Peeling off the sheet and duvet cover, I push myself up, claw at the night stand for reading glasses and slowly pad through the dark toward the bathroom. A misplaced pillow on the floor like a roadblock for a blind man navigating his own house is an interruption to confidence in steps. My gasp threatens to awaken my husband.
It’s 6:30, that’s what it reads on the illuminated screen of the cell phone in my hand before I slide it into the arm of a black velvet robe and tie the satin ribbon in a bow at my waist.
Gently pushing the door open wide enough for my body to exit, I walk out of the bedroom and into the kitchen. I’m the first one up in our house during our waiting season. A swath of quiet has become morning’s sweet anticipation.
First sounds breaking open the stillness are the slow rev of the electric tea kettle heating up, the squeaky slide of the accordion door opening on the pantry, the tinkle of the lid pulled from the top of the pot, the plop, plop of tea bags in the empty ceramic cavern.
My heart at daybreak is likened to a full tea pot warming under the cosy, ready for pouring out into an empty schedule.
“LORD, remind me how brief my time on earth will be. Remind me that my days are numbered–how fleeting my life is.” Psalm 39:4
An hour later, the last drops of warm amber drip into my cup with melancholy and reminding. Mercy is new every morning. And tomorrow I shall grasp it.
Tea in England is like breathing is to our existence, without it, England is not England. The answer of tea in most of life’s conversations is one of the many facets of British culture speaking my heart language.
Are you are a tea drinker? What brand do you like? We’ve had a little discussion about that on Facebook and I find opinions about tea are like parenting advice. Slanted by past experience and personality.
I won’t be sharing my posts on social networking channels daily because who wants to see that much of me, really? If you want to follow our adventure to London subscribe to the blog in the side bar and posts will slide quietly into you inbox. Start from the beginning of the series here.
My favorite tea is any brand with mint. I love the freshness of that taste. No sugar. No milk, Just good old tea. You are making me thirsty. LOL
I love mint Jean but don’t care for any other varieties except black tea. I’ve tried but my palette doesn’t like anything else. Alas.
I’m w/ you here, Shelly, with a nod to Jean for proving that variety and mint are the spice of life: We all have different tastes. But I will say that I occasionally like a fresh mint sprig in a tall glass of iced tea. You know, too, Shelly, it’s funny that the Brits just don;t abide iced tea. And if Americans request it, they usually just give us one cube, and two if we are lucky! =] And I’m sure you know that Iced tea was invented right here in St. Louis at the 1904 World’s Fair!
I am not fond of tea…any kind, hot or cold. Isn’t that sad? I will politely partake of it if that is all that’s offered. I do however, appreciate the whole *idea* that tea time invokes, and wish that “coffee time” was a “thing” here in America. I loved this visual, “My heart at daybreak is likened to a full tea pot warming under the cosy, ready for pouring out into an empty schedule.” <3
You don’t love tea, Caryn? I’ll be praying for you! Ha. Little joke! I don’t know what I would do without mine.
Hahaha! I don’t know why Lynn. I’ve just never developed a taste for it. Cold tea *looks* good on a hot day and hot tea *sounds* good when served up in a proper tea cup and served on a tray…but…alas, it’s a good thing I’m not called to England
Well, Caryn (with a C–see I remembered! :-). I’m *almost* ready to except this explanation…….but just one more thought: Do you think it could be the type of tea, or that it wasn’t prepared properly? Honestly, Americans do it abysmally. Even my husband will drink tea in England. But i f you truly hate it, I do relate. There is nothing I love more than going into a coffee shop and smelling robust roasts. But I thkn I would rather die than DRINK the stuff! =]
I’m not sure Lynn. Perhaps I need to visit Shelly and have tea in England to make an educated decision 😉
I used to be a coffee drinker Caryn and then I had to stop drinking it in the morning because it upset my stomach. Now I have coffee occasionally in the evening or when we are out. God makes us all so unique, that is what makes life interesting, yes?
Oh yes indeed Shelly. <3
Ok, so Shelly, don’t shoot me, but currently my favorite brand is Barry’s Tea, Gold Blend. I know it’s not English, but it’s to die for and reasonably priced. They’ve been making it in Ireland since 1901. We used to order directly from Ireland, but now have found a global market, locally, which carries it. I also love Taylor’s tea from London and York Gold. I love the city of York, and this tea is also excellent. Frankly, I’ve never had a bad up of tea in England, and I love the way they traditionally serve it–with milk and sugar. But at home, I use honey with my half-and-half (organic on both). We must have a tearoom date over there, once you are settled. You can see that I am already envisioning a trip back. Of course, tea is more that tea. It’s an act of camaraderie and civility. Oh, and do go to Bettys Tea Room in York. It’s elegant: http://www.bettys.co.uk/tea-rooms/locations/york
Also, it’s fun to have tea in country houses like Chattsworth. They serve lovely cream teas. For you and your Anglophile readers, you might be interested in following the blog of Lady Carnarvon, the actual owner of Highclere Castle of Downton Abbey fame: http://www.ladycarnarvon.com/harvest-festival/ I had fun commenting on her blog today.
You’re getting closer day by day. Keep calm, drink tea, and pray, and you will be settled in London before you know it!
I have an Irish friend who brought me some Barry’s back from Ireland once and love it! I still have the tin she gave me in my pantry. My favorite tea when we travel through England is Yorkshire too. I’m planning to visit that website you linked to, thanks for always thinking of me and my readers here with your comments.
Ok, Shelly, so now we have Yorkshire and Barry’s tea in common, too. What will be next?! =]
Love reading your England posts. Love anticipating this with you. God’s working it all out, Shelly!
I only drink hot tea if I am not feeling well and then I only want plain ole Lipton. But I love the idea of tea time!
Tea time is always a good idea Mary. Will you be at Allume this year?
I don’t like tea or coffee which makes it a bit socially awkward when people offer it as often happens in the uk!
I love tea! I don’t drink coffee. Unfortunately Bible study groups usually only serve coffee, so I just drink water. My favorite teas are Stash Tea. I can order it online, and they sometimes put it on sale. They have loose tea and tea bags in an amazing variety! I have gotten their variety packs at times, just so I can try different types of tea. My all time favorite is English Breakfast tea! I also really enjoy Jasmine green tea. The flower scent is amazing.
I was already thinking I should fix a hot cup of tea to warm me up. Started reading your post and HAD to go do it! My favorite? Red rooibus. (Do herbal teas count in England?!) I love the the way you savored the moment of your morning tea in this post. Tea is one of God’s gifts that you definitely appreciate!
I’m a tea drinker, and I lOVE Pukka tea, which you should be able to find in the UK. I don’t think it’s sold in the US. Three ginger, lemongrass & ginger, chamomile and vanilla chai are my favourites. It’s a great herbal tea brand.