Kilashee for Tea
Right…. It’s Mary (my cousin’s) 40th Birthday. Dolly (my Mammy) and her sister Rita (my aunt and Mary’s godmother) would like to do something special for Mary to celebrate staying alive for four decades. Important note to remember, Dolly and Rita dont drink alcohol, they’re both in their 70’s and they’re idea of fun is nothing like what we would plan.
To keep the older ladies happy, Mairead (Mary’s sister) suggested going for afternoon tea, somewhere nice to celebrate the birthday. Everyone was in agreement, afternoon tea it was and Kilashee House Hotel, was the venue.
The sitting was booked for 1.30pm. In Dolly’s house at 12.15 and she was nowhere to be seen. At 12.30 Dolly crashes through the front door all flustered, lidl bags and the latest lidl gaget hanging off each arm, she noticed my face and said “Wha? I’ll be ready in a minute”.
Dolly is NEVER on time. On one occasion she asked me what time my appointment was, I said 10am and she replied “and do you have to be there at that time?” WTF Dolly…..???
Anyway after changing her clothes Dolly asked me to do her face!!! “What would you like me to do with your face” says I. Put on a bit of colour and don’t go near my eyes, they’re too sensitive to be putting any of that black stuff on them. Foundation and a bit of rouge it was, and she had the staple pinkish lipstick in her handbag that she applied herself. “Now” smacking her lips at me” how do I look?”. “Lovely, but I hope you’re not wearing that cardigan ”. I knew that would drive her mad, “Ah, Jesus Christ Ciara, what’s wrong with the cardigan?” I laughed and said “I was only jokin’ but you’re going to afternoon tea not to the feckin’ bog”. Her face was priceless and again I told her I was only joking but Mairead threw her eyes up to heaven and said “The hotel needs the table back at 3.30pm so we have to leave now or we’ll be late. Into the car and we set off on our little adventure to Kilashee Hotel.
It takes 35mins to get to Naas with no traffic, we had to collect Mary so we would be a little late but Dolly was unapologetic, I think once you are over 70, you have an automatic licence not to give a shit about anything and as Dolly would say, “When God made time, he made lots of it”, that was her excuse for everything!!
Eventually, collected Mary and in she sat beside Dolly, and we were on our way, again! “Should have had my lunch before we left, not a great time Mary, for afternoon tea, 1.30pm, but sure we’ll pretend it’s the afternoon.” says Dolly with a giggle. Mairead had explained to Dolly earlier in the week, that afternoon tea came with savoury delights as well as sweet ones, but Dolly refused to accept this information as correct and convinced herself it was going to be an overconsumption of desserts and by Jesus was she going to enjoy every crumb.
The table for 6 was set beautifully, with floral china cups mismatched on beautifully decorated saucers. We were seated in a huge dining hall, with beautiful cornices and glittering chandeliers and surrounded by WOMEN!!!! Feckin’ hell, it was like an ICA convention…… except for one poor fucker!!! Out of the midst of giggles, hairspray and floral jump-suits, was this one poor hoor…. We all knew he’d rather be anywhere else, and the afternoon spent with herself having tea, was a form of torture for something he didn’t even know he did…. I tried not to look with pity on him when he did the walk of shame, the entire length of the dining hall to use the bathroom. But situations like that can only make you stronger so I gave him a nod and a little half smile, and said to myself sure he’ll probably get the ride when he gets home if he plays his cards right.
The waitress was lovely and asked if we would like the normal afternoon tea or the SPARKLING version. Mary, Mairead and myself sat up and in unison asked “What’s the sparkling version?” “It’s a glass of prosecco with your afternoon tea”. Immediately my shoulders relaxed, my eyes lit up, I looked at Mary and said “We’ll have three sparkling and three normal afternoon teas please”. Dolly who doesn’t drink, very subtly shifted her arse in her chair and gave a little cough, that meant under no circumstance did she approve of alcohol being consumed during her tea and cakes. The women and I knew Dolly all too well, and said “This too will pass”, with a giggle.
I could see Dolly and Rita out of the corner of my eye, investigating the china cups and looking totally confused as to why this magnificent establishment couldn’t afford to buy china sets that matched. Neither mentioned it but I knew what they were thinking.
The 3 tiered cake stand of delights arrived with tea and Prosecco. The savouries were on the bottom and as you worked your way up the stand the treats got sweeter. This was Dolly’s idea of heaven, tea on tap and as many buns and cake you could possible eat. As the tea started to flow so did the prosecco. After about the fourth cup of tea Dolly squashed her nose up and examined her china cup. “You’d think they’d offer to give you a fresh cup after a few cups of tea.” “Well maybe they haven’t experienced anyone who drank more than 4 cups at one sitting before. Dolly and Rita resumed their tea drinking binge totally ignoring my comment.
A lovely afternoon was spent with a great bunch of women whom I am so lucky to have in my life. The prosecco flowed and went down nicely on the beautiful coconut covered snowball cakes, but this meant I couldn’t drive home. When I told Mairead that Dolly was going to have to drive home we instantly got into fit of laughing…. Who’s going to tell her? Dolly hates driving anywhere that’s outside of her native Athy. Lidl and Shaws (almost nationwide) are her only drive- to destinations.
After saying goodbye to the others, we were standing at the car and Dolly realised that she had to drive. “Oh Jesus, I hate Drink!, says she. “But sure, you weren’t drinking?” Mairead started to laugh, “No but you two were!” Mairead and myself giddy with the alcohol assured Dolly that she’d be grand driving the 16 or so miles home. Mairead sat in the front so she could pacify Dolly. I knew I’d keep laughing and she’d get thick. Half way home I asked Dolly to stop the car. That I was going to jog the rest of the way home because I was losing the will to live she was driving that slow…. Oh well, smart arse in the back, if you and giddy beside me hadn’t had that feckin’ placenta, YOU could have driven home yourself. Mairead turned around to me and we both stared at eachother, “What were we drinking Dolly?” “That feckin’ placenta with the fizz”… “Ok stop now Dolly” says I, the tears rolling down my face. I had to clench my butt cheeks together and try blot out Maireads uncontrollable laughter.” What’s wrong with ye two? Obviously ye can’t hold your drink”. The more Dolly talked the more the hilarity of what she said was rebounding in my head. “Dolly, it’s prosecco!!!” “Yeah, and the two of ye need to give it up”. The rest of the car journey was spent with the three of us in hysterics.
The moral of this story…. laughter is the best medicine for everything, AND as Dolly would adamantly say “you don’t always need to drink to have a good time”, (but it helps, just sayin’ mammy). Most importantly you need a Dolly, so I’m considering hiring her out………….afternoons only!!!!!