My mother loved pretty things yet seldom spent money on them – there was always something more practical or more necessary that took precedence. I tend to be the same and so, finding I still had a few pounds in cash while waiting for my flight home from the UK, I wandered into a Whittard’s tea shop at Heathrow. Regular readers will be familiar with my love of tea and that is what I thought I would buy. Instead, my attention was drawn to a display of beautiful teapots. When I saw this fine bone china one, my dear mother sprang to mind. Not only is it pretty, but it was the right size for her and I could clearly see her using it as she enjoyed her morning tea in the sunshine of her veranda.
The size and shape of this botanically-themed tea pot, and especially the elegance of the spout drew me towards it, as did the design of pretty flowers against the white background – I knew Mom would like them.
The flowers on the lid match the flowers on the pot, including the one on the handle.
I also like the Chatsford Strainer System that is perfect for the loose tea leaves we both enjoyed.
What is more, the tea pot can hold at least two cups, which is good for sharing. This one is manufactured by the St. George potteries in England.
This is definitely the prettiest tea pot in my collection and is a beautiful reminder of my mother and our shared enjoyment of tea!
Blue, blue, my world is blue
Blue is my world since I’m without you …
So sang Marty Robins, associating blue with the feeling of sadness, as in ‘I am feeling blue’. Among the symbolic meanings ascribed to the colour blue is a feeling of calm and serenity; a sense of social distancing (in the sense before the arrival of the pandemic); and cold in terms of emotions. Then too, we talk about something happening ‘once in a blue moon’, or describe the bad start of a week as experiencing a ‘blue Monday’. Whatever your interpretation of blue might be, it is a natural colour only clouds and the cover of night can hide from us. A blue sky is a part of our world – how fortunate we are that it is not bright red!
Blue flowers include a morning glory:
The flowers of rosemary are also blue:
This flower arrangement has elements of blue:
I will leave you with this interesting image of a church tower that has been painted blue:
The last time you saw this tea pot it had a large rain spider inside it. Here is a more sedate look at this lovely teapot given to me by my eldest granddaughters.
Tea and teapots make very welcome gifts for this Granny: they last a long time and carry with them the memories of the givers. This beautifully shaped teapot holds enough for three cups of tea.
Most importantly, the spout pours well – no messy drips and the handle is easy to grip.
This is the underside – a mystery to me.
I shrieked; my toes curled, and I dropped the lid of the dustbin – then peered in cautiously. This is the hairy surprise that awaited me:
The spider appeared to lunge towards me and I drew back aghast – then peered into the bin even more cautiously, my toes still in a tight curl:
Needless to say, I replaced the lid promptly.
Now, only a few days later I boiled the kettle to make some tea. I lifted the tin and dropped it like a shot! I shrieked again and curled my toes – another (surely it cannot be the same!) large hairy spider scuttled out from underneath. It disappeared – as I feared – yet as the kettle had nearly boiled I reached to warm the pot. I didn’t get very far:
For the spider had sought shelter in the tea pot!
Give me a snake any day!
For the curious among you: my husband simply placed the lid on the tea pot, took it outside, and emptied the spider into the lavender bush. Of course I would have been able to do that – once my toes had uncurled!
Tea and scones are a common request. What is not common is how your tea and scones will be presented. At some establishments you may have to remove your soggy tea bag from the cup yourself; you might be given a tiny teapot with no access to hot water to top it up; or you may simply be presented with your ready-made cup of tea and a minute jug of milk.
The scones can vary too, from over large crumbly ones to small, rather mingy looking ones. I have been served open scones already spread with jam and a dollop of cream; scones with separate small packaged squares of butter and jam that need to be peeled open; cold scones; warm scones that have clearly been warmed in a microwave straight from a freezer; scones accompanied with butter that is so hard it is un-spreadable.
Tea and scones might be a commonly requested refreshment, but the expectation one might have is not always matched with the reality. This archive photograph is a reminder of a time when the reality far exceeded our expectations:
We had wanted to break a long journey and stretch our legs and so ordered tea and scones for three. As we had confirmed that we all wanted the same tea, it arrived in a large pot. What a pleasant surprise: the scones were of a generous size, the butter balls were soft enough to spread easily, and the quantities of jam, cream and grated cheese were generous. So was the jug of milk. Notice the quilted cover for the handle of the tea pot too.
These factors combined to turn what might have been an ordinary stop along the way into a memorable occasion. It was a delight to sit back and enjoy perfectly warm scones along with piping hot tea. The scones were firm enough to hold their toppings, yet light and filling – just right for peckish travellers. Our teapot was topped up with boiling water so that we all ended up having two cups – such a refreshing break it turned out to be!