Friday 12 April 2019

Chapter 22

Storm in a teacup: Memoirs of a Tea Lady.

Chapter 22    

Dear Reader,

You may well wonder why you haven’t heard from me for a while. There is no easy way of explaining my absence except to say that I’ve been away in “tea detox” for the last fifteen months. Yes, my precious fellow tea drinkers, I’d become addicted to drinking102 cups of tea per day.  Can you imagine? Let my watery habit be a sobering lesson to anyone who cares to listen for it was a dark and scary spiral into misery and floundering in soggy tea leaves to try and extract another cup of tea for my craving.  At the height of my addiction, I could hear my tea addled body sloshing. My eyes cried tears of milky tea.  I even started to sweat tea.   And while all that tea was great for lowering my anti-oxidant levels, I needed to stop.  So I took myself off the Addiction Campground for tea ladies on the south coast of Western Australia where I went cold tea.  It was the only way. Through twenty-four hours of pure hellish withdrawal, I clawed my way back from 102 cups down to 6 cups per day. Since then I’ve been swimming in the ocean and going for long walks and communing with nature in an endeavour to stay on the wagon.  I’ve also been having lengthy in-depth discussions with the other tea addicted tea ladies here at the campground. Amongst the sadness though, there is much joking and laughter, we are, after all, tea ladies.Still, I’ve missed you all my dearest readers and hope and pray that you’ll forgive my detour into addiction.  I also beg you to remember that while I might be an esteemed tea lady, I am also only human and as vulnerable as anyone else when it comes to falling prey to addiction.

Tuesday 28 November 2017

Chapter 21

My dear fellow tea lovers,  late last night Buckingham Palace  phoned me  and asked me ever-so-politely  if I would consider being  the official tea lady at the marriage of Harry & Meghan.  I told them that I would have a think about it.  What are your thoughts my dears?  Leave me a comment Yes or No. Should I fly the thousands of miles to serve tea at a Royal Wedding?   If you were me, would you go?  And if you did go, which tea pot would you take?  Or would you take the Billy and swing it around in front of guests to give the wedding a distinctly  Australian flavour?

Monday 16 October 2017

Storm in a teacup: memoirs of a tea lady. Chapter 20

There were times in my long working life as a tea lady when it was financially  imperative that I turn my hand to other endeavours, such as in the late spring of 1983.  My work as a tea lady had temporarily dried up and my savings were too meagre to live off. But I was fortunate enough to get a job as a picker on a strawberry farm located on the outskirts of Wattlebird.The pay was, I admit, low at $4.50 per hour,but often we were given free if  slightly spoiled fruit and the owners of the farm and other pickers were good people with whom I became fast friends. Along with the other pickers, I started picking at six in the morning before the heat of day warmed the fruit and it became too soft to pick. We picked, bent over double with a wooden tray into which we’d place the ripe strawberries. I remember well, the dark red and greens of the strawberry plants and their little daisy-like flowers. And of course, how could I ever forget the aromatic smell of strawberries and having red strawberry stained fingers.  And it seemed the sky was always an unbroken blue, with the warmth of the sun on our bare arms as we picked along the rows, occasionally stopping to stretch our backs and have a chat or maybe squint into the sun and survey the Karri forest which surrounded the five-acre farm.  We would pick for three hours, then break in the heat of the day and return in the evening to pick for another three hours. 
In the cool of the evening, I would walk the short distance to my home in the forest, a small cottage with a wood stove on which I made batches of strawberry jam and in its oven, baked strawberry cakes. As I walked to my cottage, a gentle breeze blew and the last rays of sunlight glimmered through the trees while small birds twittered.Once home, I’d make myself a pot of tea and cut a piece of strawberry cake to eat. Without turning on any lights,I’d sit on the back step of my cottage, sipping tea and eating cake while watching the night sky which was a vast dome of inky blue strewn with white stars.

Tuesday 14 March 2017

Storm in a teacup: memoirs of a tea lady. Chapter 19

I was there at Woodstock. And I remember everything.   It was in the summer of ’69, and I was busy backstage making cups of tea for Janis, Joni, Jimi and The Grateful Dead.  But the absolute highlight for me —and pinnacle of my brilliant  career— was the cup of tea I made for Joe Cocker. What a gentleman.  He asked me, ever so politely for a cup tea, dash of milk, one sugar, and strong but not too strong.  And  I can remember the song he sang, clear as a bell is my memory of him in that wonderfully raspy  and heartbreaking   voice of his, singing  what  became my anthem through all the ups and downs of being a tea lady— I Can Get By with A Little Help from My Friends.

Wednesday 28 December 2016

Storm in a teacup: memoirs of a tea lady. Chapter 18

My marriage to Teddy had now turned into the proverbial storm in a teacup.  Teddy and I argued day and night as to which was the better brew—tea or coffee.  In the end we went and saw Wattlebird’s very own high priestess of conflict resolution — Miss Beetleheart —a world authority on marriage, and who also happened to moonlight as a spray tan technician when business was slow.
                As we sat in Miss Beatleheart’s   office-cum–spray-tan-salon, she listened; eyes squinted in concentration as we spoke.
                Teddy talked about coffee. I talked about my career as a tea lady and how it was impossible for me to be married to someone whose recently announced ambition in life was to own his very own coffee plantation.
                                Miss Beetleheart tut-tutted.
                I couldn’t help but notice Miss Beetleheart unusual colouring. It seemed that our world authority had spray tanned herself a mango-orangey colour. Not that I minded, as it matched her silver grey hair.
Unfortunately, my dismay at having being duped into marrying a hardnosed coffee fanatic got the better of me and I dissolved into tears.
                Ms Beetleheart promptly handed me a bunch of tissues. ‘A sorry state of affairs,’ she mourned. ‘It’s best you part. I can see no resolution. Tea is tea. Coffee is coffee.’
                And so, Teddy and I parted.  But not before we’d both been given a complimentary free spray tan by Miss Beetleheart.
                Teddy, still in his all-body plaster cast, ended up looking like a carrot.
                I ended up looking like an pumpkin .