About race and about a certain feeling of alienation.

Hello readers – I am back, bigger, bolder and I do promise, stronger – which means I will be posting twice a week and I will do so every week. I do hope you have all been well. And have enjoyed or are enjoying winter.

Let’s not wait any longer to get into today’s subject : race.

I’ve recently finished reading Americanah by Chimamanda Adichie – which although ok I am nor black or from Africa, I can very much relate to. Yes, I am white and yes I probably have had quite a priviledged life in France. It doesn’t mean I don’t acutely feel unfrench most of the time. I was born in a town -Bergerac in the Dordogne, south west France – in the 80s and every day since my very first day at school I was ‘the little English girl’. I am a first generation French, half English and half German. What does that make me? European? Well I think a lot of you might relate to that if you are born in a similar situation as I was : not French in France, and not english in England, or german for that matter. So where do I f***ing belong? Seems like a simple enough answer to say that I belong where my heart is but seen through the lense of the other – that other being French or English or whatever else-..well I am something of a strange foreigner. You don’t need to be black or from North Africa to feel this stigma and it does stick to you your whole bloody life. Just the other day, my work doctor asked me how long I’d been in France? Erhhh… well just about 30 years!!! Most of my friends will tell you that I speak french like a french person, but that I have a different intonation. Well does that justify the question of my identity? I wonder.

I can start with my mother : she still has quite a strong british accent and she’s been going to the same bakeries for over 30 years, yet they still treat her as a tourist. She once had a phone interview -yes it was in french- to work as a guide for a cave, where the other person asked her if she spoke french.. she was speaking french during their whole phone conversation. She’s been living in France for around 35 years, speaks, reads and writes french fluently. Does an accent have to mean that you cannot speak a language? In that case how many of us don’t speak any other languages? Who truly loses their accent when acquiring another language? Besides saying you can’t understand another because of their accent is bullshit. Not making an effort is ridiculous. Can’t we make open mindedness compulsory? My mother has had to deal with this kind of backwards attitude her entire adult life. When will it stop? I reckon that’ll be when she leaves. That strange english woman… who doesn’t behave like all those other english tourists and yet is still here. The problem with my mother is that she doesn’t fit the usual British stereotype – she isn’t wealthy, she’s isn’t old and retired and she struggles with her life just as much as most people down there.

We should probably go back in history – just a wee bit- , not that that excuses any behaviours I have mentionned or forgotten to. La Dordogne is part of the Aquitaine region which used to be British back in the 12th and 13th century. So the history between french and brits here is very rich and very bloody – I mean you’ve all heard things about the 100 years war- and should you ever visit this region -something I strongly recommend- you’ll see and visit plenty of reminders. Now in more recent years the Dordogne has become somewhat of a spot where brits buy their holiday and retirement homes. They tend to buy old and run down buildings, and restore them which adds great charms to the areas. On the other hand french people do not like this – they say it brings up the price of houses on the market and because of the tourists buying up the properties, french people can’t afford much. Well let me assure you, most of my childhood friends from the Dordogne are doing fine and most own houses. When you go to the markets -llike Issigeac for example or Sarlat – it’s funny to see that a lot of the people are brits. But don’t they contribute to the wages of the locals by encouraging tourism and all that has to do with that.

Considering race in France, it’s something inherent to our society here : french people highly dislike foreigners. I know this is no exception and that each country has to face racism. And I am not saying that all french people are this way. But they sheer number of them is impressive. And with the recent events in Paris, things aren’t getting any better.

Anyway, time for me to go and refill my cuppa tea,

so until next time y’all 🙂

And please share with me and the other readers your own feelings of alienation or being a foreigner? 🙂

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Let’s imagine : random thoughts

If I could fly I would be an eagle, soaring through the skies looking for that very place to make my own. Looking out the window, it is easy to try and imagine what is happening all around us without us knowing anything. Do you enjoy peeking at lit windows in the dark? I know I do. The mischievous feeling of empowerment coming from your own mind seeking other places. With all these thoughts swimming in my mind, it was a pleasure to sip my cup of tea. 

