Monthly Archives: November 2013
I’ll start with what I didn’t do while the tea was brewing. I have not changed out of my work clothes because for one they’ll be in the wash later so I can get dinner down them and secondly because I did not get the chance to drink enough tea at work today so that was the first thing to happen when I got in through the door. The kettle was on before the shoes were off. I even buttered some malt loaf before the kettle had chance to boil, this is something I’d normally do whilst the teas was brewing but instead I have a large pot on the go accompanying me now.
The fact that I’m settled with some malt loaf and a pot next to me left me time to daydream. So I’m left thinking about writing more of the cycling journal and good characters to insert into a story or situation to thus generate a story. So I was thinking of gleaning interesting character traits from the people I know and tessellating them into some mosaics to form a character, perhaps including ones of myself. The single mum who struggles to find love because of the commitments of past choices. The guy who tries too hard to do things but just ends up messing them up through haste, like trying to type too quickly but litters the page with typos thus making the process last longer. The person who slaves away in menial work because of the decisions made in youth that have closed the doors of opportunity to other ways of life. The answer I suppose is that there is no one true occupation, way of life or speed of typing; there is only what you have and what you make of it. Take what you have and treat it as though it is the absolutely true and best way of life and then fit other things like a career, a love life or what you could be doing instead of typing slowly around it. Don’t do a Gauguin and leave your family because you believe your calling is the arts. However, don’t accept a life that is ill suited to you but don’t think that another is better because it probably won’t be. Just refine yours but stick to the commitments and thoughts and feelings of others because there is no higher truth. Maybe, who am I to say?
I think this is what I think. Perhaps I cannot be sure but just want to explore it, this may be the best starting point for any story, well I know it can yield some high word count because Dostoevsky notes that the questions that trouble him he is a t a loss to resolve and so is “resolved to leave them without any resolution.” If it helped him write so much perhaps it can help me write something, something that hopefully id not quite so verbose and rambling but I I’m not one to denigrate him.
Anyway, this could turn into a while the tea stewed if I don’t pour the last cup from this pot now.
So this evening whilst the tea was brewing I did the washing up. I could try and write an exercise in descriptive prose here about the blood red water I created as I slaved over eradicating the beetroot stains from the chopping board or I could think more sideways and describe the events as another tea was brewing. It turned out I got bored with the washing up and have used the excuse that there is tea to be drunk to abandon at least of the washing up soaking, or at least that’s how I have convinced myself that I’m not just being lazy.
Now I sit here with a cup of Assam tea from my SS Great Britain mug that is just what I wanted right now. My hankering for Assam lately was sparked by a taste test I conducted in order to decide which tea to try to infuse in my beer brewing efforts. Assam, being a bit maltier, was winning by a head until I started to think of what to call the beer. ‘Dar-beer-ling’ and such like puns around lap sang souchong weren’t quite cutting it for me, then ‘Assam O’That’ sprung to mind and the more malty tea made a sprint finish and took the line lengths ahead. Since then I have had plenty of Assam in the house; enough to require a purchase of another tea tin. Therefore, while the ‘Assam O’That’ was brewing I searched for a suitable new storage vessel for tea.
Quite clearly the beer took a few weeks to brew and ferment so together with working, sleeping and drinking (both beer and tea) I read some books. Most notably The Women by T.C. Boyle by recommendation of the guy in the book shop to whom I sold an engagement ring to. But also in order to make progress towards keeping my promise of writing up the journal from a cycling holiday I did some research reading by way of Three Men in a Boat by Jerome K. Jerome.
I enjoyed The Women on the whole, it dragged in places but you’re probably thinking that about this now. Three Men in a Boat also had points where it dragged but also seemed somewhat inconsequential. Perhaps that is part of the tone of the book and any jolly down a river or, in my case, biking holiday. I couldn’t care much about the characters because I knew there would be no peril; they would always be safe, and they were just bungling posh idiots. However, it was remarkably entertaining a veritable lesson in how to comically describe trivial events, even if they were not actually occurring to them at the time but just flashbacks. I now stand in better stead to undertake my own project; the project that resulted in buying a small cast iron tea pot from a tea shop in Perpignan, thus giving rise to the opportunity to write about things I do while the tea brews. Although, I hasten to note that the ‘Assam O’That’ was not brewed in a tea pot.
I don’t know what type of brew I would have to undertake to reflect the latest book I have started. What could possibly be a match for The Brothers Karamazov?
I like my tea loose like my… insert something that is not derogatory, so trousers? Anyway, it takes a few minutes to brew the tea in my small, one-mug, cast iron tea pot and so that leaves me some spare time whilst it brews. Clearly I have the time on my hands or else I would not be settling down for a cuppa and so I try to carry out something useful in these three to five minutes. Once the tea pot and mug have been preheated and the pink tea cosy is in place I get to work.
Just to keep active and to remember I have a blog I will periodically detail some the activities I do whilst the tea brews. I will start off with the time the tea was finished brewing about fifty minutes before I flicked the switch on the kettle. This was the 27th of October, it should be clear that it took ten minutes for me to put my clocks back the hour into GMT. Ten minutes is a long time for tea to brew, hell I like my tea strong, however, I do like it hot, so not the perfect cuppa. This will become a recurring theme of whilst the tea brews, I have often forgotten all together that I have tea in the pot
Out of the five clocks in my living room one is radio controlled and so adjusted itself, which left me four in that room, one in the kitchen plus four watches, this accounts for the ten minutes. No clocks in any other room, the ticking would keep me awake, it is just a shame this doesn’t always work in the lounge. The rhythmic chugging of the clocks certainly rocks me to sleep when I have the intention of steaming through some pages of a book.
When the kettle is boiling I say to myself, ‘ooh, I could wash up whilst the tea brews’, unlike adjusting the clocks doing the washing up is regular ‘whilst the tea brews’ activity. I say ‘whilst the tea brews’ so often it has become an in joke, an in joke with only myself – I live alone did I mention this? I think it is quite obvious anyway.
I should get the patent ‘whilst the tea brews’ activity out the way also. Whilst the tea brews I write something for my blog, which reminds me I have tea brewing.