Beer certainly has its place (it’s sneaked into both my blogs!) —
But my favorite tipple is tea. Morning, noon, evening, any time is tea time! Here’s how a British statesman put it:
If you are cold, tea will warm you —
If you are too heated, it will cool you —
If you are depressed, it will cheer you —
If you are excited, it will calm you.
* William E. Gladstone, British Prime Minister, 1809 – 98
*(According to Wikipedia, Gladstone was known affectionately as G.O.M., Grand Old Man, or, by his political opponent Disraeli, as God’s Only Mistake.)
Tea and politics often intermingled in England. In Alexander Pope’s comic-poetic epic, The Rape of the Lock (refers to a lock of hair, I said it was comic!), we find in her Council rooms:
Here, thou, great Anna! whom three realms obey,
Dost sometimes counsel take—and sometimes tea.
Anna is Queen Anne of the furniture style (reigned 1702 – 1709), who was titled Queen of Great Britain, France and Ireland. She was the last of the House of Stuart. And before you exclaim that the couplet doesn’t rhyme — There was something called the Great Vowel Shift in the English language: “e” slid from an “a” sound to what we now know as “ee”. So read it as: Dost sometimes counsel take – and sometimes tay. That’s how Pope would have said it, and all the Englishmen fueling up on the newfangled beverage.
Well! This may tell you more about tea than you really wanted to know — but look at the beautiful accessories it’s accompanied by! Join me in a cuppa?