Watching Muffin playing catch is great entertainment.

If I could be anywhere in the world, I’d be everywhere all at once. That would have to imply that I would become multiple. Now that would be something!

In less than 2 months we’ll be moving into our own home : our house!! I keep listening to Madness!! I am mad. Well as mad as the mad hatter, at the very least. 

Character development : 

Lilly, 29and a 1quarter and a half, writer and world traveller. Single. Lives in Paddington. Born : 28/05/1985 year of the strawberry.

Favourite colour : red.

Favourite music : City and colour, mojave 3

Favourite tea : darjeeling 1st flush, margaret’s hope.

Favourite activity : jumping up and down with a cuppa tea by her side.

She can’t decide between up and down, in or out, over there or over here, black or white, island or off island, love or friendship, a house or a flat, a cat or a dog, a big or a small mug and her hair being long or short.

She doesn’t know yet that her world is going to turn topsy turvy. She might go bonkers or she might remain quite sain. She hasn’t decided wether to brush her teeth for 3 minutes or 5 minutes, especially after reading the studies that have been made about teeth brushing, it might be even better to not brush your teeth at all. Her oven is about to explode in an ocean of colours and smells of roasted rose petals. 

On the other hand Lilly does know one thing : she is herself. And she has never been anyone else nor does she wish she could be anyone else. There is very good reason for that : trading skins comes with a heavy price. Your eyes change colour and your feet become longer, and if that was not enough, you hands start smelling like your feet if you do it too much. Lilly knew after watching her father do that alsmost every single morning that she could remember.

What will happen between her and Bookie when they both realize they could have gone to the end of the world and back and it wouldn’t have made a difference in their mutual attraction for each other. Bookie was a curious kind of man, full of intense heat, he loves nothing more than to draw on your feet.

 

If you want to read more about this wee little bit of woman called Lilly, well keep on following me!! 🙂 Ta daaa!!

Cheerio y’all xx till next time!

A few thoughts on….well life.. love…and more

It’s always interesting to find something you wrote about a long time ago…. here is a little snippet of my younger self :

ALWAYS

I can love you
I can take care of you
But I cannot promise you
That one day I won’t leave you

I could go now
I could not love you
But I couldn’t forget you
I couldn’t forgive you

I could forget you right away
I could go far away
But I could never hate you
I couldn’t erase you

But I can promise you
I can tell you
That I will always be here
Whenever you need me,
Always…

 

Do you remember the drama of being young? Should I admit that even at almost 30 years old drama is still part of my everyday life? No matter how good life is, there is always something. As much as that is true, we all grow up to see drama differently and let it go rather than react.

We are the best that we can be at whatever that moment is.

I am glad to be writing here again. How about cat adventures for tomorrow?

 

Cheerio y’all, x 

I’m BACK, people of the world :D

Apologies for such a long and unintented absence. So much has happened since my last post…Life gets to you that way I guess.

Now has anyone read Rawi Hage, if you haven’t and if you love good books, I highly recommend him. I recently finished Cockroach, and I loved every second of the book! It’s well written, gripping, moving, sad at times and very sexually connotated at other times. It makes you think about the way we all live and what we expect from our lives. How to succeed and now drown yourself in the mess life seems to be at times.

TWG tea, go get some seriously!! It’s such a wonderful tea shop in Asia (you can get it at Harrods)…

Go to Angkor : we were there for the sunset and the sunrise and it was soo worth it every second of that moment. Feeling the richness and the history behind those walls does you wonders.

 

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Sunset at Angkor Wat

Well I thought you might enjoy a visual.

 

I haven’t had much time to work on my novel either, but that is going to change. I will also put it soon on sale somewhere on the internet if you guys are interested.

Anyway, just a wee note to say I’M BACK!!!!! Looking forward to your comments and also seeing what you guys have been up to.

 

If you could be anywhere in the world with anyone, do tell me where would that be? And who would that be? I promise to keep it a secret.

