Having a delightful afternoon tea with friends is of course, the ultimate way of enjoying a Sunday.
Of course, some people might say “But Lord Devotea, my idea of enjoying a Sunday is on a motorbike driving like an idiot on dirt roads / attending some sports / visiting a leper colony / being chained up and naked and covered in yoghurt / watching I Love Lucy re-runs / climbing Mount Everest / playing a game of Backgammon with Horace the World’s Smartest Chimp / learning to walk again after my horrific Zumba accident”.
You know what we call these people? We call them “wrong”. They are the poor misguided ignoramuses (ignorami?) that try to enjoy, through gritted teeth, Junior’s oboe recital or camping with their in-laws, despite all the evidence that it’s just not possible.
Now sometimes, the world wants to intrude upon your Sunday. People do horrific things to other people in the name of religion or race or nationality or whatever other absurd construct people find to differentiate themselves in unimportant ways, and last Sunday was no different. But we decided that no amount of horror was going to make us change our way of life, and so, Sunday Afternoon tea was there to be enjoyed.
We had a couple we know coming over for the first time, and it looked to be a nice day.
So we made sandwiches. Here they are.
The photo looks a bit fuzzy, and that’s because they are cling-wrapped.
We made them two hours ahead, wrapped them and popped them in the fridge for 90 minutes and then got them out 30 minutes in advance of serving.
Which brings us to the main point:
You cannot truly appreciate a lazy Sunday afternoon without a diligent and energetic Sunday Morning of preparation.
There is something mystical and magical about preparing for tea. We have about 60 teas available in the house, so we are never sure what people might want. By providing a varied spread, we should have options to go with just about anything.
We also have various wines, hot chocolates, and espresso coffee available, but hardly everyone ever picks them.
So we made some cakes and truffles and jellies and pinwheels.
To me, that’s one of the best ways to spend a Sunday morning.
It means that your Sunday Morning is spent making your Sunday afternoon great.
Not just great, but grand, gracious and gorgeous. Why the hell not? No-one on their deathbed is going to say “Oh I wish I’d had a few less exceptional afternoons where I mixed great tea, good friends and a slab of cake the size of a wombat*.
Sure, there’s a bit of effort involved. But what worthwhile was ever easy? Did not the US president John F Kennedy say “We choose to make a delicious afternoon tea and do the other things, not because they are easy, but because they are hard, because that goal will serve to organize and measure the best of our energies and skills, because that challenge is one that we are willing to accept, one we are unwilling to postpone, and one which we intend to win, and the others, too.**”
So I say to you, take the challenge and make afternoon tea this Sunday. Goddammit – EVERY SUNDAY! Show the world that Sunday afternoon is your time, and if your friends have any sense, they will get right behind you on this and you can take turns to host. If they won’t, then get new friends, better ones.
Conversation is the glue that binds the human race, and Afternoon Tea is the gluepot. It is your duty to the future of all humanity to have as many Afternoon Teas as possible.
And what of the economy? Could the world be on the brink of an Afternoon Tea led economic recovery? No-one actually understands economics****, but let’s not take the chance that it could work and we didn’t do it.
You’ll save fuel and greenhouse gasses. There will be less car accidents, less drunken pub brawls, less shark attacks, less robberies if a significant percentage of the world’s population is enjoying Afternoon Tea at someone’s home.
So, throw away that season ticket. Sell the motorbike. Send a short apology to Horace the World’s Smartest Chimp, because this Sunday, you are saving humanity by hosting Afternoon Tea, or attending someone else’s.
Let’s not wind up a lifeless globe whirring through space. Let’s save ourselves by the simple expedient of Sunday Afternoon tea, which is merely the first step, as we dream of the ultimate evolution of humanity: a blissful state of Nirvana where we can ascend, as beings of light, to state of seven Afternoon Teas per week.
* For my non-Australian readers who are not sure of the meaning “the size of a wombat “, a wombat is bigger than a quokka and smaller than a juvenile Western Red kangaroo. I hope that helps all you non-Australians.
** he said it about the moon landing, but it’s widely believed*** that his original draft was about afternoon tea
*** or not
**** Sorry, Xavier.