Everything sublime is as difficult as it is rare. Baruch Spinoza

Wednesday, March 18, 2009

A Civil Occupation

You can never get a cup of tea large enough or a book long enough to suit me.
C.S. Lewis

I know I have written about my afternoon cup of tea before, but here I go again. 

I have a collection of fine English Bone China teacups. Back in the day, say twenty years ago, I used them regularly. Then came the move to the country, when everything turned upside-down and I stopped. I continued a habit I've had since childhood, my afternoon tea, but I use an earthenware mug. 

I eyed those cups and thought, why not? Well, one answer could be my clumsy, arthritic fingers that don't grasp very well. It would be a shame to drop and break any of these old cups. 

But having my tea from a lovely cup does change the ritual. It feels different, as if I should be sitting at a small, doilied table, wearing white gloves and a broad straw hat. Scones and strawberry preserves to be served on a fine china plate accompanied by sterling flatware. Music softly in the background. hmmmm...........

Reality; I sit at a cluttered desk, listening to political radio, wearing my barn clothes. I have a nice cup of tea in a beautiful cup and a really good biscotti, so it's not the worst scenario.

Maybe if everyone had to sit down with a delicate cup once a day, sip their tea and contemplate life for one half hour, perhaps we could learn to be civilized. If we could become civilized, perhaps we could actually be civil.


  1. Truly cival? Nah. The English tried it &...do you really want me to go there? ;P

  2. I'd settle for fake civil! Reading you on the English would be quite entertaining. : )

  3. Mr. Britwife has "tea time" everyday. I love the idea of it - I don't like the taste. Believe me, I've tried. I stick with my coffee.
    I love your cups!

  4. As a displaced Scot [think the removals of the 18/1900's] me on the English just shouldn't get started. Or even the Logshanks fellow. The antipathy of the average Scot for the English has a long & bitter history.;)

    And your cups are gorgeous as Britwife said.

  5. My cups are all different. This cup and saucer are one of 3-4 favorites.

    Although my maternal grandparents came from Ireland, I have always considered myself and American. An American with some left-over traditions from another culture! I have had tea since I was a little girl, with plenty of milk and sugar as a child. I still take my tea 'white'. I also really like my coffee too.

    Ganeida and Mr. Britwife should talk. : 0

  6. I'm not much of a tea drinker myself, I like chai - if I drink it I like it sweet.

    I think that's great you collect tea cups. I love interesting collections like that!

    EVERYONE should sit for a half hour every day and contemplate - with or without tea.

  7. Ah, but tea makes things so clear. : )

  8. Mr. Britwife and Ganeida would get along very well. He's half Scottish and half English. He grew up in the border country - and his mom was from Edinburgh. He gets it from both sides of his family--which is the better nationality!

  9. Aren't rituals comforting?
    And soothing.
    Enjoy those tea cups.
    When I first moved back from Switzerland in 1994, we continued to drink coffee from cups with saucers. Gradually over the years we've drifted back to mugs. We do have some sentimental mugs, however.

  10. I think I stopped using cups with saucers around the same time. Dinnerware was always sold that way and now you get mugs.

  11. i think you may be onto something with this idea (tho' others apparently don't find the english that civil). :-) i think you're right that spending a contemplative half an hour a day over a cup of tea is good for the soul. :-)

  12. I know it helps me, cause sometimes I can be grumpy. A quiet time with a cuppa helps restore my good temper. : )


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