 

Cheerio y’all, until tomorrow 😀

Z for Zee Avi, an amazing artist from South East Asia

She’s a malaysian singer (my age!!), and her voice is AMAZING!!! Have you heard of her before? If you haven’t taken this opportunity to go and discover her, GO!!!. She sings beautifully. How many adjectives can I use to describe her singing? Lots, I reckon. Her voice will haunt you. Once you start listening to her, you can never go back.
Some of my favourite tracks include : Kantoi, Bitter Heart, Honey Bee… and a lot more! And my top top one is : You and me.
She is also able to express what you might be feeling. If only my boyfriend could get started and read Kierkegaard… it would turn my world upside down, haha 😀 It really would!

Anyway this has been a fantactic challenge and do hope we all keep in touch. It’s been a wonderful experience and I promise to keep posting on this blog, so keep watching!
Although I can get back to a more quiet rythm 😛

And of course here is her website :

http://www.zeeavi.com/

Cheerio A to Z challenge, it’s been a pleasure, I tip my hat to you! 🙂

xx

Y for Yesterday….

Isn’t yesterday something you would like to do over again sometimes? Or rather a point in your life that would like to keep untouched by time? Either way yesterday, is an important landmark for any and most of us out there. It teaches us about our history and how to be better tomorrow as well as today. It shows us different ways of doing things and how to (hopefully) avoid bigger mistakes. Yesterday can also provide us with regret : not to have done better, stayed stronger, etc… But it’s also a call to be a better person by looking at what the you of yesterday did. Take a chance at looking back and learning from yourself and those surrounding you. It’s well worth the detour.

Can I also mention The beatles here? Haha of course we all know that very song « Yesterday, all my troubles were so far away, …. ». I looooooove that song and could listen to it everyday. It provides one with a sense of shared possibilities. Have you ever been in such a situation? Think back to being a teenager, aren’t there things that were easier back then? Things that came more naturally? Things that are harder to do these days? Or have you never changed?

As a teenager I was soo much more outgoing and careless… good and bad right?! Well I’ve grown into a confident person who thinks (well I try to in any case) of others and their reactions before I do whatever I am thinking of doing. Haha in any case we all grow up, at some point and yesterday may seem far or close, it stills affects who we are today.

Ah yesterday… Such a romantic notion, full of long gone opportunities and long lost loved one. If we could travel in time who could resist it? 🙂 I wouldn’t, that’s for sure. I love tomorrow as much as yesterday and they hold equal importance in my perspective, I would love to be able to go backwards and forwards at my will. Oh yea. Use your imagination and you’ll be able to create a version of your own. I love being able to try and imagine things. What a laugh.

If you were born yesterday what would you have done? Well here is a wee list from me, myself and I : see the beatles in concert (well of course…) and Queen and lots of other bands; ermm build a castle (so I’d have to be the builder) and live in it (as well as the owner) and a princess maybe…or an author…; visit Jane Austen ( or be a friend of the family); discover Australia… and change the face of today’s world by stopping colonization; ohhh and and and prevent the slave trade from ever taking place… oh well…. and a lot more… Now it’s your turn to tell us….

Anyway sorry for not being very serious with my postings : been busy with family and pets!! As much as all of you I can imagine. So apologies for the delay.

Cheerio y’all xx

W for wonderful wonders! :D

Haven’t you always craved anything beautiful? And the sheer pleasure you can get from looking at beautiful wonders : the Rockies, the Blue Mountains, Bungle Bungles, the Kimberleys, the Sydney opera house, the harbour bridge, castles in France, England, Wales, Scotland, Germany, Hungary…. And sooo many others places. 

The sense of freedom, happiness, magic… Anything goes really… And your heats just bounces up and down until you’ve taken your fill, and likely as hell you’ll be back for more. Our environment has put a spell on many of us. And then you have the others : those who don’t care about our world. Let us try to forget about them (they make me so angry) and just think about all that nature offers us, all the wonders that await us and bring us comfort, adventure and love. 

