Wednesday, 9 November 2016

Relax . . . .



Teatime comes earlier these days to our little home . . . it seems to be getting dark around 4 o'clock in the afternoon.  There is something very soothing and comforting about sitting down with a hot drink and cake in the waning light of afternoon before the darkness hits.

I am not a person who drinks regular tea, partially because I suscribe to the Word of Wisdom, which is a law of health revealed by the Lord for the physical and spiritual benefit of His children . . .  and partially because I am not a fan of the way tea stains things like teeth and cups.   I do enjoy a nice herbal brew however.   Just because a person doesn't drink black tea there is not reason why they cannot enjoy and  practice all the rituals which go along with taking tea . . .



It can be as formal or as relaxed as one wishes it to be.  It can be as simple as a hot drink and a toasted tea cake . . . or as complicated as a hot drink  with a few finger sandwiches and a scone with cream and jam . . . and just a tiny slice of cake.  Yes please!  We can't forget the cake.

The main thing is  . . .  it is a time to slow down, kick back, put up your feet and just be zen . . .  at one with the cup, day, cake . . . your thoughts . . .

 

There is a right way and a wrong way to do tea.  I don't do hot drinks very often and I find a great comfort in getting the pot to just the right temperature.  A quick rinse with hot water helps.  I like infused tea with fresh leaves . . .  you can get herbal leaves.   I have some very good ones.  But failing that I am also a large fan of the silk pyramid bags.  Twinings does some lovely ones . . .



This is the super fruity one  . . . it went just right with a slice of apple cake.   I have always preferred my teas/hot drinks black . . .  with maybe only a touch of honey and a thin slice of lemon, lightly pricked with a clove . . . inhaling that hot steam as you bring the cup up to your face for that first sip is all a part of the ritual . . .

That first sip contains all the sentiment and nostalgic feelings that are present in the reading of a Jane Austin novel . . .  for just a moment you are Elizabeth Bennet dreaming of Mr Darcy as you sit there in your calico dress, warming your toes by the grates of the fire in the sitting room . . .  delicate conversation whispers around your ears  . . . .

 

   ♥•✿•♥•✿ڿڰۣ•♥•✿•♥ teacup ♥•✿•♥•✿ڿڰۣ•♥•✿•♥

I do love a proper china teacup.   I have been collecting them for years now, since I was a very young woman.  My favourite cup is  an antique one that my sister gave me years and years ago.   It holds all the love I have for and have from my sister.  When I fill it with tea . . .  I am with her . . . and I remember all of the happy occasions and conversations we have shared, yes . . .  over cups of tea.

My mother has some beautiful china cups and saucers . . .  my favourite one is the one which is imprinted with shamrocks . . .

 

And then there is the one with the daffodils . . .  there are little raised dots on it that I love to run my fingers over.    I have spent years and years admiring these cups and saucers, since I was a small child.   She had given them to me once when I was married, but when the marriage broke up she went back to the house and took them back, for fear that they would have fallen into the wrong hands and yes  . . .  I fear that they might have done so in retrospect and so it was a wise  move on her part.

But we are talking of gentle things  . . .



Its all about slowing down . . .  gentling your thoughts . . . grabbing a moment to refresh and relax.  Gentle conversation, or some nice music . . . or just quiet reflection as you watch the flames flicker in the grate . . .

Yesterday we had hymns of the church playing  . . .  it was quite simply lovely.  No words, just instrumentals.   Zen . . .

 

And what do you favour with your hot cuppa . . .  that is as important a decision as what you decide to put in your cup.    Storebought or homemade . . .  dunkable or not  . . . sweet or savoury.   Myself I like something crumbly and short . . .  like a good Scottish shortbread, and it doesn't have to be homemade, although homemade are very nice . . . but I do enjoy a simple rich tea biscuit/cookie . . . or a digestive . . .

OR . . . just a slice of buttered toast with maybe a hint of jam or honey thinly spread over its warm buttery craggy surface.   I don't really do white bread these days, unless it is a very good rustic bread, like a sour dough artisanal loaf . . . I like it very thinly sliced and toasted until crisp, crisp, crisp . . .

