This isn’t the first time I’ve written about a cup of tea, but it’s been long enough. I’m reading The Ballroom Cafe at the minute, and there are so many delightful descriptions of buns, coffee and tea in it. I love being taken into a world that makes you hungry, and longing for a hot drink.
Every day, between 10 and half-past, I stop what I’m doing and make a cup of tea. It has to happen, because on days it doesn’t, I’m strangely out-of-sorts. I always try to get all the awkward phone calls, disruptive errands or hideous house-work done before that time, so I can just sit down on my armchair with my biscuit (sorry, that wasn’t honest) with my two biscuits and my blue Denby cup of tea. Always poured from a teapot – tea in a cup is a travesty.
I usually don’t do anything else in those precious fifteen minutes. I just hold my warm mug, dunk the biscuits and look out at the ever-growing Rowan tree, with the taller ones beyond. I don’t need to think about anything, just be with my tea.
I love it when I hear people comforting their friends by saying, ‘Let’s go and have ourselves a wee cup of tea’. There is something profoundly reassuring and safe about that. I remember being given a very sugary one in secondary school after being verbally bullied by a nasty boy. I remember discovering I couldn’t take milky tea without feeling nauseated when I was pregnant with my wee girl. That hasn’t changed since then. You could actually do a dot-to-dot between nearly every incident in my life with the cups of tea I’ve drunk then. Some to join a family member or friend, some to get to know someone new, some to steady nerves, but most simply because that is what I do every day. Tea is a joy, and I bet you’re thinking of having one now. “Ah go on, go on – you will you will you will!”