Could you live without these? Isn’t it a wonderful thing to have so much to see in the world? So many places and wonders to eat up? (with our eyes I mean, of course!). 

Anyway keeping is short today, busy busy, off to visit Les grottes de Maxange today if you can find the time! 
Here is the link to these caves : 

http://lesgrottesdemaxange.com/

Anyway, onto my next post x

V for Vin français!! D

Who doesn’t love french wines? Aren’t just as many as you could possibly wish for?

I grew up in the Dordogne valley, where Bergerac is very famous for its wines, and then I went to uni in Bordeaux which is even more famous for its wines. And if you know how to look you can find beautiful wines. Le vin is an institution many of us couldn’t live without. It provides us with an adventure, a palate adventure : now just think back to your first experience with wine. What were your very first thoughts : love? disgust? Both? 

Now Bergerac which I’d like to focus on today has these different vins : Montravel, Monbazillac, Pécharmant, Saussignac and côte de Bergerac. The whole countryside around this town offers tons of wonderful wineyards. 

What wines do you recommend? 
What do you think about ‘Le vin français?’! Haha doesn’t it sound too funny that I say that in french? 

Sorry for the lack of posts, I’ve been visiting my mum and super busy in the south of France. 

Cheerio y’all xo

Untimely Universe

Remember my E post : the prologue of one of my stories? Well here is a wee bit more…. and then if you want the entire thing : ask me and I’ll print it and send it to you (We’ll decide on the price together). Untimely Universe seems an appropriate name for this chapter as tomorrow happens way too early for Gregory and Amanda, but that also adds to their hightened sense of adventure and danger. What lurks in the shadows?

Sooo here is a wee bit more…. Enjoy : 

CHAPTER 1

About 20 years later,

  Gregory woke up one morning wondering what had happened. And although everything seemed normal he knew there was something deadly wrong. He could feel the still air around him, the cold air surrounding them.

  He looked over to his sister, still asleep, she seemed calm, a slight smile planted at the corner of her lips. She was obviously alright. Gregory looked around them and suddenly decided they had to move fast. He wished more than anything, if only for his beloved sister’s sake that their life was normal, but as far as they knew it wasn’t possible, not right now anyway.

  « Wake up, Amanda, we have to leave »

  His sister woke up with a start and immediately started packing their things. It had been two whole days since their asylum had been burnt down, but he still didn’t fully grasp what had happened, and how in mere minutes they had both lost so much. Not only had they lost the comfort of the only life they had known, but also their innocence.

  Gregory and Amanda had been living in the asylum ever since they could remember. It had been quite a lonely and hard place, but they had felt safe there, now they were compelled to run. Only two months ago had they learned where they were from and who their parents really were. For years they had both thought themselves abandoned and rejected by society. But how wrong had they been, their parents were heroes and they would find them, whatever it took and no matter the time it would take.

  Their asylum was situated at the bottom of the Broken Mountains, near a town called Ladybug, it was named thus after an important family had built it from from scraps centuries ago. There remained nothing of them, people said they had all died in a savage attack. Ladybug was in the land of the Sky, which was the name of our world. Gregory and Amanda had been told how beautiful and unique a land they lived in, but they had never seen anything but the walls of their asylum and the high peaks of Broken Mountain in the distance. Nor Gregory and his sister, or anyone in the asylum had anyone coming to visit them, all the children were quite alone in the world, apart from themselves and the people caring for them.

  The people caring for them were called the Brothers of the Sky, they were an ancient organisation caring for the unwanted. With them everyday was the same routine, food, exercise, and then most their time was devoted to learning and practising their trade.

  Gregory had always known he should grateful and appreciative for what they did for them, but he had always felt strongly about the lack of love and appreciation, for the Brothers were never close to the children. He had seen many of the other children and occasionaly himself and Amanda be martyrised by the Brothers. They meant well, that much he knew, but they were only men, with their temptations and their angers. Despite those feelings Gregory knew that whilst they were with the Brothers they were protected from the outside world. Little did he foresee the fire. They were now free from the influence and power of the Brothers, but what else was out there trying to get them?

