Monday, March 1, 2010

A week of Alice- The very Beginning

If you have read this blog for more than ..ummm.. one post!! you will realise that Alice in Wonderland is an absolutely huge inspiration for us and in celebration of the film coming out this weekend,
we couldn't resist planning lots of Alice posts.
As the song goes; let's start at the very beginning, and I will tell you how Alice in Wonderland has been a constant all the way through my life and the inspiration for our company.
As a little girl I used to listen to cassettes of the story with Jane Asher playing Alice in terribly twee tones and be whisked off to Wonderland from my little bedroom. I still have my very first Alice book from the early 80's although it has been well thumbed and stained.. and lots of the pages are falling out. But I still take it out to have a read frequently.

So when we were planning our wedding invitations, we wanted them to reflect our love of vintage childrens books and pen and ink illustrations and my Alice in Wonderland was the first book I turned to. And there it was, the opening line to the prefacing poem,
"All in the Golden Afternoon"

It was perfect, our invites would resemble a story with chapters and lots of quotes from Alice, to tell the tale of our garden tea party wedding.
We adapted the lines for the front of the invite
"All in the golden afternoon,
In such an hour,
Beneath such dreamy weather"

There I am getting ready! 
The tale of our wedding I will keep for another day.
When the time came to choose a name for our Vintage Tea Party company, that opening line leapt out and so we excitedly decided upon The Golden Afternoon Tea Company.
And a dream came true.

Here is the poem in full, it evokes such wonderful imagery of Lewis Carrol entertaining the Liddell girls with his magical conjouring on a balmy summer's day.

All in the golden afternoon
Full leisurely we glide;
For both our oars, with little skill,
By little arms are plied,
While little hands make vain pretense
Our wanderings to guide.

Ah, cruel Three! In such an hour,
Beneath such dreamy weather,
To beg a tale of breath too weak
To stir the tiniest feather!
Yet what can one poor voice avail
Against three tongues together?

Imperious Prima flashes forth
Her edict to "begin it"--
In gentler tones Secunda hopes
"There will be nonsense in it"--
While Tertia interrupts the tale
Not more than once a minute.

Anon, to sudden silence won,
In fancy they pursue
The dream-child moving through a land
Of wonders wild and new,
In friendly chat with bird or beast--
And half believe it true.

And ever, as the story drained
The wells of fancy dry,
And faintly strove that weary one
To put the subject by,
"The rest next time"--"It is next time!"
The happy voices cry.

Thus grew the tale of Wonderland:
Thus slowly, one by one,
Its quaint events were hammered out--
And now the tale is done,
And home we steer, a merry crew,
Beneath the setting sun.

Alice! a childish story take,
And with a gentle hand
Lay it where Childhood's dreams are twined
In Memory's mystic band,
Like pilgrim's withered wreath of flowers
Plucked in a far-off land.

illustration by

 wedding pictures by the super talented Fjona Weiling


Sarah said...

I love Alice too! I was supposed to go see it yesterday and was thwarted with a sore throat and pouring rain! Very disappointed although I was lucky enough to work on the ballet production at ENB for many years! Such a laugh. Love your blog, going to look at more....Thanks for popping round mine. x

....cupcakesandbiscuits said...

I just watched Messers Burton and Depp on Friday Night with JR on the BBCiplayer and doesn't the film look wonderful. Hubby will not chum me and I know not one soul who would be into it *note to self: must find better friends - heehee*. My only hope is dragging my eight and six year old sons once I check out the rating on it. Fingers crossed for me it's suitable.

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