Wednesday, 19 September 2007

A nice cup of tea

Susan at Number 30 gave birth to 8 pound two ounce Thomas Samuel Michael Robinson-Hoult at 6.3oam this morning. I know this because Lydia appeared, a sodden mess and surgically attached to a jumbo packet of mixed biscuits, on my doorstep at twenty past nine this morning. Lydia knew this because the jubilant father, Lydia's soon-to-be-ex-husband, rang Lydia at 8.30 to give her the happy news. Given that Susan is the woman he abandoned Lydia for, you can imagine Lydia didn't take the news in the spirit in which it was meant. "I couldn't think where else to go!" she sobbed as she threw herself at me. I half carried her into the living room, deposited her on the sofa and headed towards the kitchen to make a "nice cup of tea".

It's funny how tea is used to treat all ailments, worries, distressing news and, well, everything. And it always has to be a "nice" cup of tea, not just "oh, I'll make a cup of tea". During my mum's funeral (at which I thought I coped rather admirably) I would have drowned if I'd accepted all of the offers of "a nice cup of tea". My Auntie Ivy, after her first sip, always says "ooh, such a lovely cup of tea". She did that once when we were at BhS in Bromley. I sipped at mine again and wondered why it tasted like washing up water.

Having said that, I do like a "nice cup of tea". I have mine strong, with very little milk and no sugar. Builders Tea David calls it. He likes his "as it comes" and - depending on where he is - that could mean literally anything. Bea has hers with lemon "very weak, just swirl the bag round once" Charlie has gallons of milk in hers, Saskia hates tea in all shapes and forms but will tolerate a green tea every now and again.

I used to love tea time when I was at work. Always 3.30pm, we'd stop whatever we were doing (I worked at a hospital on the admin side of things) and head for the kettle. It was like a ritual across the whole building. Can't get through on the phone? They're making tea. Queueing at the desk to register for your appointment? They're making tea. Wondering where the hell everyone is? They're in the kitchen. Making tea.

Anyway, Lydia had her tea. She dunked some biscuits and drank the teapot dry. She said she felt better for it. A five minute break of normality (and a discussion about bunting for the Street Party) and then she was off again "I'm never going to have a baby am I? Am I? I'm going to end up all alone in the world with just a cat for company." she wailed, sobbing into the sofa cushions and grabbing for the bourbon creams.

I went out to make a nice cup of tea to go with them.


nunheadarts said...

Take poor Lydia to the classical concert in Nunhead tomorrow night, help her forget about rotten ex!

Nunhead Mum of One said...

I might just do that! Got a hair appointment at Shear Class first though, so will be nice and glam!

Anonymous said...

Good old fashioned tetley. Can't beat it!

Crystal xx

debio said...

This is weird insofar as my husband and I were only wondering recently why people say 'have a nice cup of tea', when they would hardly want a foul one would they?

Anyway, often does the trick, although I'm not a tea drinker myself.

Hope Lydia comes to terms with this - not easy, eh?

jeff said...

I am an avid tea drinker and believe that a cup of tea can help solve just about any problem. Sit back with your favorite blend (mine is any green tea) and empty your head to let just the good thoughts enter as you inhale the aroma wafting from your cup. Sip your cup of loose tea, never tea bags and you ill instantly feel better.

Omega Mum said...

Personally speaking, I always prefer a nice cup of vodka - but always put the milk in first.

Anonymous said...

i love green tea!

currently is so into dragonwell green tea..

my fav would be the imperial long jing green tea from

of their daily gunwpoder green and great stuff

Macky said...

love the writing.....keep it up ! do your neighbours mind being in your blog ? [Do you disguise their identities ?]
That's one thing that makes me hestitate to publish my writing (although my writing group liked it).
All the best

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Nunhead, London, United Kingdom
I'm a mum of one, wife of one and owner to several dogs, a variety of breeds and sizes. I live in the up and coming area (or so they say) of Nunhead and have mad neighbours, strange friends and certifiable relatives. I shop locally, although I do defect to Sainsburys once a week - shoot me now local shopkeepers.