Mug shots

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Quite some time ago, I had a favourite mug. It wasn’t the design so much as it was the size and shape; it was bigger than standard, and kept my tea hot for longer than my other mugs. I came across this mug quite by chance; I think it was a gift from my mother-in-law.

But one day, my favourite mug broke. I forget how, I think it was just a clumsy accident on my part. Not unusual.

The breaking of the favoured mug kicked off a quest to find a new favourite mug. I embarked on a mug search spanning months. I bought a cool black one, but it turned out to have a manufacturing fault: a bit of ceramic stuck out at the bottom and scratched any surface I put it on. So I tried again, and again.

The end result of my search for a favourite mug is that I now have five favourite mugs, and each time I have a cup of tea I feel a slight pang of guilt for not using one of the other four.

 

Liking tea – or not

Anyone who knows me well knows that I love my tea. I enjoy a great many varieties, and whilst I do have my old favourites, I’m not averse to experimenting and finding ones I’ve never tried.

In my cupboard at this moment are the following varieties of tea: Melbourne breakfast, French Earl Grey, Lady Grey, peppermint, white jasmine, Earl Grey, English breakfast, Australian afternoon, Russian caravan, Brisbane breakfast, and one or two others.

I’m also what you might call a tea purist: I take all my teas without milk or sugar.

I used to think it was very odd for somebody to dislike tea. All tea, tea in general, any tea. And then I had a revelation: one of the most commonly available and aggressively marketed tea brands is Lipton. And of course if Lipton is the one you try first, you’re going to dislike it. Lipton tea is awful. It would naturally give the entire beverage a bad name, and would put you off trying others.

So if you’re out there, reading this, and you’ve only tried Lipton tea and didn’t like it, do me a favour: try another tea. Twinings, for preference; I find Twinings Earl Grey to be a very palatable tea, soft and easy to drink, with none of that tannin bitterness to it. If you don’t fancy that idea, wander into T2 or Teavana or whatever you’ve got in your part of the world. Have a look, have a sniff. If you ask nicely, they’ll often brew you a tea you’re interested in to taste. Explore the vast and endlessly fascinating world of tea!

Best of luck in your adventures. I hope you return to my blog a convert, or at least less stridently anti-tea than you might have been before!

Quiet… for a while…

It’s a chilly Autumn morning in Melbourne. There’s scarcely a breath of wind. The heater is on, and besides the sound of hot air rushing through vents, my house is filled with silence. My husband sleeps, having worked the night shift last night. The baby enjoys her morning nap in utter stillness. Usually a toddler would be running around right now, talking and singing and making up words, but today even that noise is absent. She holidays with my parents.

I try to fill the space with study; I have an essay due at the end of the week, and this was partially the purpose of Elspeth’s holiday. To study, I need tea. The click of the kettle as it reaches the boil sounds ridiculously loud today. Even as I know that my husband can sleep through the usual baby and toddler sounds, I wonder if that little click disturbed his slumber.

I always get a feeling of triumph from actually drinking the first cup of tea I make in the morning. All too often it is forgotten, left to go tepid on the bench, as I attend to the various wants of my children. But today I get to drink it while it is still piping hot.

As I sip my expensive tea, and read about disastrous famines in Europe in the twelfth century, I wonder if I have enough gluten free bread left to make a nice cooked breakfast – poached eggs on toast, maybe.

But even as the thought enters my mind, the baby stirs. My peace is gone, obliterated, and I put my Mummy persona back on like a mask.

Who’s my beautiful girl, then? Did you have a nice nap? Oh yes, I think you did! Come to mummy!

I like tea

A small selection of the teas I own

A complete list of the varieties of tea I own:

English breakfast, Irish breakfast, Melbourne breakfast, Brisbane breakfast, Prince of Wales, Russian caravan, Earl Grey, Lady Grey, peppermint, white jasmine, French Earl Grey, white tea, green tea, green with jasmine, traditional afternoon tea.

Turn me into a teapot!

There are days when every little thing seems irritating. Days when, however irrational you know it to be, it just feels like the world is against you. Days when demands are made upon you and your time that you would rather not fulfil.

Today has been one of those days.

Nothing major has happened, there has been no catastrophe, and nothing really out of the ordinary. But Elspeth has been cranky and tired, she has deliberately misbehaved, and every tiny incident has played upon my nerves.

I’m now convinced that she’s not getting enough sleep. It is difficult to get her to nap in the proper bed, so she’s probably got a sleep debt dating back to the abolition of the cot. She has gone to bed very early tonight, and I hope that will help and make things a bit better tomorrow.

And so I beg of the world, just turn me into a teapot. All I desire is to be filled with tea! And possibly chocolate.