Taking time for tea  . . .  on a cold and darkening afternoon . . . is taking time for me, and that is not such a bad thing in the scheme of things.

  

Strange how a teapot can represent at the same time
the comforts of solitude and the pleasures of company . . .
~Unknown



In lieu of a real recipe to enjoy today here is my recipe for Chocolate Chip Shortbread.  Something to enjoy with a nice hot drink.

I wish for you a beautiful day.   Be happy.  Don't forget!

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And I do too!


11 comments:

Suze said...

Tea in our home is always a high tea Yorkshire style. There is a horrible storm rumbling away. I am looking forward to the much needed rain. I am safe in our tiny home and that's all too the good.

God bless you always.

Marie Rayner said...

I hope you get the respite from the heat and dryness you crave Suzan! Indoors on a stormy day is the best place to be! xoxo

kate hazlehurst said...

Hi Marie, mmmmmm tea and cake, delicious!! Unfortunately I have an extra fondness for a cream tea!!

Well things are improving round here. Joyce is out of hospital, although still really weak and on a lot of medication, but she is happy to be home. Fred's eye is also improving, and he is desperate to get driving again. But as is always the way another obstacle is upsetting Joyce. Their son David got married to a girl from Singapore this year and he moved to Singapore to live. Fred and Joyce were supposed to be going to Singapore for 10 weeks at the end of November. Obviously neither of them can fly now so this has been cancelled. David and Liv have now said they will come home for Christmas instead. And there lies the problem. Fred is a terrible, terrible hoarder. Their house is a death trap with all the stuff he keeps and since David left he has taken over David's room as well with his junk. So Joyce is really anxious now cos the house is so bad and she can't do anything about it. He promises to sort it but never does, it just gets worse. I'm hoping we'll be able to do something but he's so stubborn I'm not sure what.

Hope everything goes well for Todd today. Thinking of you both and do keeping you in my prayers.

Lots of love xxx

Marie Rayner said...

Happy to read that things are improving Kate, but sorry to hear about the problem with the house of Joyce and Fred. What a conundrum. Hoarding is a terrible disease. I have been in houses like that before and it is overwhelming. I Hope the problem can be sorted for you and for the visit of David and Liv! I will be praying! Thanks so much for your prayers. xoxo

Suze said...

Prayers for Joyce and Fred.

I'm mostly known as 'MA' said...

When the weather turns colder I drink more hot than cold. Tea is a favorite for late afternoon, but I start off the day with a cup of coffee. Taking some quiet time with a comforting beverage and for you, someone to enjoy it with is a blessing.

La Table De Nana said...

Ahh..the charms of tea♥
Lovely pics Marie..and I love shortbreads.

Marie Rayner said...

I am like youPam. In the summer months I like a cold drink, I especially love iced teas, but come winter-time I fancy something hot and warming. Yes, I am very blessed to have someone to enjoy it with. xoxo

Thanks Monique. I know you love shortbreads. In that we are so very much alike. xoxo

Summer said...

Hoping for the best with Joyce and Fred. Loving your photos today ♥

Tracy said...

Oh, this cup of cheer is sooo lovely today, Marie!! I love me a cup tea--preferably in a china cup. And I enjoy most teas. Although, I don't care for all these fruit teas that are so popular. I don't like then hot, but as iced tea they are OK when mixed with a black tea, which is nice for summer. Tea is so comforting. And some comfort, as well a cheer, is much appreciated just now. We lost our Charlie-kitty yesterday... He had to be put down. Here he had cancer, unbeknownst to us. And in the past 2-3 weeks he went down hill very, very fast and was very unwell. Our hearts are broken... :( Between this, and the tragedy that was the American Presidential election here--yesterday was not a good day. So I am so thankful for you cup of warmth and good cheery here today, my dear friend!! ((LOVE & BIG HUGS))

Marie Rayner said...

Thank you Summer and Tracy. I am so sorry to hear about Charlie Tracy. My heart breaks for you. Must have made a day that was difficult for you even worse. ((((hugs)))) Love to you and TJ. I know how big a part of your lives Charlie was. xoxo