Oh, tea! You are my special chum. How I love thee in every possible cliched way. Is there a writer, alive or distantly dead, who has never savored your goodness? The ghosts of your famous lovers must be everywhere. Oh, tea! Piping, steaming, swirling with heat. Homey: a silent, sympathetic witness to innumerable sorrows and hopes. Out of dainty cups, chipped cups, disposable cups, any cups at hand. Sweet or plain. Oh, tea! You are always by my side as I write or read. This, this is adoration. Please bask in that love while I tell my patient readers a story.
Every time the blonde child walked into the kitchen, she asked, aloud, the same question. “Is there anything, world, more beautiful than a brightly coloured tea tin?” It was, to be sure, a frankly odd thing for a six-year-old to think about, but think about it she did. The answer, internal rather than vocal, always echoed from her heart with happy assurance: “No! No! No!”