Saturday, 1 April 2017

Another fancy dress party

As I said, my father was artistic and imaginative.  He was also a keen leader in the Boy Scouts  so one year (1955) we had themed birthday parties. This was my tenth birthday.  We were a bit unusual because this was an era when the opt out for parents was to hire a film projector and show short films and I can remember sitting in darkened living rooms a lot.  I seem to remember my sister had a Winnie the Pooh party and I had an Alice in Wonderland one.  My father went to the books of games he had for the Scouts and all the games were themed.  What I really remember about my party, though, was the blanket hung across the door into the sitting room so that you had to bend down to get in there.  This was to represent the rabbit hole in the original book.  I know we played games that had been adapted to suit the theme.

The food was also themed.  We had a tin mould in the shape of a rabbit so the centrepiece was a white rabbit made from 'delicious pudding', an old family recipe that I have managed to find in Victorian recipe books although the only other people I knew who ever made it at this time were those in my grandmother's family.  It was sitting in green grass (jelly) and I think it had red eyes, presumably cherries.  My mother was also very good at making 'mushrooms' from meringues with whipped cream decorate with cocoa powder on the underside and stalks of pieces of apple and I am sure there were some of those in the grass too.

Here are the party guests on our front lawn.  I am not sure if you can enlarge the photo so I will briefly summarise the costumes.  In the front row on the left is my sister dressed as Alice and next to her my little sister who was only four so did not wear a costume.  Then there is another Alice, me as the cook (people came as characters from both Alice in Wonderland and Alice Through the Looking Glass) and a white rabbit on the end.  The person on the left of the back row was the Carpenter, the person second from right is the Queen of Hearts and the person on the right was some kind of animal although I cannot remember what.

This was the only year we had themed parties as by the next year we had decided we were too old and began to have a three or four friends for a meal and then go to a film at the cinema.  How different from today's parties!

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