As I’m sure regular reader will know by now I love tea. It really is my favourite drink and I just can’t get enough. I have to drink at least 6 mugs a day and by mugs I mean huge Cath Kidston Mugs mugs. It seems I’m not alone with a love for tea. Emma at Wanderlust And Wet Wipes is also a huge fan. Here she talks about tea drinking with her Mum:
It’s a funny thing about the habits you form with your parents. In my case, drinking tea with my mum started early – mum always drank tea (seriously gallons of the stuff) so I think it was inevitable that I would. I don’t really remember a time when I didn’t drink it! We even trained my brother (who doesn’t drink it) to make a mean cuppa. As mum and I both got older and more sensitive to the effects of caffeine we switched to decaf. Heaven forbid should we simply stop drinking it! It has become a bit of a standing joke with our family and friends about the random places we have drunk tea together:
To start off with tea drinking was quite normal, I suppose. Tea in the morning, in the afternoon, at the weekend with grandparents. A tea break on a shopping trip. Tea breaks in the pouring rain on what we affectionately called PAWs (Perfectly Awful Walks) – we still went on them of course. Tea on the beach in Widemouth Bay (rain or shine) where we spent every summer until I was 18.
Gap years, travelling and uni brought new dimensions to our tea drinking: from perched on my little bed in halls to the enormous but drafty old house I lived in in my second year. I travelled to Ecuador twice in that time and there were some emotional cups of tea drunk as we waited for trains and planes. On the flip side there were lots of celebratory cups drunk on my return.
Ecuador provided us with our first challenges for tea drinking: the first time I was there someone made me a cup of tea with milk in it as they had heard that was how the English drink their tea….not realizing that milk only goes in black tea so this was a cup of fruit tea with milk in. I’m pretty sure I drank it to be polite.
When mum came to visit me the first thing she noticed in my little bedsit was that I didn’t have a kettle. Cue us spending a morning scouring the streets of Quito for her to buy me one. My neighbour was kind enough to let me borrow his fridge to keep my milk in. We had several shocking cups after which I developed a little spiel to say as I ordered: “Two cups of tea please. You need to make it with boiling water. Actually boiling.” If it arrived in warm water it would be sent back with “Boiling water. You know with bubbles.” Funny how a bad cuppa makes a good story 20 years later.
I grew older. Got a job. Found a boy and then a flat and we got married. Tea drinking was still a feature. Mum’s house was where I drank my first cup of tea after giving it up for Lent. I asked her to give me away over a cup at Waterloo station before heading off to go wedding dress shopping together. Early in the morning the day after our wedding I woke up and crept off to have a cuppa with mum while my new husband slept on in bed for several more hours.
The new husband took me to live in Houston where he had been offered a job. The drinking continued over Skype calls and visits. There was one rather last minute flight booked because mum said “I just wanted a cup of tea with my girl”. On repatriation there were cups drunk with a toddler running around and even waiting for a baby to make an appearance!
Here And Now
A couple of years later, we took another assignment abroad. This time to Qatar in the Middle East so we are back to Skype teas and as much tea as we can drink when we see each other. Decaf tea (not often available here) is imported at any opportunity. When mum visits, more hilarity has ensued rather reminiscent of the Ecuador days but this time with milk. You have to ask specifically for milk. I occasionally forget but usually I remember to ask for “cold skimmed milk on the side please”. The milk sometimes arrives, sometimes it doesn’t and you have to chase it up. Then it arrives… full fat and warm.
Still, no matter where we are, and no matter how it arrives, I love drinking tea with my mum.
Emma is a closer to 40 than 30 mum to 2 mostly adorable but mad and often also very irritating young kids and is married to a lucky travel mad husband. Emma blogs at Wanderlust And Wet Wipes and can also be found on Twitter, Instagram and Facebook.