pear tree log: I started this blog to keep my younger son, Jonny, in touch with life in Lincolnshire, while he spent a year working in China. That year turned into five! Now he is home and training to become a physics teacher. This is simply a patchwork quilt of some of the things I enjoy - life in rural Lincolnshire, our animals, friends, architecture, books, the gardens, and things of passing interest.

Wednesday, 8 August 2012

Preparations & The Liberty Bell

It is a busy time at Pear Tree Log; preparations are well underway for a very special celebration.  The weather forecast is good, so we have hopes to turn it into a garden party.

I have made countless lists to ensure that lawns are kept mowed, the vegetable garden kept neat, patios swept, gazebos will be put up in the right places, food and drink prepared, etc.

It is hard work, but as we don't entertain very often,  we make an effort when we do.

Outdoor parties mean outdoor music, and to that end I have given the old wind-up gramophone a dusting (could do better, must try harder - just look at the dust in that photograph) and found up the pile of old 78 records.

I have fond memories of my parents dancing around the kitchen and the living room to the strains of these records when I was a child.  They would waltz, foxtrot or tango, with great gusto and energy.   The foxtrot was my favourite - simply because I loved the images the word conjured up in my imagination.

So, on with a record,  crank up the handle, release the brake and off we go, with a crackle and a hiss.

Down memory lane.

Even though the music is dated, and the quality of sound not what we are used to these days, it is fun.

Frank Sinatra, Dick Haymes,  Gracie Fields, George Formby, and the Mantovani Orchestra are all in there,  to name but a few.  

...The Shrimps Boats are a Coming,  When I'm Cleaning Windows, Nancy, Every Day I Love You Just a Little Bit More, lots of big band sounds, and orchestras ...  however, there is one very special record always gets people talking,  it is the Liberty Bell March by Sousa.

A lot of people may recognise it as something completely different - it was hijacked by Monty Python...

The reason for the hard work and organisation?

Little Francesca is being christened, people will have travelled from far and wide to be there, so it is only right to feed and water them in style.

Jonny, I will takes lots of photographs, so that you and Mingming can see how the day goes.


  1. Hello Elaine:
    We have a wind-up gramophone too, but have to say that yours is a most superior looking version!It will, as you say, provide the most perfect entertainment for your guests. We remember fondly waltzing around our garden to the strains of Dame Vera Lynn, that was until we over wound the contraption and it now needs fixing!!!

    We wish you a happy time with family and friends on the occasion of the christening. What better excuse [if indeed excuse is needed] could there be for a garden party?!!

  2. What a treasure you have there, loved it!

  3. Wow - what a lovely way to celebrate a Christening. Keeping my fingers crossed for some lovely weather. Jx

  4. Oh, a Christening!! Lovely! I hope there will be lots of photographs for Francesca to see when she grows up and understands how special the day was.
    Jane x

  5. We had an exquisite Christening gown that my mother made for us and was passed down through all the grands on their special day. I think it was one of the last grands that she had to "mend" it a bit. I know your day for this newest member of the family will be memorable. Saying prayers for a sunny, beautiful day~XOXO

  6. Oh what a wonderful celebration. Next to weddings, Christening are a favorite of mine. Enjoy the preparation and the occasion. Bonnie

  7. I hope you all have a wonderful time - you certainly have a beautiful garden to hold a celebration in!

  8. My mother sang all those songs around the house. It will be a lovely christening for your little horse lover.

  9. This all sounds so exciting. I loved, loved, loved the music. Can't believe you have a wind-up gramophone that you still use. I haven't heard once since the early '70s when antique-dealer friends of mine in NY picked one up. But they didn't have the old family 78 collection. I think those records were meant to sound that way! Can't wait to see the pictures and read about Francesca's special day.

  10. What a very special party that will be! You really know how to entertain in a royal fashion.

  11. I love a good party but its the cleaning before that does me in. I always try to have a few parties during the year just so I can get my heavy duty house work done. Have a good time and enjoy your music.

  12. Much more fun that trying to chose modern music for all-comers. A good conversation piece too; I may well copy your clever idea.

  13. Thank you, everyone. I am breaking my own rule of replying to everyone individually, just this once...and I do apologise, it feels wrong, but time is short. Preparations are going well, but I wouldn't like to do this too often! The house is almost gleaming, and the gardens are just on the verge of looking good, the pantry and 'the cellar' are well stocked, one gazebo is in place, the other will be there tomorrow, much more importantly, one little girl is completely oblivious to all the hard work which is being done to mark a special event in her life, she is just having fun.

  14. Love the old music brings back old memories for sure.


  15. I'm late reading this so you've probably already written about the Christening, I shall have to read on straight away!
    Hearing your gramophone really made me smile. I've got one that I was thinking of getting rid of because the last time I tried to play it there seemed to be some screws missing and the needle kept falling out, but now I'm having second thoughts, and will try and get it repaired. It doesn't hold any childhood memories as I only bought it in the 70s but I do love the sound.

  16. Sounds beautiful! (I've just read the post about the Christening day too - all's well..) My mum has a gramaphone and this summer holiday she's been playing Mantovani's Music of the Mountains, Smetana's The Moldau and Dance Macabre to my daughters, making up stories to the music, just like she did for me. My girls are transfixed! The quality of the sound has a different atmosphere, one that I miss. Your party sounds wonderful! :)


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