***

 

TO BE CONTINUED…… if so is your wish 😀

I can’t believe we are nearing the end of this wonderful blogging adventure! Wow how time flies! I hope you are all enjoying it as much as I am. I do also hope you like the beginning of this story. I’ve always been fascinated by the creation of different worlds and imagination is powerful tool. 

Cheerio y’all, and I do look forward to your comments 🙂

T for Tea!! :) Yay the day has come :D

Well, T is finally here and it’s time to tell you a little more about tea, and our habits. A lot of my dear friends are also tea lovers and I have asked a few of them to tell us more about why this precious elixir is so special to them. I am also planning an interview with each of them but that will be for later as I don’t have enough time to complete all the interviews before the end of today. So this adventure will be continued.

In this edition I will present each one of my friends who has participated and I will post what they answered to the questions I asked in a questionnaire, and I will also show you the pictures they have chosen to share.

The participants are : Ola (from Canada), Jennie (from Australia), Pamela (from Canada), Victoria (also from Canada!) and Mélanie (from France). They are all very good friends and have beautiful tea collections.

Let’s start with Jennie :

  1. What is your favourite tea and why ?

At present, my favourite teas are:

Tielka’s Rose Moscato Green Tea. It tastes, and looks, just like a hot, non-sparkling, non-alcoholic dark red moscato.

Tielka’s Midnight Blossom Oolong Tea – tastes just like its name.

Mrs Oldbucks Summer Blend – tastes of rooibus and flowers.

Anything with Tulsi, especially chai

2. What is, in your opinion, the best place for tea drinkers ?

Do you mean place to buy tea or place to drink tea? I gather you mean place to buy tea because your next question is about places to drink it… So, the best place is anywhere that lets you sniff the tea or, better still, taste it, before you buy. Preferably a little boutique shop in an out of the way country town.

  1. What are your top 5 favourite places to drink tea ?

My number one spot is definitely White Rabbit Gallery in Chippendale, Sydney. This beautiful gallery holds wonderful exhibitions of contemporary Chinese art. Its adjoining cafe is filled with rustic Chinese tables and benches. You seat yourself at a table, under a ceiling full of empty old birdcages, and the waiter brings you the tea selection on a tray. Be sure to take the lid off each jar and have a long sniff of each tea. Narrow them down to your top three and then attempt to choose one. I can never go past the milk oolong.

The other best four spots are: in a comfy armchair at home; on a comfy couch at a friend’s house; any bookshop-cafe in the world; any perfectly beautiful High Tea cafe.

  1. Why is drinking tea so important to you ?

Drinking tea cures all ills and heightens all pleasures, whilst being an unadulterated pleasure in and of itself. It can be a low, rhythmic accompaniment to the noise of your life, or it can fill every tiny crack in an afternoon. It’s the only possible comfort in the middle of a night of insomnia, and the only possible joy on a foggy morning.

  1. What has it brought to your life ?

Every tea ever drunk is the continuation of a little gold thread running through life. I can’t remember all the lovely times I’ve had whilst drinking tea, but the thread runs through every day and links them all together.

  1. Who can you call a teaholic ?

You, Lizzie! Lots of people drink copious cups a day simply for the caffeine. I prefer to think of tea as something to savour and look forward to, so I don’t drink too much each day, and drink two or three different kinds of tea each day.

  1. What makes your tea collection ?

A tea for every moment. Summer tea, winter tea, cleansing tea, revitalising tea, sweet tea, bitter tea, flowery tea, herby tea, new favourites, old favourites etc.

  1. Do you have a favourite tea quote ?

My favourite tea-drinking quotes come from a scene in Oscar Wilde’s play The Importance of Being Ernest. One girl is making tea for another girl. Both girls are under the impression that they are in love with the same man (Ernest). The girl making the tea asks the other if she takes sugar. “Sugar is not fashionable nowadays” is the reply. So the girl making the tea upends the bowl of sugar lumps into the other’s cup. The look on the second girl’s face when she takes a sip should always be priceless. “You have filled my tea with lumps of sugar!” she complains bitterly when she can finally speak again. The ultimate revenge.

