Making People Happy With Cake

Posted by Gill on

We are in wasp season.
We haven’t had a bad wasp problem for three years but over the past two weeks three years’ worth have come visiting lured by the jam from the cream teas.
We have citronella candles and incense sticks, we have a wasp bane hanging at one end of the building and we have a selection of swatters which we’re loaning out to anyone who really, really, really wants to sit outdoors.
Early this week a lady came to counter to ask, not for a swatter but for a copy of the sign we have about wasps. She wanted to send it to friends in Australia as an example of something “which is just so British”. She took a photo of it on her smartphone. I wonder what her friends will make of this:


Posted by Gill on

It was outrageously hot yesterday.
Everyone walked a little slower, sat down for a little longer, perspired a little more.
My brain stopped working properly.
The temperature reached 36 in the kitchen according to the meat thermometer.
We are so fortunate to have a large area with tree cover which is much, much cooler and yesterday almost every table was there.
Today it’s significantly cooler though by any British summer measurement it’s still a hot one.
I have ordered a device for the kitchen - an air cooler - which uses ice water to circulate cold air.
Sweaty fingers are crossed.

Posted by Gill on

7.30am and it’s really, really hot already.
Forecasters are suggesting this could turn out to be the hottest day on record in this country.
Jacket potatoes definitely OFF the menu today but we do have to cook a ham which will add to the intense heat in the kitchen.
Ten flavours of Bennetts ice cream are in stock but have I ordered enough?

Posted by Gill on

The agapanthus are in bloom and are, as usual, a sight to behold. We have about sixteen either fully out or about to burst. They all came from a single, original plant which belonged to Janet’s brother. Janet and Peter look after our large garden very well and are slowly teaching me the names of a few plants.On Monday Peter asked me what I thought the plural of agapanthus might be? We had a discussion about various Latin endings. I threw in things like “dative” and “nominative plural” which made me feel oddly grown up given that the last time I used them I definitely wasn’t.After our conversation I went back inside and googled it.Disappointingly it turns out that the plural is either agapanthus or agapanthuses. Still, nothing disappointing about this:

Posted by Gill on

This afternoon I have been at a workshop to endeavour to learn how to improve our social media.Watch this space.Still nervous. 

Posted by Gill on

A young couple is (sort of) arguing at the counter.
She says she doesn’t believe him.
He says it’s absolutely true.
He has NEVER had an Afternoon Tea. Ever. Nor a Cream Tea. Ever. The only scone he’s ever had was from a supermarket. He certainly didn’t eat it with jam and cream.
I have to join in.
“How can that be?” I ask.
His answer surprises me, “I’m from Dudley,” he says.
I challenge his logic, “So am I” I say, quickly, “what difference does that make?”
I am floored by his response:
“Yes but we’re a different generation”.
I limp off in pain.

Posted by Gill on

On Friday morning when we opened up there was a surprise.
No water.
Which is pretty important.
We couldn’t do a whole lot until the problem had been sorted so I tried very hard not to panic.
I rang the Court to find out if they had similar issues but they had working taps.
I set off down the drive to a house which borders our garden.
There were lots of workmen there digging and building and, it turns out, turning off our water as they tried to work out which supply was theirs.
Panic over.

Posted by Gill on

Two rain-free days and the prospect of a seriously hot and sunny weekend.
This could be it.
The summer.
All day today artists have been delivering their work to the church where there’s an exhibition until Monday.
All day today we’ve been organising cream teas and afternoon teas and high teas.
It is most definitely the scone season.
Two ladies came in from the garden to order more drinks and pointed out that we had some unusual visitors.
They gestured outside.
Two cockatoos. Each one on the shoulder of an ice cream eater.
Sophie (cockatoo) is 19.

















Misha is only 4.

















They both like ice cream.

Posted by Gill on

This little lady arrived late yesterday afternoon.
We’d had another day of rain.
Such a cliché.

Posted by Gill on

New for the season, and not of my making, is the chess game.

A regular customer drops in, sets up her board, orders lunch/coffee and is joined by someone else to play.
Her opponents, so far, have all been men.
She sits in the main room or outside.
It’s a good thing and makes me unaccountably happy.