A tea party for Jane

When Jane spent her one and only night in the hospice I picked up a leaflet for one of Marie Curie’s many fund raising activities – a Blooming Great Tea Party. Jane had been busy knitting tea cosies, one from all the left over bits of Christmas sock wool and the other was her new-found talent for Fair Isle with wool specifically sourced from New Lanark. 

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Somewhat bluntly I suggested a tea party would be a grand way for one and all to get together as she had declined the conventional funeral. Not unsurprisingly she had no great enthusiasm but then agreed that actually it might be a good idea.

The reality proved slightly more difficult to organise than I thought as Alison, Wilma and I felt a wee bit too raw to begin with, and then there were holidays to be had, and then there was the selection of a suitable weekend that didn’t clash with too many other events. Eventually Saturday 25 August was chosen as the day. The logistics, activities and catering required a number of committee meetings in various venues but finally a plan of campaign for Operation Marie Curie emerged and we all had a lists of things to make, bake or fetch. Any passing child that wanted to help was put on bunting duty, friends volunteered to bake, gifts for the tombola were donated or acquired, work places were rifled for crockery and tea-making paraphernalia.

Wilma scrubbed her house and her children, a gazebo appeared in the garden and bunting festooned the fence and the house. Buckets for donations were strategically placed near the milk and sugar stations then the doorbell started to ring and ring and ring. Colin and I disappeared in a puff of steam in the kitchen with non-stop production of tea and coffee, while smaller persons ferried ashets of cakes to the four corners of the garden. And it didn’t rain, well not until later.

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It was deemed a blooming great success and over £1000 was raised – one and all delighted. Jane would have been chuffed to bits – it was just as she would have wanted and she’d be sorry to have missed it.

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