In which I attend an Advent Tea Party

So Verity kindly invited me to her Advent Tea Party this weekend, by email or Twitter or something some weeks ago. My uncertainty as to the method of this invitation is key to the story. Keen to chat to Verity in real life for more than about 15 seconds, which is all we managed when we first met up, I eagerly accepted and started planning a little outing to Oxford.

Then Gina at Something Literary very kindly donated some Austen bits and pieces for the Advent with Austen giveaway (details to follow). Gina’s shop in Steyning is not all that far from where I grew up, so I thought a little trip down might be order, but Gina only opens the shop on certain Saturdays (as well as during the week) and so I started thinking about combining a trip down to Steyning with one to Oxford and doing all my bookish socialising in one day. Then it was all a bit much and too far and I got Gina to post the prizes up to me in London.

After a difficult morning involving tea, tears and tantrums (all on my part), The Physicist convinced me to follow through with my plan to go up to Oxford yesterday to attend Verity’s party and catch up with a few friends. I was heard to say “I don’t want to go, but I’ve said I’ll go and I don’t want to let her down”. Among various permutations of “I don’t want to go” (told you it was a difficult morning yesterday).

So we get to Oxford at just before 3 yesterday afternoon and knowing that the party was from 2-5 and a little way out of Oxford, I hopped in a cab at the station and off we went to Kidlington. Pulling up outside the house in question I could see some fairy lights and a few cars on the street and recognised Mr W, Verity’s husband, from the wedding photos she shared on her blog, standing outside. So out I hop, accost the poor man with “You must be Ken…” and he takes it all in his stride and into the house I am led… “Verity, Yvann’s here”…

There’s a moment’s silence from the living room…

“Yvann! A day early!”

This is even funnier if you know that I am obsessively organised; my nickname (behind my back) has been The General for a long time, I am always bang on time, and one of my favourite websites is basically a glorified to-do list. This is pretty mortifyingly embarrassing for me right now (or at 3.05pm yesterday).

To Mr & Mrs W’s credit, neither batted an eyelid, I was welcomed into their lovely home and fed tea and excellent homemade biscuits for the rest of the afternoon and we chatted at length about books, physics, the vagaries of going into companies as a consultant/auditor (surprisingly similar, mostly a dislike of windowless meeting rooms), what’s up with those neutrinos, triathlons, Couch to 5k and a zillion things beside.

I had  a fantastic afternoon chatting with two lovely people whom I wouldn’t have got to know half so well had I been on time for the party!

Verity and Ken, I hope you have a lovely Advent Tea Party today, and I promise never to show up on your doorstep a day early ever again!

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6 thoughts on “In which I attend an Advent Tea Party

  1. Leeswammes 4 December 2011 at 12:55 pm Reply

    Oops, indeed. Glad they were at home and had time for you. Sounds like you all had a nice afternoon.

  2. verityjdo 4 December 2011 at 1:33 pm Reply

    Hehe – it was lovely to spend more time together than otherwise – I’m only sad you missed out on the proper spread of cake etc!

  3. Claire (Paperback Reader) 4 December 2011 at 3:52 pm Reply

    Verity shared this with me yesterday and I found it hilarious (although curiously I also thought the advent party was yesterday!) I am glad that Verity and Ken were home and that a tiny mistake ended up with tea and chat rather than a big error and more tears.

    • readingwithtea 4 December 2011 at 3:59 pm Reply

      Clearly here in London we are in a different timezone?

  4. Iris 5 December 2011 at 10:20 am Reply

    This made me smile. I am glad to hear you had a lovely afternoon anyway.

  5. Gina (@SoLiterary) 6 December 2011 at 1:14 am Reply

    🙂 Aw bless you! I was so gutted you weren’t able to come to Steyning after all but hopefully you will one day and we can catch up over that literary tea I promised. I’m glad you had a good time in Oxford though…even though a day earlier than scheduled!

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