I was watching one of those clichéd movie moments the other night instead of doing something productive. It was the moment when the hero says something similar to “That’s a line I will not cross!”. Usually there is dramatic body language attached, including miming drawing a line, presumably in mimed sand.
I recently discovered within myself a steely core of resistance in another area. In retrospect it was not really surprising but I was a little taken aback at the time.
It involved tea.
There is no doubt that clichés are popular because they resonate within us, and highlight something we all recognise. In this case, we all have limits to what we are prepared to do. Milgram’s infamous experiments purported to demonstrate that people can be pushed further if someone in a white coat and with an air of authority is doing the pushing. Whatever the validity of the findings it is true that authority figures can push us along, and potentially arguable that that is how organised religion gets away with so much. Let’s not go there today though.
The reason I am musing on this cliché is that I know I have my own limits. In some cases these are reflected in the charities I choose to support; for example, I prefer to donate to mental health charities rather than donkey sanctuaries, or overseas aid rather than diabetes. All of them are important but I have to prioritise. I will still put a few quid in any of those tins if shaken at me, or if someone is jumping from a helicopter, or whatever. I am just more likely to put additional time or effort into some of them, although sometimes it’s about what skills I have to offer or location and timing. I trust that other people prioritise differently and we all balance out.
I am a signed up professional so I adhere to a code of conduct. This means there are lines at work I will not cross either, and I have had occasion a couple of times in my career to have to stand firm. It has worked. People aren’t evil or stupid on the whole.
Back to the Tea Incident then.
I recently had surgery on both shoulders and as a result when I woke up from the anaesthetic I was severely restricted in movement. The nurses bustled about me and made me feel cocooned in a warm fuzzy glow. They brought me a glass of water with a straw because I couldn’t lift anything. I sucked it gratefully.
This was an English hospital, perhaps more importantly a Yorkshire hospital, so naturally the next question was not “how are you feeling?” but “would you like a cup of tea?”.
I indicated that I would. In fact I actually croaked out “Oh God! Yes!” and hoped it didn’t sound too desperate or needy.
The tea lady checked how I took it (strong, dark and handsome, if you must know), and returned with a mug of the beautiful brew. A mug, I repeat, because this is the home of right and proper tea drinking. God bless Yorkshire and the NHS.
There was only one small blemish on the tea horizon. She had put a straw in it.
“You can’t lift that,” she said. “So I put the straw in.”
“I’m not having tea through a straw,” I thought. I said it out loud too.
I reached forward through gritted teeth to lift the mug of hot, steaming liquid.
The tea lady sucked in her breath audibly.
The other patients all froze, eyes glued to my bed, like a group of medicalised meerkats.
Somewhere the orchestra played tense music at the rate of a rapidly beating heart.
The nurse at the next bed went into one of those slow motion dives across the room, hand outstretched, crying out “Noooooooooooooooooo!” as my arm wobbled and I winced with the pain.
Of course I didn’t spill it. It was tea. You don’t waste tea. It tasted wonderful.
As they say round here, even my dog wears boots.
What are the lines you won’t cross, great or small? What are the risks you will take?
There’s a woman in our office drinks that Yorkshire Tea – I keep expecting her to talk like Compo. That’s probably the line I won’t cross.
Yes it is well known that everybody here talks like Compo 🙂
But that’s not the tea, it’s the water 😉
it may just be whippets…
Well, I am a disgrace because I much prefer a coffee to a tea, but on those rare occasions I fancy a tea it has to be strong, with just a dash of milk. It makes me want crumpets. Or boiled egg and soldiers. Mmmmm…..
My beverage-related line in the sand is a hot ‘malt extract’ product under any of its trade names. People should just eat a malted milk and be done with it! 🙂
On a completely unrelated matter, as I am catching up from hibernation I’ve only just noticed your new picture up top – is that an Anglo Saxon reconstruction?
well no one is perfect! I even married a coffee drinker 🙂
I am also partial to the occasional malty milky drink so long as it;s not too sweet – but the biscuit version is totally delicious in all forms.
The picture is indeed an Iron Age roundhouse recon at the Ryedale Folk Museum on the North York Moors – enjoy
Honestly. There is little better than a well made cup of tea. The exception: I must begin my day with a French press cup of coffee. Life — “a line I will not cross” is facing my world without it.
Enjoyed your story and wish you a quick recovery.
Thank you very much! I agree a decent cup of coffee in the morning is a god-send, although I still have to have tea first 🙂
Give me a P G Wodehouse work any day and a mildly hot cup of tea and I am virtually in heaven. I must have the daily restorative with just the right blend of black and green tea, with little bit of soya milk thrown in for good measure. Accompanied by a cookie or two, it makes life sunnier!
Tea = sunshine, absolutely!
And PG Wodehouse just makes it all even better, I agree 🙂
Allow me to share one of my recent posts:
I love your post. I would not drink tea through a straw either. Sticking by your principles, no matter how absurd, is important. It shows you are not willing to lower your standards, even on the small things.
I have to emphasise that no standards were harmed in the creation of this post!
