Posts Tagged ‘tea’

Don’t let your life pass you by……

The alarm blared in my face! It was 5am and freezing outside! I dragged myself up as I knew that I was joining the ranks of the city commuters that morning. I stretched and looked out across the garden towards the stream. It looked cold and I could make out the odd snow flake floating across the elm trees. They stood stark and bare. There was the odd bud of green forming on their grey boughs. Soon they would be rustling with their gowns of green. Oh happy day!

I sipped my tea and felt the warmth…..I need to wake up.

As ‘Lady of the house’ there is a lot to take care of when you live with a household of men. Not only are their shirts big but so are their appetites! So the loaf of bread is sliced and the lunches begin. Oh what to put on them to make them appetizing? I am running out of ideas…… then I remembered the tasty leftover chicken from last night. Wax paper rustles and that is one job jobbed. Josh had been salivating the whole time while all the tasty aromas wafted past him. This reminded me that the next activity was to feed the dog. That was an easy one…..same delicious pellets each time. Well, he did not seem to mind them. They were devoured in a few seconds flat. Then just to add insult to injury, it was garbage day. This required a carting out of various containers down to the bottom of the driveway. Think ‘very cold’ when you imagine this! Canadians are conscious of their environment and the landfills. We therefore need to have different containers for each of the types of refuse that we recycle. Thick boots and my warm coat were pulled from the mud room. I fell over the boxes and plastic troughs as I made my way out of the garage. It took four trips and there was a bit of grumbling under my breath as I completed this activity.

There were a few sittings at the breakfast table as each bleary- eyed male faced the array of cereal boxes, fruit juice cartons and yoghurt that was assembled on the table. Not much is said at this meal and I have learnt to keep my words to a minimum. I chew a bit of toast and drink a quick cup of coffee.  It is time to go.

I am always excited when I head into the city on the train as it is not a usual occurrence for me. I love to people watch but I am one of the few that do. The commuters are in automatic mode. Most sit with their faces glued to their daily newspaper. The one hand is often held in the ‘Canadian salute.’ The said hand grasps a paper cup filled with coffee. Although I am beginning to understand the merit of a cup of coffee in these harsh winters! I take in the smart business suits, elegant accessories and stern faces. It must be hard to do this every day!

20100626 GTS Go Train

Then I remember an email I received with a link to a young man who has an incredible voice. I pull out my phone and begin to listen to the music again. It is a classical piece and the young man has a pure and rich voice. I savour the sounds but become aware that my fellow passengers do not feel the same. Just then, a grumpy man jumps from his seat and informs me that I need to use earphones. Well, I don’t have any of those with me! So sadly I put my phone away and grab my newspaper. I was later told that the lower level of the train was the silent section. What? No talking or music or anything!

I sit with my head buried in my paper like everyone else. I have been severely reprimanded and feel like a naughty child. We learn our lessons here in Canada as a newbie….what is accepted and what is not. But next time I am going to ‘ride em high’ on the top level of the train and I will play my music and talk! I might even put my feet up on the seat!

I am slowly learning 'the ropes.'

I am slowly learning ‘the ropes.’


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Picadilly Circus


We are having an interlude from our Canadian adventure and are in London walking down Regent Street! I can’t believe it, this is the land of my birth and I feel a strange sense of kinship even though I have lived in the colonies all my life. Maybe it is because my parents kept IT all alive for me with the Enid Blyton books, tales about England, the music and we even wore our tartan. The twinkling spider web of Christmas lights and the bustling traffic bring me back to reality as I am lured into the shops by brightly decorated windows. My Woolies substitute, Marks and Spencer’s, has tempted me into a shopping spree and I succumb to a few sensible buys. It is with some regret that I eventually drag myself out into the drizzly streets, but there is so much to see. I have made a conscious effort not to “do London”, but to savour the sights and to take in just enough.

The Victorian buildings that line the street remind me that the historical side of London beckons me and I make my way down to the Thames. The autumn leaves crunch under my boots as I amble over Lambeth Bridge and I peer over the thick wall to watch a barge as it slips underneath. The Museum of Garden History is closed and I am grateful for the lucky find that morning of a DVD of all the magnificent gardens of England. It is 5 hours of pure viewing bliss which I am sure to pull out when the man cave at home is reverberating with loud cheering from the men in the family.

A crowd of well-wishers had gathered along the embankment around a newly married couple. She shivered in her elegant white gown as he proudly gazed down at her. It had begun to drizzle again but I was not going to let this deter me, as I knew I would have to toughen up to adverse weather conditions now that we had chosen to live in Canada.  The path meandered along the Thames and I parked myself on a bench directly opposite the Houses of Parliament and Big Ben. I sat quietly and watched the city go about its daily tasks as tourists and young mothers bustled past me. The whole world seemed to be in a hurry! Big Ben broke the spell as it chimed out across the Thames, it was already 3pm and it would be dark soon. I felt the chilly wind around my feet and decided to make my way back to the hotel.

The doorman of this gracious 150 year old hotel welcomed me as I ran up the broad staircase. I was ushered into the tearoom which is one of the novelties that the hotel offers; indeed they claim to have invested “afternoon tea”. It is a formal tearoom where you can sip your English Breakfast out of dainty porcelain china and you can nibble on the shortbread and the array of scrumptious chocolate cakes. So the Queen never made it for tea but instead I ordered a piece of irresistible cake and made sure  that I finished off her portion too. 

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