Storm and a Teacup
January 29, 2009
An off-white mugful of leather-brown brew whilst waiting for the phone to ring. And then another, and another.
The phone rings. Then more tea, after you’ve got the news, in a different, brighter mug this time, made of Cypriot blue-and-white pottery.
What else can it be, but a crisis. Which means, of course, a whole lot of tea.
When I say a lot, I mean even more than normal, which may be itself a lot, by some people’s standards. Being English, I really do opt for tea at every conceivable opportunity. So that’s tea on rainy days. Tea on sparkling wintry afternoons when the sky is ice-blue, like this one. Tea on sweltering summer holidays in Spain when you’re desperate for a cuppa to cool you down.
And when you really need something to hang on to, when you’re waiting for the news to come through, or after it has come, be it good, bad, mediocre, boring or news-less news, what better than tea to pin you down and bring your hyper-active mind back to the here and now.
If it’s a family drama, as it was this time, you sometimes ring the changes with sherry. Just a thimbleful, sweet but not unpleasant. Sherry occurs all the more if there are grandmothers involved. Accompanied by a wedge of heavy fruit cake studded with glace cherries, bought at the church sale the Sunday before. On a plate, with a napkin.
But this week there was only tea. No cake, though there could have been. For the news was very good indeed.