Hi everyone. I’ve been awake since 3am on what is Mother’s Day in the UK, so I’m going to do a shout out to all mothers, mothers-to-be and those who just need a virtual (((hug))), perhaps because they miss their mums or fell out with their mums or have been separated for whatever reason.
My aunt, an American, married my uncle, a Brit many years ago. My uncle lived in the US for more than two decades … could have been three earning a living with his Geology qualifications. He vowed he’d return to the UK when his elderly parents became frail, and that’s exactly what he did. He brought his wife to England; she thought our houses were ‘quaint’ and laughed at the disastrous ways we deal with a dusting of snow and the whole country grinds to a halt. But, like most in the UK we Brits like to drink tea and are renowned for our trailing teahouses and cafes snuggled in narrow lanes and along cobbled side streets.
When I was very young, my uncle’s parents (aka my grandparents) were invited over to what we call ‘tea’ (sandwiches, cake and beverages of squash or hot drinks) – which was usually on a weekend because my parents worked and we children were at school in the week – and they turned up in their Triumph, which I then thought was a Mini. My brother, a bit older than me, was prompted by my mother to make them a cup of tea on their arrival. Assuming he knew how to do this task, he was allowed to set to work. Minutes later, with the kettle boiling, there was a moment similar to: ‘You didn’t put diesel in petrol car, did you?’ moment as my mother stood, mouth agape gazing into the kettle. Her son and my brother had added loose tea leaves to kettle instead of spooning them into the teapot. She watched as the brown soggy leaves danced and pirouetted in the bubbling water, wondering how she was going to clean up the mishap.
Similarly, well maybe differently, my own son offered to make me a cup of hot chocolate when he was little. I felt proud of this moment as I waited patiently for him to bring me a mug of steaming chocolate. I took a tentative sip and found it weak and watery rather than thick and creamy or indeed chocolatey! ‘How did you make this?’ I asked.
My little boy described how he had one MINI rolo left and wanted to give it to me … so he boiled the kettle, placed the mini rolo in a mug and added hot water to it. Endearing. I haven’t tasted anything quite like it!
Tea, on the other hand, is drunk black in our house. I sometimes drink fruit tea at work. My mother-in-law, however loves her tea from a teapot and then adds milk. She likes Earl Grey and is content to receive a box of teabags for any occasion be it a birthday or Christmas. I hope she likes her Mother’s Day present. It’s not tea, but a bouquet of flowers will sit nicely on her table while we sip our drinks 🙂