The great British tea ceremony

Today, my dears, I am somewhat exhausted from a drive down south and back to collect the Southern-based Offspring. Sigoth and I ignored the hysteria on the radio and set off with no more than a packet of chocolate hob nobs to sustain us through the perils of March snow. The journey was fast, uneventful and slushy. Coming back was faster, although I regretted my cavalier haste, discovering I had picked up the Yorkshire road atlas by mistake and was faced with having to improvise when we learned the M1 was closed on the northbound carriageway. We took the A1 instead and very jolly it was. By the time we reached God’s Own County there were patches of blue sky and the occasional glimpse of sunshine. The thermometer rose above zero for the first time. We were nearly home.

The worst thing about the trip was the utter lack of potable tea. To a true-born daughter of this sceptre isle, set in a silver sea, this is a calamity. The hotel we use when visiting the Southern-based Offspring is convenient for location, has ample parking and is close to an excellent Indian restaurant. However, the proprietors, no matter how sound in every other respect, feel that sachets fo UHT milk are acceptable for the in-room catering. My dears, they are wrong.

The result was that I arrived home having been deprived of the elixir of life for almost 48 hours. I was a wreck. The kettle was boiled and tea prepared within minutes of our return, and order was restored to the planets orbiting in the heavens. I felt strong enough to deal with the emails that had flustered into my in-box.

For those of you who are not familiar with the place tea plays in civilised life, I urge you to study this introduction to The Tea Code in British Etiquette. It may be of service if you ever visit.

Meanwhile, for those of you who need a musical version, please enjoy the tea rap – but only if you don’t mind some naughty words. Apparently rap is about rage and rage is about swearing. You have been warned.



Go on then, it's your turn

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