You have to understand that usually this entails a tea bag of PG Tips (best British tea ever – strong, robust, serve with milk) tossed into a large white cup, and brewed with none of the ritual such an revered beverage deserves. How did I stray so far? Perhaps it comes from serving multitudes of melted candy bars in paper cups and calling it “coffee”. But I digress …
So back to my tea. It occurred to me while puttering around my kitchen, laying out the tray, draping the cloth just so, warming the pot and pouring just enough milk into the cup, that this tray is a pictorial representation of so many parts of Me!
Let me elaborate, dear friends. The tea pot is a Yixing dragon, a Christmas gift this year from my daughter and her new husband. He has been named Mooshoo and as befitting his lineage and history, has been formally introduced to the other seven dragons that reside in my house. One object to symbolize so many things that I love; my beautiful daughter, the man that loves her, and all things Oriental.
I must insert a caveat here. One of my more global resolutions for this year is to boycott all things Made in China. While I love the Chinese culture, art and tradition, and have yet to meet a Chinese person who has not become a friend, I cannot continue to support a regime that systematically destroys individuality and personal freedom. The recent developments in Tibet just pushed me over the edge, but this is fodder for another post entirely, so we will return for the moment to my tea tray.
Aaah, the tray. A remnant from the starter kit I purchased for the second of my Network marketing endeavours (British spelling, in honour of the tea!). An item redolent with unrealised expections, but an nonetheless undimmed faith in the industry it represents.
A side note here – I am creating another blog to explore and deal with exactly this situation. I’ve called it “The Burned Out Network Marketer” and it’ll be geared towards all those folk who believe that MLM should work, and have tried very hard but can’t understand why it doesn’t work for them. Again, more on that later.
Did you notice my exquisite tea cup? It’s vintage Royal Albert, made-in-England china and it’s part of a set that belonged to my grandmother. I think they were for special occasions – you know, like when the Father Holything came for tea – and I don’t remember ever being allowed to used them as a child. I noticed them tucked away in a cupboard in my parent’s kitchen in SA when I was there last November and my mom was kind enough to let me bring them home with me. Each cup exemplifies my passion for all things vintage and beautiful, and links me to a time where quality was valued over quantity, and every day had a little soul-feeding ritual in it.
Finally, the white handmade lace cloth is one I picked up from my friend Kressa’s flea market for only a dollar! Here is where my love of luxury and the finer things of life meets my frugal nature and inner Scrooge. Throw in an abhorrence of waste and an almost fanatical devotion to recycling, reusing and refurbishing, and you understand why an trip to Goodwill or a fleamarket can count as a highlight in my day. And this passion has sown the seed of yet another blog which I will call Luxe for Less, in which I will share my tips and tricks for living a finer life on as few dollars as possible while still completely avoiding Walmart! It’s really the way I’ve created our beautiful home in the States and I’ve studied and learned so much over the years and I can’t wait to share it all with you.
So I’ll leave you with a few thoughts. Please be kind to yourself this year. Honour yourself and renew your spirit a little each day with small personal rituals. Take a moment to savour the finer things in life, whether it’s the softness of a cashmere scarf; a sip of tea from a whisper-thin cup; or something a simple and precious as a slow… deep… breath.