Wordless Wednesday

In the garden today. Image: Su Leslie 2020

A virtual tea party

An invitation to tea. Image Su Leslie 2019Image: Su Leslie 2020

Those of you who pop round often will know how much I love food, and afternoon tea is no exception.

A couple of weeks ago when I posted An Agreeable Hour, my Comments section filled up with offers to join me in this rather civilised institution. One conversation with Del at Curls and Skirls really got me thinking, and led to the idea of hosting a virtual tea party once a month.

Naturally you’re all invited.

I’m not quite sure if how it’s going to work, but I’ll start, and we’ll see where it goes.

My afternoon tea

My tea palate isn’t particularly refined, so that’s a pot of English Breakfast Extra Strength you’re looking at. It’s loose tea, blended by local company Tea Total. They have a lovely shop near us where we can taste and smell the huge number of teas and tissanes they offer.

The cake is a gingery plum cake, from the BBC GoodFood website. It’s the first time I’ve made it and I actually managed to follow the recipe much closer than is usual for me (except to use fresh grated ginger in place of dried, and grated nutmeg because I didn’t have any mixed spice).

It’s incredibly easy to make; but does have lots of butter, sugar, eggs, milk and wheat flour. Not great for my vegan and gluten or refined-sugar free friends, but easy to give away the excess (it makes a BIG cake) to my neighbours who aren’t particularly amenable to my “hippy” offerings.

What kind of tea (or other beverage) would you have with this cake? Or would you prefer something a little less traditional in the sweet treat department?

Some “back in the day” musing

My first post-school “proper job” was at the local council. Working conditions there were, by today’s standards, exceptionally good. I mention this because our work day included fifteen minute breaks for morning and afternoon tea with biscuits provided (chocolate ones, if Leonie from Rates was allowed to shop for them).

Compared to the hastily grabbed mouthfuls of food my son and his girlfriend are forced to take in their break-free working days, morning and afternoon tea may seem unnecessary and indulgent. But in truth, it probably made us more productive. Not only for the well-being that social contact fostered, but because it was in the tea-room that we learned what was happening in the organisation, and that knowledge meant we could do our jobs better.

I’m not part of an organisation any more, and I doubt many modern companies have tea-breaks, but I still find that stopping mid-afternoon to step away from what I’m doing, make a cuppa and regroup helps focus my mind on the rest of the day?

Who else takes tea-breaks? Coffee? Is mid-afternoon a favoured time to meet friends for a cuppa?

The invitation

If you’d like to contribute a post of your own — a shot of your cuppa and/or whatever you’re having with it; a recipe, a few words about what you’re doing/reading/making. What’s making you happy or pissing you off — that would be great. I’ll update each of my posts with a ping-back to everyone’s in the same way as I do with The Changing Seasons.

#virtualteaparty for anyone on Instagram who wants to post images (or video?)

I’d love to be part of a global rolling tea party. Hopefully a few of you would too.

Brian at Bushboys World has joined the party; bringing some delicious treats and music.

Del at Curls and Skirls, my co-conspirator in this tea party project, has a biscuit to dunk in her cuppa.

Morning coffee and the thought of scones from Lois at On Pets and Prisoners

Aggie at Nomad is sharing her cuppa from her new home in London

Amanda at A Home by the Sea has brought a delicious honey spice cake — using a recipe from Ju-Lyn at All Things Bright and Beautiful. What a great, connected community we’re building.

 

 

Stationary, and not

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Gulls, Muriwai, NZ. Image: Su Leslie 2020

Although the weather’s turned a bit meh, our craving for fish and chips got the better of us last night. And the fact that the best place to buy them is two thirds of the way between our house and Muriwai Beach meant that a picnic was in order.

As usual, within about three seconds of us opening the wrapping, the birds arrived. First the sparrows, then the gulls. And while the sparrows just hop up as close as they dare and look pleadingly, these gulls tried the alternate approaches of dive-bombing and studied nonchalance.

Neither worked. And the food was delicious.

Ragtag Daily Prompt | stationary

Saving, and savouring, daylight

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Rural landscape, just south of Auckland, NZ. Image: Su Leslie 2020

When the boy-child was small and had limitless, mother-draining energy, I loathed daylight saving. I spent those long evenings wrangling the solar-powered monster into bed so I could — finally, finally — stop for the day.

I think overall I still prefer light in the early morning when I’m more alert, but I can’t deny that it’s incredibly pleasant to watch a landscape slowly turn ever more golden while having a beer on the deck with friends.

Not my deck in this case — our views aren’t nearly as spectacular.

Ragtag Daily Prompt | daylight

Grounds for hope

New growth on the smaller of my road-trip hydrangeas. Image: Su Leslie 2020

The hydrangea bushes (well, full-sized plant and little stem) brought back from Whanganui are both looking healthy and have new growth.

New flowers on the larger road-trip hydrangea. Image: Su Leslie 2020

Not quite knowing how to care for my gifted plants, I’ve read and tried to follow advice both online and in print. For now, it seems that lavish amounts of attention and water have been enough.

A belated contribution to the Ragtag Daily Prompt | hope

Monday Macro

#proactivehopefulness