“like a group of medicalised meerkats.”
LOVE this line! Fellow tea fanatic here. I get it…
thank you kindly! Us tea fanatics have to stick together 🙂
Ditto. Hysterical instant mental image–kind of reminds me of the people waiting in line at Starbucks. Except they would be pre-medicalized.
Thank you 🙂
This has been quite a therapy session!
If psychiatrists ever found out how much pure, no-side-effects, ecstatic relief is derived from blogging, they’d team up and sue WordPress.
I hadn’t thought of that before, but you are right!
*clinks teacups with electronicbaglady
Cheers my dear
Love your post! As a fellow tea drinker I can relate completely – they don’t even ask if I want a cup at work anymore, the answer is always yes – but I could never drink it through a straw!
My colleagues too – they remember how I like it because I tell them “strong, dark and handsome” and they don’t need telling again 🙂
Coffee for me every time, tea is my line in the sand, i would wear an England Rugby top at a Wales game in front of my family and friends before i drank tea 🙂
Ouch! I have done that but of course on that occasion we won 🙂
In my defence I can sing the Welsh national anthem if and when required. I had slightly unusual schooling for an English child.
wow that is a decidedly unusual piece of schooling, though to be fair we did have to learn “god save the queen” besides our own in school
It’s like the United Nations!
sounds like it wouldve been a good experience, congrats on being freshly pressed btw
I LOVE tea, we had puzzle parties at Grandma’s house and we always had tea and cookies while we visited her and each other on a Sunday after church. Besides Grandma there were mom and her sisters and some of their children (Me being one of them). Grandma had a milk intolerance and were forced to have Red Rose Tea with Coffee Mate made into a liquid by adding water. I didn’t really enjoy the tea with Coffee mate in it but we all drank it that way. After Grandma died back in 1995 at age 95, we all went our separate ways. All the grown kids drinking tea and doing puzzles at out parents houses. As I’ve aged I drank Continental Brand Darjeeling Tea, but when the Coffee Gal’s discontinued it I switched to Tetley British Blend which has extra tea in the round bags, Red Rose again. Now I’m drinking Bromley Estate Tea at morning and noon and Bromley Decaf Green Tea in the evening because they cost a mere $1.98 a box of 100 teabags at Walmart.. Sadly though I find the high test” Estate tea is making my heart beat rapidly and I’m going to have to switch to Decaf black tea.
By the way I have had Yorkshire tea, and it’s VERY similar in strength the your Yorkshire tea. Since I love hot sweet tea with milk and sugar in it, you know a girl needs some strong tea, but I’m going to have to have a single cup of true strong tea with breakfast. Thanks for the post.
What a lovely story. Our family drinks such a mix of things, but we also enjoy drinking them while doing the Sunday crossword.
I meant that the Yorkshire Tea is similar the the Tetley British Blend as they both have extra tea in the bags.
Not sure if that is exactly what we get here in UK but Yorkshire tea is certainly strong!
There are thinks that I said I would not due and yet with time crossed the line. It depends on the day. But because I love my wife I never strayed. The drama in my own mind would not be worth it. We have now been married for forty four years. The best thing I ever did.
Congratulations! Sadly not so common. We made our 30th anniversary last year and still very happy. Some of us are lucky 🙂
My most recent discovery is Chai tea. Cinnamon with tea…never thought it would work but it’s amazing!
I think I have had something like that – it’s good isn’t it?
It’s lovely! Well worth buying 🙂
Reblogged this on The World's Chronicle.
I wouldn’t drink tea through a straw either! Lines I wouldn’t cross? I think blatantly berate someone concerning their response to something I’ve created (art/writing). Or spew blatant hate towards my parents, as imperfect as they are. These are big lines. But I love how you illustrated the woman sucking her teeth and how everyone suddenly began paying attention, I was on edge too. LOL.
Hope I didn’t scare too many people 🙂
Small lines are worth celebrating I think
People are on edge in hospitals anyway ya know? 🙂 I liked it, or at least the reading of it. 🙂
Thanks – hospital was certainly a bit stressful 🙂
I bet! 🙂 And thank-you, for SHARING! 🙂
Good post… 😉
Most welcome 2 u …. 😉
Reblogged this on At Home With Vickie !.
Oh you are so welcome God Bless You ! I am new to this so please bare with me and in time I will have much more to share !
everyone starts somewhere 🙂 Look forward to reading mroe
I get my tea shipped to me from a brilliant place in the Lake District. It’s one of the only fixes I have left in my life. Ian x
Not teapigs by any chance? Their tea is amazing and I thought they were based there. …
Hazelmere Teas. Try their home brand.
Thanks – will do!
Reblogged this on My Life as Carrine.
Nice cup of tea. Now that’s a good idea. I’m certain there is an App I can download that will play situation music, so I will find that, programme ‘ cupper time’ into it and Bobs your uncle.B
Shame there isn’t an app to make the tea as well!
Love the story, the imagery, and the tea!
always the tea!
Thanks for your kind words 🙂
I just started reading some blogs with my cup of Dajeeling tea at my side. Tea is comforting and calming, I too love it. I hope tea and rest is healing up your shoulders.