  1. How does tea make the world a better place ?

It’s hard to imagine a world without tea. No doubt it would be a worse place, but it’s hard to specify exactly which aspects of the world are positively influenced by tea. Each cup makes an individual’s world better, so the flow on affects from each cup of tea must be enormous.

10. Do you have a funny / random story about tea ? A tea adventure  you’d like to share ?

The silliest cup of tea I ever drank was a cup that wasn’t there, accompanied by bread and butter that wasn’t there either. I was playing a ghost in a film. I had to take tea seated on a picnic rug by a river bank and then slowly disappear… The director yelled ‘action’, I sipped my tea then reached for a bread and butter sandwich on my beautiful china plate, only to find it was still wrapped in gladwrap.

11. What piece of knowledge can you share about tea ?

I once heard the owner of a giant tea company (possibly Twinings) interviewed about his tea. He had inherited the company from his father, who’d inherited it from his father before him etc. so this guy knew a lot about tea. He said you must never, ever boil water for any kind of tea but must stop the water just before boiling point. A chemical reaction takes place in water when it boils and this change in chemistry makes tea bitter and spoils the subtle flavours.

And here are her fantastic piccies :

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And here, Jennie’s cat Archie sees, reaches and goes for the tea :

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Isn’t he so cute?

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🙂

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>Here is a cat after my own heart : haha Muffin just needs to smell tea to leave me alone!

And now let’s direct our attention to Ola who is currently living in Montréal :

1.

What is your favourite tea and why ?

My favourite tea has always been black tea. I love that it wakes me up and keeps me stimulated and focused while at work, taking care of my toddler or whatever else I may be up to. I love traditional black teas like Darjeeling, Ceylon and Assam, but also flavoured black ones as well. I love tasting and discovering new ones!
2.

What is, in your opinion, the best place for tea drinkers ?

I love drinking tea everywhere, for me it’s part of my daily routine and the same goes for when I’m on holiday, wherever i may be. I love preparing and drinking tea in the comfort of my own home, but I also appreciate having a nice tea out, especially when I can discover new flavours.
3.

What are your top 5 favourite places to drink tea

One of the most magical tea drinking experiences was when I went to japan 7 years ago. Tea, especially matcha tea, has a very special place in Japanese culture. We were able to visit a beautiful garden in Tokyo that had a traditional tea house that served tea with Japanese bean/rice desserts. My mom, friend and I were able to enjoy the best matcha tea while overlooking a groomed Japanese garden and a calm, beautiful lake. An exquisite experience!
2. While trekking in Nepal, I was able to taste fresh yak butter tea for the first time. I drank my tea overlooking the Himalayas, with grazing yaks around me. The taste was salty and buttery, but so full of energy. The word that comes to mind to describe this experience is serenity.
3. With my dear friend Lizzy bee, we went to marriage freres in Paris for an afternoon tea. Sitting amongst fancy businessmen in suits and sophisticated bourgeois ladies, we sipped our tea while telling jokes and being the loudest customers there. I cannot remember what I had, but I remember how amazing it was to share belly laughs with my dear friend who I haven’t seen in a while.
4. In Burlington, Vermont there is a cute little tea shop where you can sit on cushions on the floor and choose from a diverse tea menu. The atmosphere is very hippyish and I’ve had some amazing teas there ( of course I had to come back more than once!).
5. When living in Toulouse I discovered a beautiful tea shop called Bapz. I absolutely adore when tea shops use mismatching vintage teacups and teapots, and this was one of those places. I cannot tell you how many times I came here… Every month at least, from the time I found it.
6. In Agen, France, a small town where my husband is from, there is a wonderful little tea shop that has two looks, one that is more sophisticated and another that is more country style. Whenever we’d go to Agen, this was where I’d go to right away. It’s a little gem where I have many memories.
4.

