It was time for my annual Tea Party, the 8th ever. It's a day some of my oldest girlfriends here in NZ and I get together on our veranda, and act like ladies. We wear sundresses, eat fancy cakes, and of course we drink tea (iced, made with Rooibos; and black tea). It's a great tradition, and a chance to look back- and forwards together. In the past 8 years, our get-togethers have been punctuated with talk of pregnancies, babies, a few weddings, a couple of break-ups and new starts, new houses, career and job changes, travels, and shoes and frocks of course.
I really treasure this day, partly because in our casual society we don't always make time for life's little rituals; and 10 friends getting together over a cup of tea to compare notes about the past year is a ritual in my book. Having these friends to share life's ups and downs with in a country where I don't have my own sisters, cousins and school friends; now that's priceless.
The tea party is also a chance to use my collection of vintage crockery, silverware and linen. This year the styling theme was all about handkerchiefs. I used this gorgeous free download for my invitations, which was inspired by old-fashioned hankies, and then started discovering piles of gorgeous old hankies in second-hand shops. I decided to use them for bunting, and just pegged them to some string. A great effect, I'm pleased to report.