Thank you for reading here! Good recovery spurred on by plentiful tea and kindly blogfolk 🙂
My partner is French and will not drink any tea but Yorkshire Tea! If there’s no Yorkshire Tea, there is no alterative…
How very wise 🙂
Reblogged this on The International Blogspaper.
Reblogged this on Zebra's Child: Living With CVID and commented:
This is wonderful writing that had me laughing out loud. Suffice it to say that after reading this, I am following her blog. This post will give me a marvelous image to conjure up the next time I am faced with the dreary sameness of hospital days. Which I fervently hope is not anytime soon. In the interest of full disclosure, I must confess that while I drink and enjoy good coffee, I am primarily a tea drinker, having been raised on good English tea. I find it soothing, comforting, delicious… and it reminds me that my beloved grandmother always had the tea tray out and set, waiting for me when I got home from school.
thank you so much!
You’re very welcome. I love reading your posts! They’re serious, witty, funny, and your personality shines through. What a great friend you must be.
That’s very kind!
very well work done…keep going…i liked it…its nice…as am a new blogger in this world and i wrote just 1 blog (story) (http://mindtechnorms.wordpress.com/2014/02/13/when-god-granted-tittus-to-go-to-earth-for-1-day-part-i/) and unable to find my viewer as like you, can u please help me by reading my 1st blog what wrong with my writing…is really something wrong with my writing or am just expecting too early…your helpful comments will really inspire me… and please follow me…
You might like to check out the Community Pool on WordPress – I think they offer lots of advice there 🙂
thanks for your advice…
Hell would be having to endlessly drink weak tea with two sugars in a polystyrene cup.
In a mug. Brewed for five minute with a splash of milk. There is no alternative
I agree although I did come across worse once. Maybe I’ll share it in another post 🙂
Ah, Yorkshire…love it!
Good taste, that blogger!
Great writing and really enjoyed reading your post 🙂
Hope you are feeling better now.
Thank you – making good progress 🙂
Tea is the secret of our energy!
but milk is the secret of cat energy!
Ouch! With pained shoulders and Yorkie tea, what a brew…better than Earl Grey. And who spoils a good cuppa with soya milk? Once, atop a thin icy arret at 9am, my climbing partner and I dug out a niche and brewed some tea. Being the first up that week, we were surprised when two guys struggled towards us, which meant decamping and, naturally, re-starting the long process of making tea at altitude. Us Blinkin’ Brits….which is what those Swiss guys said….
They just don’t understand, poor things!
Seeing the picture of the Yorkshire Tea I just had to comment. There is no tea better for a Sunday afternoon in my opinion than delicious Yorkshire Tea. Milk, one sweetener and far too many custard creams. Heaven.
Visit New Gen Journo for unbiased opinions on everything
Yay for custard creams!
I’m a Yorkshire woman living and working in London, I only drink Yorkshire tea and working for a New York business allows me to introduce it to so many non-Brits! Such a joy.
What a fun job!
Thanks for reading and commenting 🙂
Many thanks 🙂
You absolutely will not believe this, I am reading this in the Shenandoah Valley of Virginia (USA) and thought I do not get to look at FRESHLY PRESSED that often, i just set down with a teapot of freshly brewed “YORKSHIRE GOLD” tea, and scrolling down the screen, saw your post and had to read it! i will admit to being tea snob, I tried Yorkshire Gold, 30 years ago and have been hooked ever since. Thanks for your wonderful post!
wow! that’s a great coincidence!
Appreciating good tea is a very sensible thing to do and not at all snobby, so long as you can accept that others have different tastes, by which I mean “are not enlightened”. But I never say that out loud. Don’t tell anyone 🙂
Well done. It’s good to have self-respect at the risk of life and limb. Musings on tea treason…that’s my cup of…ah never mind. Cheers!
Self respect is everything!
Reblogged this on I Love Geekology 101 and commented:
I came across this just as I was finishing my second cup of tea this morning. Now, I think I’ll need another. I’ve never tried Yorkshire tea, but I will be now! 🙂
Thank you, and I hope you find the tea to your taste! It’s best with Yorkshire water of course 🙂
Given a username that contained “baglady” I expected (and wanted) a lecture on the proper ways of drinking tea. But I got so much more than that. Thanks for the laughs!
Thank you too! I feel George Orwell provides a very useful guide although I cannot agree with him on the milk first/after debate 🙂
I miss Yorkshire tea so much.
I did have some earlier today, I just miss it now, tis all.
Nice post though.
Thank you. Now go and brew up my lad!
I would have asked for Tequila, but then I am not British. Nice read, made me think of the beginning of Catch 22.
Thanks! Fortunately they let me go home the next day 🙂
Reblogged this on francoiseblogspot's Blog.
Love this! You’re so right about Yorkshire hospitals, if only YDH could prescribe their tea. I don’t even like tea and it made me feel better. Something in the water? My guess would be magic!
Yorkshire water is a key ingredient 🙂
The tea just activates it