Dan doesn’t drink tea and, although we’ve been together for over two years now, I still find the concept of being with a non-tea-drinker very strange. I’m from a family of devoted tea drinkers (as is Dan). My Mum only ever drank tea, never coffee, with the occasional tipple of Lambrini, Stelar Artois or Egg Nog at Christmas. I’m sure I was on the stuff with two sugars from day dot.
I still remember the sound of my Mum drinking tea now. It started with slurp of just boiled tea from her cup, followed by a ‘tut’ as she let it slide down into her belly and an ‘ahhhhhh’ as she savoured her brew. They were ALWAYS enjoyed in her seat, on the left hand side of our hideous, floral two seater sofa. It irritated the hell of out me. I miss it now.
My grandma made a good brew. I had my own special cup for drinking tea at my grandma’s house and used it ever since I can remember. It had a small floral print in retro 70’s colours with a gold trim. It was real china and was part of a set of two. Only I ever drank from them, those ‘big girl’ cups always made me feel very special.
Tea is the answer to all of life’s problems. You have a bad day, you have a cup of tea. You’re journey to work is fraught with head on winds and rain, and you arrive at your desk looking like you swam in via the canal, and your day is salvaged by a cup of tea. At worst, someone dies, and you come to terms with the news over a cup of tea. In times of crisis, tea feels the right thing to make and the only thing to drink.
Why write this now? Well I’m going to a funeral tomorrow. I was with the family on the day they found out and my instant reaction as they came to terms with it was to make a pot of tea. Somehow, the arrival of cups of warm, nostalgic loveliness lightened their load and conversation. The moment each member of the family wrapped their hands around a cup of the hot stuff, they relaxed back into their chairs. It’s like, a cup of tea gives us permission to stop, just for a second, and savour the moment.
As the family and loved ones prepare for a difficult day, I’ll be on hand to boil the kettle and make a pot of tea. If you see someone or know someone who’s having a bad day, I hope you’re able to do the same.
In times of crisis, only tea can save the day.
Hayley Jayne xx