Lots of Tea! (Some Poetry)

Lots of teas today. I had my first of the German teas over breakfast. That was a lovely spiced Chai called Karl-Heinz. We’re told this is an old German joke that harkens back to the many double-barrelled names that cropped up in certain generations. As a tea it was a beautiful example of flavoured black tea. No sweetners, a bit of vanilla, cloves, and several other spices. It was warm, creamy and the perfect breakfast tea.

Around noon we stopped work and swapped Advent calendar’s for David’s Tea. That was a black tea, too, and this is where I should segue into the Wendy Cope poem about bloody men and buses. But this year it’s not true since I’m not rationing black tea. Though I still remember the year I ran out and refused to restock until January. I got exceptionally creative about what constituted a breakfast tea.

Candy Cane Crush is one we sometimes keep in stock here at Dawlish Dachshund central. So, we knew it right away, right down to the sticky residue it leaves on everyting. It’s actually a lovely tea. The candy cane is a nice compliment to the black tea. But it also has a bizarre effect on the tea’s appearance. It pours out sort of murky or cloudy. The first time we saw it we assumed we poured to early, but it’s something to do with what happens when melting candy cane meets boiling water.

This also accounts for the residue. Anyone who’s ever held a candy cane past a certain point knows what we’re talking about. You need several gallons of soap and a good scourer to get this stuff off your teapot. It’s irritating, but not enough to put us off the tea. We love the peppermint flavour it has.

Finally, we made a pot of Low Rider Green tea before starting on more Flying Geese. They’re taking over our lives. We broke up our evening program to stock up on more fat quarters just in case. This thing will get done, by hook or by crook.

Anyway, the green tea was a beautiful, uncomplicated sort of tea. Our grandmother would have liked it. Nothing fancy, no flourishes. Interesting enough to make a change, not so interesting as to be overwhelming. The perfect tea to drink before pinning another half dozen Flying Geese.

And now, a poem. Yesterday we gave you a cat poem, so the edict of what you do to the right-hand cat you must do to the left-hand dachshunds says we owe you another poem about dogs tonight. This one is delightful, and we’ve been looking for an excuse to air it.

Billy Collins

The way the dog trots out the front door
every morning
without a hat or an umbrella,
without any money
or the keys to her doghouse
never fails to fill the saucer of my heart
with milky admiration.

Who provides a finer example
of a life without encumbrance-
Thoreau in his curtainless hut
with a single plate, a single spoon?
Gandhi with his staff and his holy diapers?

Off she goes into the material world
with nothing but her brown coat
and her modest blue collar,
following only her wet nose,
the twin portals of her steady breathing,
followed only by the plume of her tail.

If only she did not shove the cat aside
every morning
and eat all his food
what a model of self-containment she
would be,
what a paragon of earthly detachment.
If only she were not so eager
for a rub behind the ears,
so acrobatic in her welcomes,
if only I were not her god.

Question: Just how excessively egregious is the bad form of posting poetry in honour of dachshunds while a cat sits entwined in your arms? She’s got her throat exposed and everything. Either she can’t read or can’t be bothered reading…

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