Why is drinking tea so important to you ?

Tea is part of my culture. My parents who are Russian are very accustomed to drinking tea after every meal( and in between meals too!). I started drinking tea when I was very young; I remember when my friends came over when I was 7 or so in Canada and were shocked that my parents let me drink tea. Since then, I can probably count on my fingers when I went a day without tea. Now it’s a ritual, a way both to relax and be in the present moment, as well as to keep me focused and energized.
5.

What has it brought to your life ?

Moments of calm, relaxation, reflection
6.

Who can you call a teaholic ?

Many of my friends love tea equally as much as I do. I think it’s wonderful- it’s much better than fizzy drinks, and there are so many to discover around he world!
7.

What makes your tea collection ?

Many black teas, some sencha, herbal teas for when I have a cold, insomnia, etc. I have many that I get as gifts as well.
8.

Do you have a favourite tea quote ?

Here are some that I liked when I visited a tea musuem in Quebec city about 7 years ago:
9.

How does tea make the world a better place ?

It’s a tradition that goes back thousands of years. It allows the drinker to take a moment for themselves and to appreciate it. When shared, tea is great for conversation, and goes well with chocolate!
10.

Do you have a funny / random story about tea ? A tea adventure  you’d like to share ?

My parents would always empty brewed tea from the teapot in the toilet( and not flush…). I’ve witnessed a couple confused friends exiting our washroom on a number of occasions…
11.

What piece of knowledge can you share about tea ?

In Russian the word ‘tip’ as in a tip you leave a waiter for good service is ‘ na chaini’ which literally translates to ‘for tea’. Tea is so embedded in Russian culture that it is not seen as a luxury but a staple consumed everyday.
My current tea collection:
Displaying photo.JPG The piccie will follow as there has been a technical glitch. We do apologize for any inconvenience. 😀
And now here is Pamela, another tea connoisseur all the way from Prince Edward Island in Canada : her pictures will also follow.
  1. What is your favourite tea and why ?

My favourite black tea is a Creamy Earl Gray from a small teahouse in Vancouver (The Secret Garden).  This tea is the perfect balance of bergamot and vanilla (in my opinion), and reminds me of the wet spring and fall afternoons in Vancouver, my native city.

  1. What is, in your opinion, the best place for tea drinkers ?

The best place to drink tea, for me, is on the sofa, curled up with a wool throw.

  1. What are your top 5 favourite places to drink tea ?

My top places to drink tea: on the sofa, at the Secret Garden teahouse, with my sister at her house, on my porch on summer evenings, and at the Empress Hotel in Victoria, B.C.

  1. Why is drinking tea so important to you ?

It is a moment to relax from a busy day, and just enjoy a calm moment.  This time is also good for thinking and planning.

  1. What has it brought to your life ?

It has brought some excitement(discovering new ones !) and also some wonderful comforting and reflective times.

  1. Who can you call a teaholic ?

My husband.  He is not a tea drinker, so he does not understand the appeal of a cup of tea or discovering the excitement of a new blend.  He also does not understand for the need of so many different ones. Haha well then he is the opposite of a teaholic! 🙂

  1. What makes your tea collection ?

There are a couple of special teas in my collection.  There is an Earl Gray from one of my favourite places in Vancouver (Murchies), a Creamy Earl Gray (a gift from a very close friend, and fellow-Vancouverite), and a Violet Kusmi tea (a gift from my sister)

  1. Do you have a favourite tea quote ?  No.
  2. How does tea make the world a better place ?

Tea brings so many different cultures and people together.  It is amazing that a little tea leaf can do so much good !  Through this love and appreciation of tea, the tea drinker is able to also take part in the ancient traditions of other cultures and gain an understanding and appreciation of the lands and people that these cultures represent. In this ever-increasing globalized world, it is amazing to think that we can experience everyday or any time, the flavours and traditions from places as far away as Asia, Africa,and  South America.  The blending of teas, is an art, and distinguishes teahouses for their unique interpretations and appreciation of the leaves and their complex nuances.

