A Mad Hatter-Books-Pastel Themed Tea

I held a tea party for my sisters this weekend, and I’ve finally manage to sit down (and rest!) to post the results, which I was really pleased with. My sisters and I decided that for Eid this year, instead of giving everyone Eid presents we’d do Eid experiences – a day out, a picnic, a tea. I love my afternoon teas so decided to organise a themed afternoon tea for the girls.

I had a little difficulty deciding on a theme because I liked so many, and initially was going to just do a Mad Hatter’s tea party. But I do love my florals and we all love books, so I decided to work these into the look as well, which worked a lot better than I thought it would – I was worried it would look really messy and nonsensical. My eldest sister commented that it also reminded her of a colourful fair or festival, especially with the colourful bunting, and thankfully the guests all loved the results of the tea!

Here’s what the table looked like, and some of the desserts:


My favourite part of the decor and table were these – book-themed toppers for the cupcakes. I picked out a bunch of our childhood books so that we could enjoy a few fond memories of the books we used to love (including our first Urdu learning book!) – these were a hit with the ladies and I was glad I included these!


I had various things scattered around the room  for display to implement all three themes – pastels and florals, book wallpapers, piles of books and a top hat with playing cards to tie the themes together, which I thought went wonderfully together, not to mention the ‘this way’, ‘that way’ and ‘wrong way’ arrows.

I’m sure you can tell that the most obvious theme was the Mad Hatter/Wonderland one – I loved the variety of decor which is out there and took the opportunity to scatter random quotes and prints around the table, as well as ‘drink me’, ‘eat me’ and ‘take me’ tags on the food and goody bags. I also ordered giant playing cards for us to play with, although it was quite funny to see how people would hide their cards!

My mum also lent me this beautiful tea set which was love at first sight for me, and very apt because it’s actually a Harlequin Tea Set! These were beautiful dainty tea cups in bright colours with matching sauces, which I put on display and thought really made the whole table (not to mention actually made the tea party an actual tea party!)


My nieces and nephews probably enjoyed themselves the most (you can see my nieces shouting and giggling through my letterbox below), although my sisters and sister-in-law had a lot of fun looking for the small touches around the room too, and putting on false moustaches, giant glasses and hats!

I was really worried about not having enough food on the day, so my menu was a little adventurous, surprisingly I managed to make more than I thought. Even better, the guests all brought some amazing food as well so we were all seriously stuffed and  from red velvet cake, cupcakes, chocolate trifle, sandwiches, pizza, samosas, chicken bites and kebabs, to name but a few of the things we had laid out.

Having said that, my nieces were the first to run to the sweet table and run off giggling with sweets in their hands!


I had

It was an exhausting but fun afternoon, which was made better by the scorching sunny afternoon and the yummy ice-creams we finished off with. We were meant to play games but we felt pretty lazy and the cushions on the floor were pretty useful for us to laze about in!


It was really fun (and a little challenging) planning this tea party by myself, but I had fun doing it and also learned what I can make and what I can’t. I was really happy with the decorations I made, they took me a while (hence being quiet on the blogging front!) but I was really pleased with how it all came together.

So now I’m looking forward to the next Eid experience, and also more tea parties with different themes, which I’m already planning – I just need to recover from this one and I’ll be off again!

Weekend Pretty…Tick Tock

This is a huge clock sculpture I saw at the wonderful Harry Potter Land (otherwise known to muggles as the Warner Brother studios) which I thought was apt for the whimsical mood I’m in today. I love huge sculptures (as well as miniature things too!) and thought this was pretty symbolic of the beautiful things I’ve seen lately. I’ve had a lot of things going on lately (hence the sporadic blogging, which I’m still trying to resolve!) and feel a little stretched for time – trying to make arrangement for a wedding, my potential living situation and also all the nitty-gritty things which come up at work, home and my own hobbies.

Not to mention finding enough time to read all those books I want to read (next on the list is the highly acclaimed ‘The Fault in our Stars‘, which I’m looking forward to!)

