A guest post by Mary Dawson-Williams:
I love it when there are occasions that bring people together – that warm sense of unity that comes along once in a while that reminds us of how things ought to be and inspires us to make where we live and who we live with and amongst a happier place…
Now, for my part, this particular occasion could be difficult as my children will be away on holiday with their Dad. However, I shall not be deterred! My local community are having a Jubilee celebration and I will go along!
What to do though?
Drink shandy, because it’s something you were allowed as a child and seemed just a little bit naughty as there was alcohol in it, albeit a minimal amount ;),
Make strawberry jelly and decorate it with swirly cream and something blue (blueberries?) – 2 versions, a childs one and an adults one which may just have a little extra ingredient in it (I hear vodka works well… not that I would know, naturally!). Be certain not to get the two mixed up though – we don’t want any Anne of Green Gables moments!
And scones – pronounced “scons” not “s’cones” mind you and debate the pronounciation with your neighbours over several of the aforementioned Shandies…
Pick wide pieces of grass and try to make that whistling sound. I think, and please do correct me if I’m wrong, you have to put the blade of grass in between your thumbs and press your thumbs together, then with your nails to your nose (actually I have just tried to see if it can be done with nails facing away and am finding it almost physically impossible, but do have a go!), then to quote a wonderful film, you just put your lips together and blow! Hmm, may need to practice that one a bit more…
Make bunting! Yes, this can be done on the day and doesn’t need to be grand or anything particularly ornate… draw an Isosceles triangle but on the shorter edge, give it a “lip”. You can then use this as a template and make your bunting from fabric or paper or card… it can be patterned or plain (if plain you could get children to draw pictures), then fold the lip over a long piece of ribbon or twine or bias binding or whatever else you can think of really, then glue it or sew it in place…. ta dahh! Oh, be sure to leave enough string or ribbon at each end so that you can tie it up between some trees or lampposts.
A game of Rounders can be fun, whether there are just a few of you or lots of people around you, using jumpers for markers.
Now a barbecue does not need to be fussy or difficult – if you’re at home you can cook sausages in the oven and just bring out a tray of them, some bread rolls or pitta breads or wraps or whatever you’ve got will do! Tomato ketchup, in my humble opinion, is an absolute must have but others may prefer Brown Sauce (yuck) or relish even… well if you’ve got some in the cupboard, what better opportunity to use it. Boil up some new potatoes – now I am a stickler for using organic ones, the taste is so much better, you get the lovely buttery flavour. When they’ve boiled, rinse them in cold water, then you can just put them in a bowl and have either butter alongside or mayonnaise – no, not both, not together!
Do the same with some pasta shapes. And cut the skin off of a cucumber and then slice it – it just looks so much nicer that way. I’m not a lover of tomatoes but wedges of them are an easy addition too. Oh and I love Cous Cous! So simple to do and add some things to it – a little curry powder maybe or chilli powder, some sultanas (well most of us have some left over from Christmas anyway) and some red pepper, snip up some parsley and chuck it all in a big bowl… and all of this can be made up in advance so you get to enjoy the day too…
And who ever said that apple bobbing was just for Halloween? Jenga – it doesn’t have to be the giant one, you can have just as much fun with a few of you around the garden table taking turns. Or snap. Or the “Yes/No” game – there are some fun ideas here for questions
To round the day off and hopefully cool everyone down, ice pops. Then you have that wonderful excuse to go around sticking your tongue out at people, without getting told off, so that they can see your funny coloured it has gone! Enjoy xx