ENTERTAINING: Guess Who's Coming to Dinner? -Mind Your Manors ; the Jazz on the Lawn Party in Keevil, Wiltshire, Is a Chance to Witness England in All Its Eccentric, Traditional Glory. but No 'Swingers' Please

By Husband, Stuart | The Independent on Sunday (London, England), August 7, 2005 | Go to article overview
Save to active project

ENTERTAINING: Guess Who's Coming to Dinner? -Mind Your Manors ; the Jazz on the Lawn Party in Keevil, Wiltshire, Is a Chance to Witness England in All Its Eccentric, Traditional Glory. but No 'Swingers' Please


Husband, Stuart, The Independent on Sunday (London, England)


We are erecting the mini-marquees for the annual Jazz on the Lawn evening at the manor house in the Wiltshire village of Keevil. Suddenly there's a bang as a window is flung open.

'I'm ill, you know,' calls Flavia, the house's formidable mistress, to no one in par- ticular. 'It sounds like you're building my scaffold!'

'It's traditional,' mutters Ian, the expansive Scot in charge of construction. It's unclear if he's referring to the imminent celebrations or Flavia's indeterminate malady.

Keevil is sequestered in the valleys between the Marlborough and Bratton Downs. 'It's the kind of place,' says one resident fondly, 'where if you get your heel stuck in a grating at 10am, the news has been round the village and back by 11.30. And they'll want to know why you were wearing heels at that time of the morning.'

One event has already rocked Keevil's repose today: the poster for the band promises 'Jazz... and swing.'

'We've never had swing before,' says a white-haired resident gravely.

'Will it be modern?' asks her companion.

'Everything's modern at our age,' replies the first, with weary resignation.

Flavia has lived in the manor for decades with her siblings, Christopher and Peter. Their benevolence is manifold " the organisation of the village fte, the loan of the manor's cricket pitch for local matches, tonight's always-hotly-anticipated bash " but they're unlikely to make a song and- dance about it.

At 7pm the sun breaks through and the village comes up the path carrying hampers and cool-boxes. Food and drink is BYO, and the tables are soon groaning with home-made treats. One table adjacent to the Twelve Apostles " a dozen splendid topiaried yews " boasts an extravagant centrepiece of silk flora, including some eye-catching blue sunflowers.

'She made them,' says a woman, indicating a woman in a chignon. 'She's very artistic.'

The band is easing through a gentle version of 'Come Fly with Me'. The dreaded swing has so far failed to materialise.

The rest of this article is only available to active members of Questia

Sign up now for a free, 1-day trial and receive full access to:

  • Questia's entire collection
  • Automatic bibliography creation
  • More helpful research tools like notes, citations, and highlights
  • Ad-free environment

Already a member? Log in now.

Notes for this article

Add a new note
If you are trying to select text to create highlights or citations, remember that you must now click or tap on the first word, and then click or tap on the last word.
Loading One moment ...
Project items
Notes
Cite this article

Cited article

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Sign up now to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

Cited article

ENTERTAINING: Guess Who's Coming to Dinner? -Mind Your Manors ; the Jazz on the Lawn Party in Keevil, Wiltshire, Is a Chance to Witness England in All Its Eccentric, Traditional Glory. but No 'Swingers' Please
Settings

Settings

Typeface
Text size Smaller Larger
Search within

Search within this article

Look up

Look up a word

  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
Please submit a word or phrase above.
Print this page

Print this page

Why can't I print more than one page at a time?

While we understand printed pages are helpful to our users, this limitation is necessary to help protect our publishers' copyrighted material and prevent its unlawful distribution. We are sorry for any inconvenience.
Full screen

matching results for page

Cited passage

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Sign up now to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

Cited passage

Welcome to the new Questia Reader

The Questia Reader has been updated to provide you with an even better online reading experience.  It is now 100% Responsive, which means you can read our books and articles on any sized device you wish.  All of your favorite tools like notes, highlights, and citations are still here, but the way you select text has been updated to be easier to use, especially on touchscreen devices.  Here's how:

1. Click or tap the first word you want to select.
2. Click or tap the last word you want to select.

OK, got it!

Thanks for trying Questia!

Please continue trying out our research tools, but please note, full functionality is available only to our active members.

Your work will be lost once you leave this Web page.

For full access in an ad-free environment, sign up now for a FREE, 1-day trial.

Already a member? Log in now.

Are you sure you want to delete this highlight?