  1. Do you have a funny / random story about tea ? A tea adventure  you’d like to share ?

Not one that I can recall.

   10.What piece of knowledge can you share about tea ?

The best tea is the one that you think is the best.

And now comes the turn of Victoria :

1.   What is your favourite tea and why ? — This is a boring answer, but Assam is my favourite tea. I just like the flavour. I also really like how it looks in loose leaf form; it’s an attractive shape. Follower-up is Yunnan, and then some of the blends — Irish Breakfast in particular.

2.    What is, in your opinion, the best place for tea drinkers ? Oh, sitting in front of a fire on a winter’s night, with a book and some music, maybe some friends or family hanging out with you. Or on the deck in the summer, sitting in the shade, with a cup of tea to relax and chat about the day. Or first thing in the morning, when it’s cool and crisp, with a steaming cup of strong tea, and pen and paper to write. Actually, all places are good places for tea.

3.    What are your top 5 favourite places to drink tea ? — Just listed a bunch! But in other locations … I had a delightful cup of tea (in a real mug!) and bacon butty from the van at Devil’s Bridge, Kirkby Lonsdale, England, with all the motorcyclists, looking down at a wonderful view of the river Lune. I like having tea at the Lion and Bright cafe in Halifax, Nova Scotia, even though their tea isn’t the best (I don’t think they heat their water enough), because the atmosphere is so fun. Hipster-ish, but fun. At my parents’ house, playing Scrabble with my dad, or sitting by the fire with my mum. On my own couch, with a friend! … Anywhere, really. Tea is always appropriate.

4.    Why is drinking tea so important to you ? Tea punctuates my day; I enjoy the flavour; I enjoy the whole process of making it. I like the history it brings, I like the smell of the fresh leaves, I like the connection with my English heritage … I do sometimes like the caffeine, though to be honest I just like it.

5.    What has it brought to your life ? Breaks from sitting, pleasure in itself, shelter from the rain, new people, the development of friendship and all good things.

6.    Who can you call a teaholic ? Me. 🙂

7.    What makes your tea collection ? Mostly black teas, a few herbal. I don’t like flavoured black teas very much so they tend to be single varieties or favourite blends.

8.    Do you have a favourite tea quote ? « Where there is tea, there is hope. » Seen on coasters and fridge magnets, but I’m not sure where it comes from.

9.    How does tea make the world a better place ? By making you pause for twenty minutes to boil the kettle and steep the tea and take a break for civilisation.

10.  Do you have a funny / random story about tea ? A tea adventure  you’d like to share ? I once accepted a cup of tea from a perfect stranger (at his house, no less!) because I was so cold and wet and had two hours to wait for the bus. We watched a National Geographic-type show on tv about giraffes, and all I could think was how grateful I was for the kindness of strangers. And then his wife suggested he drive me to where I needed to go rather than having to wait further for the bus.  The house was really smoky (cigarettes) which wasn’t very nice, but the tea was good and the giraffes pretty cool.

11.   What piece of knowledge can you share about tea ? My grandmother from Derbyshire called the process of steeping tea « mashing » — as in, « the tea is mashing in the pot. » 

Now for Mélanie’s answers, we will have to be patient as she is in the process of completing the questionnaire.

I hope you are enjoying my friends’ answers.

Let me share my own piccie from a part of my tea collection : I have a few from mariage frères (Paris), théodor (Paris), camellia sinensis (Montréal), Monsieur T (Québec city), david’s tea (Montréal), TWG (Singapore), damann frères (Paris), pukka (England), kusmi tea (Paris), and a few other places.

Here is my piccie :

lImage

My love for tea is great and I love what all my friends have written. Thank you to everyone for participating and thanks to all my readers out there, I hope you are enjoying this post and if you’d like me to send the questionnaire, I’ll be happy to do so.

Cheerio to y’all, xx