afternoon Tea! Did you know that the word “tip” originated from the days of the Nippies (or waitresses) in the famed Lyons Corner Houses? They used to set a bowler hat on the counter with the message: “To Improve Performance”? No, neither did I. There were lots of other pieces of information of this ilk imparted over the course of the talk but, sadly, they have flown from my mind.  In my defence, it was a really, really hot afternoon and hard to concentrate even on something as potentially refreshing as Afternoon Tea.


The Middle of the Darling Daughters took me out for Afternoon Tea in Wimbledon one fine afternoon.  I remember it well. As we were going to be eating again later, we decided to order one tea between us, albeit with an extra cup. The sharing of the sandwiches was not a problem as we like different fillings. The Middle of the Darling Daughters is a cheese filling kind of a person while I am more of the ham-and-cucumber type. Similarly we had no difficulty over the scones as there was one apiece and jam a-plenty. No, it was when we came to the totally scrumptious cakes, all different, all mouth-wateringly yummy that we could have hit the skids.


Except that this is my darling daughter and I we are talking about here so, with barely a moment’s consideration, we carefully cut each cake in half and shared each and every one. I’m not sure it’s what you are supposed to do, at a posh Afternoon Tea but it worked for us.


There’s no Afternoon Tea for me tomorrow, but I am meeting up with some of The Girls for Morning Coffee.  And, yes, if it’s still a warm and sunshiney day, I shall, indeed, wear my shorts...

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Latest comments

23.04 | 20:15

lovely and heartwarming - an inspiration to us all x

09.03 | 12:07

Love this story told as ever beautifully.x

10.11 | 21:31

What a super account of a special event. I loved meeting you last night and seeing your creation come together. I’m so pleased you got so much from the activity

07.09 | 13:17

I have broad shoulders x

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