The best start

The start of a morning. The sodden fog of waking up. Stumble to the kitchen. Click on the kettle. Finish last night’s drying up. Put things in the cupboards. Begin to make a cup of Earl Grey- weak- just slightly scared by the taint of the teabag. If the sky seems a little lower than usual, add half a teaspoon of sugar.

It’s my birthday. This morning my cup of tea was brought to me in bed by The Hungry One.  My mum used to do that every morning during my last years of high school. I’ve been ruined ever since. A cup of tea brought to me on a cold morning says ‘I love you’ in a way that words just can’t. 

I could probably meter my life in cups of tea.

The shock of a six year old me, trying to bring a cup of weak black Earl Grey to my Dad in bed, and then spilling the boiling water all over his groin. Sorry Dad.

Afternoons with both my late grandmother’s involved fine china and plates of biscuits. Sometimes there were rock cakes that crumbled like shale. Sometimes there were iced vovos. I liked  peeling the strip of jam up in one tacky snake and eating it on its own.

There were hours perched on a stool that rocked slightly in my best friend’s kitchen in Waverton nursing a cup of Dilmah. I would try to keep up with conversations about sovereignty and voting patterns, the tea growing cold in the middle of the table. This was before we were best friends. She was a very clever and intimidating soul. I don’t think she knew it, but I was pretty much courting her. I wasn’t sure I was cool enough. Somehow over many cups of tea I won her over. I thought we could be friends. I was right.

In amidst it all were a couple of years where I didn’t exercise as much as I should and had some strange attitudes towards food. I probably drank too much tea then. If I was drinking tea, then I wasn’t eating. Somehow in my head, this was a good thing. 

There was the year when for my birthday The Hungry One gave me a voucher for 100 cups of tea in bed. I think nearly cried in appreciation, and then I knew that he was The One.

At the close of my hen’s lunch, when I was tired and emotional in more ways than one there was a pot of Earl Grey and some tears around the table at home.

These days it’s games of ‘hot tea?’ with miniature mugs and a sharp clink of cheers with my sparkling niece.  It’s sharing my first cup at 7am on Skype with friends and family who are having one last before bed. It’s sitting in my writing nook with my laptop and having something safe to turn to while you grasp for something to say.

And this morning while I drink mine there’s my the first present to open*. It’s from my pretty darn brilliant god-sister (I’m not sure that’s a term, but I’m claiming it).

The woman knows me well. I love it.

Now every morning now when I go and finish the washing up and make my cup of tea I’m going to smile, think of her and all the great tea times still to come.

*And to go with, from my godmother there’s my very own copy of Julia Child’s ‘My life in France’. Bliss.

Perfect cup of tea

Empty the kettle (watering the plants works well). Fill it with fresh cold water. Boil it.

Take your favourite mug. Add a teabag. If you’re feeling a little dusty, then half a teaspoon of sugar at the bottom. I like it at the bottom so when you get to the end, there’s a final shot of sweetness to give you a kick in the pants.

Fill 4/5ths of the way to the top. Add a good splash of milk. Fish the teabag out when it’s the colour of digestive biscuits, or Jennifer Aniston’s hair.  Wait two minutes. Sip.

Pinkie down.

{ 1 Comment }
  1. It goes without saying that I'm so pleased you like the pressie. May your morning routine be full of delicious tea and happy thoughts xx

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