Nevertheless, weekends are my favourite times right now (okay, they always have been, but not more than ever they’re my favourite days of the week!) – it’s the time I get to spend with family, to reflect on myself and to have some ‘me’ time, even if it’s just to sit in peace and re-arrange all of my lipsticks : )


Watch-Bikes and Cog-Cars

Every now and then I’ll come across something truly astonishing and creative, and here’s something which fits that profile. Ukranian-born artist Dmitriy Khristenkho takes broken watches and turns them to spectacular works of art, that is, miniature models of motorbikes, quad bikes and cars. Well, of course they’re going to be be bikes and cars, he’s a boy at heart isn’t he?! My nephews would most definitely love these, that’s for sure. Painstakingly created and glued by hand, Dmitriy uses wristbands as tyres, cogs as windmirrors, and watch-faces as windscreens. His models has also been put up for sale, and seem to be quite popular.

Some beautifully made designs created by Dmitriy, and certainly some very unique designs!

All images belong to Dmirtriy Khristenkho

Greenwich Clockworky Fun

I visited Greenwich recently to see the clocks and mechanisms based around the National Martime Museum, which gave an interesting history of Britain and it’s sea adventures. Another interesting place visited was the Royal Observatory which had some huge telescopes to see and also shows you some very pretty stars. Worth a visit if you’re into looking at how mechanisms work. Or telescopes.

A Silver Lining in every cloud (or, ‘Tempus Fugit’ as the new emblem of plastic surgery)

A news report that a woolly mammoth has been spotted wandering the River Thames. A replica of the Vatican City across the galaxy through the Einstein Line where all the Popes go after they die. A red London bus colliding with a Pharaoh inspecting Cleopatra’s Needle with his entourage of charioteers, while in the background Big Ben strikes seven. And amidst all this, lurks a giant rabbit called Bigamist.

And so we are given some idea of the labyrinthine novel presented to us, as we follow Silver, the story’s heroine, in her quest to find a coveted timepiece, the Timekeeper, which is needed to stabilise Time.
Jeannette Winterson’s adventure Tanglewreck certainly spins the question of time travel and alchemy, playing it out against the familiar backdrop of London. Winterson’s is an ambitious novel, combining time travel, alchemy and different aspects of present-day London, creating a colourful and humorous tapestry of the ever symbolic Time; shot through with a Silver thread of hope throughout in the protagonist’s search for both her family as well as what can be interpreted as her own identity. With technical scientific explanations of black holes, alternative dimensions and particle physics to endorse the seemingly improbable storyline, Tanglewreck becomes more than just a fantasy book. Characters such as Regalia Mason, the sinister but beautiful prophetess-slash-scientist turns well-known concepts on their head, such as her explanation that she is ‘living on borrowed time’ through her theft of the essence of youth. Similarly, one character’s wry advocacy for ‘torture, not violence’ reflects the author’s multi-layering of phrases, so that its narrative functions for more than one audience, often producing different types of humour and irony.
Similarly, there is a poetic use of metaphors which appeals to both adults and children, such as intertwining of the ‘ticking’ of the Timekeeper, Silver’s beating heart and the ‘heartbeat’ of Tanglewreck itself, successfully drawing in the audience without patronising younger readers.

Throughout her journey, Silver often comes to profound and philosophical truths which have the effect of making readers pause and linger over their fundamentals. The narrator’s clear, simple assertion that “sometimes you have to do something difficult because it is important” best epitomises the unwavering dedication needed, as well as the plain and simple courage that is dredged up at the darkest of times: it is here where we see Silver’s innocent compassion and virtues emerge from her ordeals uncompromised.

Although at first glance, the story’s finale may appear disappointing to some, there is a sense of faith that redeems the uncertainty of Silver’s future after her task is completed. Through the endearing concept that the ‘power of love’ is faster than the speed of light (which is, incidentally, three hundred thousand kilometres per second), and the powerful bond of friendship with the loyal Gabriel; the readers are left feeling warmed by the sincerity of Silver, making us wish for a Tanglewreck of our own.

Jeanette Winterson, Tanglewreck (Bloomsbury: London, 2006), pp415, £12.99