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It now appears to be the new trend for people to take the elements that are big with weddings these days and have them in overblown birthday/other parties, which really gets my goat. Once upon a time most parties were just parties that had the usual elements: chips and dips, booze, home made or cheesecake shop cake, maybe a theme and if it was a really good/big one, a dj.

And OK, so your wedding’s supposed to be IT, the biggest party you will ever throw, and there are lots of things that are discussed/advertised  in mostly terrifying and occasionally interesting blogs etc, to help you create a party that is distinctive, unusual, etc etc. Bigger and better than a normal party. Hey, everyone has birthdays all the time, but most of us don’t get married all the time (unless you’re Seal and Heidi Klum)

BUT

It’s pretty obvious that a lot of chicks who are well past that stage of their life are reading wedding blogs a lot which really creeps me out. The wedding industry in general was an unknown phenomenon until I got engaged, and the sheer size of it is terrifying. There are zillions of blogs and websites out there, often telling everyone to do pretty much the same stuff, most of it unneccessary and ridiculously expensive. And now I see all the stuff that’s being flogged as wedding party phenomena turning up at  other parties.
While a wedding is allowed to be quite formal and have a structured/designed approach to activities and decor (being the biggest party you can have in lower/middle class society. I like to think the upper class get to attend the occasional coronation), the same level of detail is being reproduced for smaller gatherings.  I guess somebody’s feeling the gap in their lives that only a wedding style party can fill. 

Recent trends that must confuse the hell out of people who thought they were going to a normal party:

  • Dessert/lolly bars. In the olden days we called it the cake table, but now you get a range of bits with pretty labels and designed displays. Makes it special-er see, and you can be charged more.
  • Photobooths. This is kind of cool, having props etc to take funny photos. Originally set up as a more interesting alternative to the boring group and table shots at weddings. Now available at lots of other parties. This bugs me as I was thinking about something similar, and I don’t think I can go there any more. “Didn’t they have this at Irene’s 43rd birthday party?” “Why yes Beryl, they did. I had a moustache on a stick. Better not do that again as I won’t remember which party the photo’s from in a couple of years, pass me the feather boa”
  • Bunting, pompoms and lanterns. I kind I like all these things, but getting done. to . death.
  • Drink stations. Really, is this necessary for less than 100 people?
  • Professionally decorated and layered cakes. These things can cost up to $500 people. At least lots of dimwits think they’re supposed to spend that much on wedding cakes because it’s just once.
  • Bonbonniere. 2 places they’re appropriate: kid’s parties as the lolly bag, or weddings. Don’t muddy the waters with special treats for guests in hand painted bags because you turned 43. Let’s be honest, no one cares when you turn that age, and chances are you’re lying about it anyway and pretending you’re still 41

I guess my big problem here is that people are copying wedding styling into their more mundane events, which raises the bar for special events and makes me think Crap, how far will I have to go to make my wedding special and wedding like??
And the wedding industry is already so insidious and heinously manipulative, making its living sucking vampirically on the dreams and aspirations of kids in love. It scares me that the same industry is starting to make inroads into other events, banking on the impressions it made into the soft minds of young women who got married, and now cashing in on them in middle age too.
Sweetie, if you still reminisce on your wedding day all the time, and miss the attention and the paraphernalia, go and renew your vows and have another party, and leave the wedding crap for wedding days. There’s enough of it already to wade through.

End Rant.

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It irritates me immeasurably that the quest for a decent pot of tea outside one’s home is often bitter and fruitless.

Apart from the joyous flowering of tea houses across Brisbane in recent years, (of which Queenies Tea House was the first and is still the best IMO) regard or skill in making tea has been swept aside in the craze for coffee that has gripped this town. Sure, good coffee is a good thing, but you know by the way you see people wandering about every day prominently clutching their environment harming paper cups like little beacons of pseudo-sophistication that this isn’t about the beverage.
When your 60+ grandma who still eats tinned beetroot in salads orders a macchiato, you know something wacky’s going on.

But I digress. The point of this is that of late I have been continuously disappointed to pay for pots of tea that have been slapped together by waitresses who have no fonking idea about tea, and so make it like it’s a plunger of coffee. The result is usually completely undrinkable, and the fact that I’ll then get charged as much or more than a large coffee for the trouble really gets my goat. Even attempts to reduce the impact of bad tea making by going with herbal blends has backfired. I recently was served a tiny plunger filled 1/3 up with chamomile flowers, so that in the short walk from the counter to my table it was treacle dark and like swallowing pointy knives.

So, all you food and beverage service attendants out there who’ve never been shown how to make tea because who cares? it’s just tea, this is how you assemble a half decent pot of tea in cafe circumstances

  1. Tea is stronger by weight/volume than coffee. You don’t need a tablespoon per cup. In fact 1-2 teaspoons is sufficient for a whole pot. Seriously
  2. Fill the teapot to the top. The cost of water is minimal/zero in this equation, so why are you being so stingy and only filling pots halfway? Can you see that lid? It stops the water spilling out the top, it’s like magic
  3. Cold milk only please. Steamed milk is absolutely undrinkable in tea
  4. Figure out which teas need milk and which don’t. It’s not hard- sniff the tea. If it smells fruity or flowery you probably don’t need it
  5. And lastly for cafe owners, how about some teacups for a change? I’m tired of slurping tea in thick rimmed coffee cups with useless little handles you can’t stick your finger through. I would also ask for pots with internal filters, so you can remove the leaves once the tea’s steeped and they won’t stew and go bitter, but I don’t want to overwhelm you

I unfortunately lack the emotional capacity to tell you how I feel about being served a cup of hot water and a teabag on a plate, so here I will end my rant

Thank you