Traditions in Tea and Other Things

We’ve just had DavidsTea’s offering – late because it’s been a long day. There was the usual mundane stuff to get on with. Afterwards we put the final touches on the Dachshund Socks for tomorrow. After that we wrapped gifts, which was a task and a half because you really need about four hands to be any good at it. We do not have four hands. Suffice to say we are not particularly good at gift wrapping. Our one really good florist is ribbon curls. We do those expertly. The rest is more or less ordinary.

Then we got watching tv after dinner as per the law of the Dachshund Cuddle. And that led us down interesting theological rabbit-holes, and other less ponderous, Christmassy ones. The other night it was The Holly and the Ivy, and after that it was Christmas in Connecticut. We have now reached the part of the holiday run where we watch The Blue Carbuncle. This is one of the great Christmas traditions. Tomorrow we will listen to the radio version as put on by the BBC; that is another tradition.

So anyway, somewhere between the theological rambling and the giftware, we realised we hadn’t actually had today’s DavidsTea. It’s called Sleigh Ride and it’s a perennial favourite with this calendar, but we first bought it before that, January of the year it came out. It was reduced, because we guess they’d manufactured it for Christmas and were doing some kind of post-holiday sale. It had a seasonal tin and everything. So we’re quite familiar with this one. It’s an apple-based herbal blend, and it’s really quite lovely. It’s tangy because of the fruit, tart because of the cinnamon, and tastes of Christmas. Less of Christmas than the peel-based black teas we favour, but it’s still a good tea, and we still go back to it often.

Earlier we had had an absolutely gorgeous Sencha from Germany. It’s called Sencha Clause and we knew we’d like it as soon as we smelled it. It too has a range of ingredients but the predominant taste is of almonds. Almonds and sencha go beautifully together. It’s smooth, creamy, and sort of like drinking marzipan but without the sweetness. It’s supposed to emulate almond pastry and it hits the mark perfectly.

We had plans for another feline hymn this evening. It was going to save us all kinds of time choosing something tonight. But then we got on to The Blue Carbuncle, so naturally we had to go track down something to do with geese, just to see if there was anything. (Anything not the exasperating closing sentence to Orlando, we should probably clarify.)

We found this. No stolen jewellery, and no wild goose chases. Success!

The Geese
Jane Mead

slicing this frozen sky know
where they are going—
and want to get there.
 
Their call, both strange
and familiar, calls
to the strange and familiar
 
heart, and the landscape
becomes the landscape
of being, which becomes
 
the bright silos and snowy
fields over which the nuanced
and muscular geese
 
are calling—while time
and the heart take measure.

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