Wednesday, 8 January 2014

On tea-making as an alternative to murder

The Chinese and Japanese civilisations have developed rituals around the act of offering a drink of tea, devising ceremonies that go far beyond domesticity or hospitality. Every step of the elaborate ritual is designed to emphasize tranquillity, mutual respect and spiritual harmony.

I could have done with some inner harmony this morning when I made my husband a cup of tea instead of murdering him. The dear man had put a baking tray away in the cupboard, unwashed. Some weeks later I retrieved it, slippery with oil and encrusted with charred remains. Grrr! Even my mother, who displayed a splendid disregard for domestic perfection, would never have done that.

Inner peace failing to manifest itself, I revert to Keep Calm and Carry On. Recall my own mistakes and near disasters. Make cup of tea for both of us and smile. He smiles back, his tranquillity undisturbed.  "Any chance of another?"  he asks.

Image courtesy of imagerymajestic at

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