Saturday, June 20, 2009

On the Home Front -- Happy Father's Day

As I suspected, I woke early again Saturday morning (before 4, but I stayed in bed 'til 4:30), this time with my back threatening to seize up, so I headed downstairs to find some Robaxicet to take with my morning cuppa. Something else I'm very glad to be home for -- my own blend of tea (Russian Caravan -- a slightly smoky black -- augmented by just enough Lapsang to up the smoke quotient) -- in my very own "fine bone china" mug, with just the right handle and almost the right lip (I compromised because this mug is the perfect size). Like Jack Reacher in Lee Child's Nothing to Lose, I couldn't help evaluating teacups while we were away; I was frustrated each morning at one of our hotels with a far-too-small and poorly placed handle which made it impossible to drink a hot beverage without the support of a second hand. Since the cups weren't fine bone, or even bone, china, they "leaked" heat such that the supporting hand would inevitably become uncomfortably hot, spoiling my enjoyment of an otherwise great cup of tea. Unlike Reacher, a nomad whose only possessions are the clothes he wears (when he needs clean ones, he buys them at the nearest equivalent of Work Warehouse!), I have an accumulation of good choices, although there's one I favour almost exclusively.

I crept out of the house with my mug of hot, smoky tea and sat watching the sun slightly illuminate the clouds, the best it could do, and began to notice sails on the horizon -- unusual to see so many before 5 in the morning. A bit of Googling confirmed my suspicions that they must be coming in off the final leg of the Van Isle 360, and I imagine Pater will pick up the buzz in the harbour when he paddles into town a few hours from now to pick up the papers. Curling up in my big leather armchair with those weekend papers will put the final seal of approval on my sense of happy domesticity. Even the day's predicted rainfall will not budge the smile from my face -- the worst it can do is postpone all that gardening work that awaits me!

I wrote this yesterday but didn't get 'round to posting it -- it didn't end up raining so I spent several hours in the gardening between bouts of reading the paper in that armchair. As a consequence, I'm again relying on Robaxacet to loosen up my back this morning, but the garden's looking a bit less scruffy. Tea is steeping as I write, and I'm almost ready to do it all again.

Meanwhile, though, it's Father's Day, and while mine has been gone for almost a decade now, my kids, I hope, will all check in to wish their very good father a happy day. And little Nola is surely going to make breakfast in bed for her excellent dad on his first Father's Day. She's very lucky in her wise choice of an old man -- that's the two of them above, several months ago at a wedding, with Dad teaching Nola how to rock out a rhythm. We stopped by on our way back from the airport Thursday and visited with the two of them for a while (mom was at yoga class) -- as usual, we were struck by how easy Adam is with Nola, even when she howled and howled and howled, making strange at us (well, mostly Pater, really!). So Happy Father's Day, Adam -- hope they spoil you!


  1. It's so funny that tea drinkers often have their foibles - I actually take my tea bags and cup with me on holiday!

    Enjoy your re-introduction into everyday life. Patricia

  2. What a good idea, Patricia! Now if only you could be sure of getting boiling water -- my pet peeve with tea made elsewhere is that the water is so seldom brought to, or kept at, a boil before coming in contact with the tea leaves. For several years, I carried along a mini immersion heater that my dad found for me at a garage sale, but since it expired a few years ago, I haven't found another. In Britain, we were very tickled to find that our hotel rooms were supplied with a tea kettle (as opposed to the coffee pots in N. Am. which horribly flavour any tea made with them)

  3. And I take coffee to make in the apt. for the first few days, coals to Newcastle, but it's just so nice not to have to think of shopping while jet lagged.

    Can you believe how Nola has grown since we saw her last photo?

    One of the pleasures of older children is that they can express their love and gratitude in ever more articulate ways. I love hearing that.

  4. Duchesse: The resort we stayed in last spring in northern Portugal gave us the wonderful option of having a grocery basket of staples waiting for us -- great coffee, milk, eggs, juice, bread, local artisan jam, cheese and wine -- for a ridiculously low price of $20Euros!! No wonder we're considering going back;-)
    This photo of Nola dates back to the end of February -- when I saw her last week she was sitting unsupported for about half a minute which, of course, gave her a much more "grown-up" look. Pictures will surely be here soon.

  5. I couldn't agree more about water temperature for tea. I am very fussy about it. My other bugbear is that all the non-tea drinkers I know assume that Earl Grey is the tea of choice of everyone, and I really don't care for it very much at all! Too much bergamot and not enough depth.

    You sound happy to be home!

  6. Great photo for this wonderful post!=D Love to see more from you, and a belated Happy Father's Day to all fathers.=D

    A Writers Den
    The Brown Mestizo

  7. Tiffany: Absolutely! I can drink Earl Grey, but its appeal is limited for me. Murchie's (an old company here with a long history of good teas and coffees) has a blend that's more robust, lighter on the bergamot, but generally it's not, if you'll pardon me, my cup of tea.


I'd love to hear your response to my post. Agree, disagree, even go off on a tangent, I love to know you're out there, readers. Let's chat, shall we? I apologize, though, for the temporary necessity of the Word Verification -- spam comments have been tiresomely numerous lately, and I'm hoping to break that pattern.

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