Friday, July 28, 2006

Oh, how I love tea!

Especially Barry's Gold Blend in the red box.

When I get up in the morning and go to the kitchen (no, I do not stumble to the kitchen; we have too many stairs for that to be practical. Besides, it's clichéd. And anyway, I'm a true morning person, so no need of that. Nevertheless, I really do enjoy the morning cuppa.), I open the cupboard that has both the coffee and tea paraphernalia, and while the electric kettle brings the water to a boil (was there ever a more civilized invention?) I try to decide whether to make tea or coffee. (I have been known to make both and carry two commuter mugs.) The tea smells so sweet; I'm always happy when it wins out. I've heard things about antioxidants, too, but I never think about that.

That first mouthful of hot tea (with milk, please) is like a jolt to the soul. I feel something rising within me (maybe it's core body temperature?), and get the instant impression of being more awake and alive.

I have a lot of memories associated with tea, too. I learned to drink it in Scotland, where it stood in for central heating in the family I was visiting. They taught me to pour the milk in the mug first, and I find I don't need a spoon if I do that. I still knit the same tea cosy that Edith had on her stainless steel teapot.

Of course, I had to get a steel teapot, too. I left one in France when I came home. A few years ago in Ireland, I picked one up in a hardware store in Ennis, delaying our departure from town to M's great annoyance. Or maybe M. was annoyed about the set of little tea spoons (smaller than the kind that come in the flatware set) at the hardware store in Donegal Town...

There were the cups of tea at Nick's flat on Saturdays when we got together to play music, in his horrible bachelor-dirty mugs.

There was the stop in a Bewley's cafe in Dublin, that first time we flew to Ireland. We hadn't slept enough (you never do) and we also hadn't planned where we'd stay the first night. That's when we learned that jetlag and on-the-spot vacation planning are not a happy combination. We wandered around Dublin in a fog, and eventually stopped in at Bewley's for a new lease on life. We did eventually find a B&B in Sandymount where we checked in and slept like logs, waking up only just in time for a late pub dinner. Where we met a charming couple who invited us over the next night, and I decided that Irish hospitality was not a myth.

And of course, there's an Irish tune, The Cup of Tea.

No comments: