Tea For Two


Well my following friends, I apologize for my sporadic blogging. I have been completely absorbed in the precious time with family and friends here in good ole’ Blighty.

Since returning to England there are things I’ve noticed that contrast greatly to those in the US.  Unfortunately, the only downer has been the intrusive side effects from these blasted drugs.  I am just grateful that there have been no seizures other than the absences which are a minority.

Having previously lived in another country I didn’t think this would be a consideration.  However, I’ve found myself in limbo.  At times my brain thinks, ‘I’m in Seattle!’ and vice versa.  I was watching television this morning and an advert featured a British bank promoting reduced mortgage payments and I thought, ‘Wow, they have that bank here in the US, that’s new’.  Of course it was then I realized I was in England not the US so naturally it would be there!  All these thoughts occurred in a split second but it’s my brain’s confusion of location!

Then there are the times when I find myself using American words such as cilantro instead of coriander, eggplant in place of aubergine, bucks instead of pounds and commercial replacing advert.  Additionally, there is the change in pronunciation of the words.  You have ‘bayzil’ instead of basil, ‘yoe-gert’ instead of yoghurt and ‘tomayto’ instead of tomato. You catch my drift?!

When ordering a hot drink to take away I always ask for black tea as there are a plethora of black teas in the US, therefore, it is necessary to specify when ordering.  However, I get a look of pure bewilderment by the barristers who have absolutely no clue what I am referring to until I rephrase it as ‘tea’.  I forget that tea here is automatically black unless specified otherwise.  Then there’s ‘builder’s tea’.  Normally strong, black tea with milk and two sugars, it can be found in greasy spoon cafe along with a magnificent fry-up making a cracking cuppa.

This leads me on to another tea issue in Canada/the US.  I know I mentioned it in a previous blog but whilst visiting the UK it brought it considerably to my attention.  In Canada/US the tea is a bit ‘hit and miss’.  I’m not quite sure how that could be as it’s water and a tea bag.  It is a delight how everywhere I go whether to a friend or family member’s house, an upmarket restaurant or a greasy spoon, a mug of rosy lea is always on point. (For those unfamiliar with cockney rhyming slang ‘rosy lea’ translates as tea).  I have concluded that the Brits just know how to make it.  In no way does that mean I will be giving up my black tea addiction on return to Seattle.  However, I think I will need to invest in some PG Tips and see if that makes my tea loving taste buds happier.

Also on my ‘to do’ list was a cream tea.  I’ve never had one and the thought of a scone with butter, jam and a large dollop of clotted cream alongside a pot of tea was delightful.  Not only will it clog my arteries at the mere thought but on consumption, that won’t really matter.

One of the surprises organized by the best friend anyone could ask for was a full afternoon tea.  This was a very special experience.  In the pavilion of a stately home, there were beautifully coiffured grounds as our backdrop and view.  There was a bone china tea pot accompanied with bone china cups.  On a three tier cake stand the top tier had little bite size goodies which included brownies, shortbread and cupcakes.  The second tier held what must have been scones bigger than the palm of my hand.  They were so big and the clotted cream which was overflowing teetered right on the edge of the plate.  The jam meanwhile had greater confidence by possessing a much better balance.  On the first tier there was a selection of delectable sandwiches.  With their crusts removed (would you expect anything less?!), the fillings comprised of egg, smoked salmon and cream cheese, ham and mustard and chicken and bacon.


With enthusiasm and determination having had a miniscule breakfast, we intended to demolish it all.  Needless to say it returned home with us in a take-out box.

Realizing I’m nearly at my word limit, I should probably wrap it up.  Even though I have five days left it has been an incredible trip.  This has been another prime example of defying the health circumstances which in truth have left me feeling pretty rough around the edges.  I have fully appreciated and treasured each day with friends and family discovering ways in which I can find ‘freedom with epilepsy’.

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