Old folk at lunch

Saturday, September 10, 2011

High Tea

I organized a High Tea at 4pm today to welcome the newest arrival in the family: Matthew son of Paul and Susan, presently only 16 days old. Matthew didn't notice, however. He slept through the whole thing. He looked very healthy and has already added half a kilo to his birthweight.

Present were Paul, Susan, Jenny, Nanna, Ken, Maureen, Suzy, Russell, Sahara, George, Tracy my brother Chris with his wife Kym and son James and also gun geneologist Jan with her husband Keith.

Paul also skyped Vonnie in from New Zealand using my netbook. The audio was surprisingly good for such a humble device and at one stage when we heard a baby cry we looked around to see who it was. It was Hannah in New Zealand!

I bought a big heap of very fancy scones and Jenny came over early to make up the cucumber sandwiches according to the Ritz recipe. They seemed to be a great hit. Those guys at the Ritz know a thing or two. I myself scored and cut up the cucumbers prior to Jenny's arrival and marinated them in white vinegar for about an hour. It took a whole bottle but white vinegar is only about $1 a bottle so that was neither here nor there.

Ken was impressed at the use of vinegar. He said that was customary in his home back in England but very rare in Australia. He took the sandwich leftovers home with him! There was a lot of everything left over as I had bought so many scones and the ladies had all brought good stuff too. So most people went home with some of the goodies as I didn't want anything left uneaten.

We were originally going to have the do in my backyard but it was very windy so we stayed upstairs with the food laid out as a buffet and just mingled, which probably suited people better anyway. I have a long living/dining area so accomodating 16 guests buffet-style was no great problem.

Anne was away at a conference connected to her work so she missed a party she would have enjoyed. Jenny stepped in however and not only made the sandwiches but also whipped the cream and made the tea. I just wandered around looking vague.


There was of course a huge buzz of conversation at the do but I have only the vaguest notion of what was said. I observed that Chris had a good conversation with Paul and Ken; that Jan and Kym had a long conversation and that Susan and Tracy talked a lot.

For my part, the most interesting chat was with Susan, discussing ancestry. Her grandfather on her mother's side was apparently a tall American -- which explains why Susan's mother is so tall. Her mother is from the Philippines and had a Filipina mother but is much taller than the average Filipina. Filipinas are normally about 5' tall but Susan's mother is about 5'8" tall.

And Susan is 6' tall, the same height as her Dutch father. So she clearly got "tallness" genes from both sides of her ancestry. And she has a few freckles to boot. So she looks European. If you had to guess, you would think she was Northern Italian, At 6' tall she would NEVER be taken for a Filipina.

The main interest of all that is how tall Matthew will be. He is already adding weight fast so is quite likely to be even taller than his 6' tall mother. Sons are normally taller than their mothers.

The sleeping boy with his great-grandmother

Some of the food on offer -- including some very fancy scones on my 3-tier cakestand. That black, white and blue rectangle in the background is Vonnie, via Skype. It is great that she can still take part in our social occasions. I tried to feed her a cucumber sandwich via Skype but it wouldn't go through for some reason!

And Sahara was a little Scot!


  1. Indeed Vonnie! I commented on how N.Z has kept their English heritage in tact far better than Australia has on your blog. :)

  2. Simon introduced me to cucumbers soaked in vinegar as he grew up with them in New Zealand. It is interesting how similar the foods are here to in England. I didn't know dad liked them until I read your blog. I enjoyed skyping in and it was great to see your brother Chris again.

    (Above comment by Von originally appeared on Sept 11)