July 11, 2005

i don't care if my tea-leaves spell 'die, ron, die'

(Ooh, what a blog-a-licious weekend this has been. Anything other than reading boring journal articles. There was a point last night when all posts were firstly 'click here to view the rest of the post', and then all were hidden till you pressed the magic button, and assorted other doo-dads got played around with, but in the end I settled for putting the archives in a drop-down menu, and deleting the side-note column. Certain reservations not withstanding, I'm going with this version of endnotes for now. Wanted a drop-down menu for the 'previous posts' as well, but I like long titles, and the width got all screwy. All because I couldn't remember the html for blockquotes.)

I quit my job at the coffee shop back in February, and, apart from noticing the distinct downwards trend of my bank balance, I haven't missed it one bit. Alas, in the past two days, it has been brought home to me just how great the perks of the job were. Anyone who has any claims to be a friend of mine knows that I like drinking tea. Not so odd, you might think, given that I am British *1*, but I do drink more than the average Brit my age seems to. Nothing wrong with that - tea is a remarkably healthy beverage, chock to the brim with anti-oxidants and the like *2*. Not only is tea good for me, it is good for those around me as well. The Latvian Lovely says that seeing me in the morning makes her feel better about herself in the morning, as she can't possibly be that bad! :S

So the problem. I worked for a company specializing in quality tea and coffee on and off for the past seven years, and sadly educated my palate to prefer something tastier than the average Tetley teabag. I'm not a total tea-snob, and willingly drink Tetley tea when I'm back at the homestead, or PG Pyramids when I'm on the boat with Farv *3*, but if I have a choice, give me a cup of Whittard of Chelsea Assam tea any day of the week. When I was working for the company, this was fine, because we got an allowance of 125g tea (or coffee) every two weeks, and even I can't get through 40 teabags in two weeks. Built me up a nice stockpile. Which I finished two days ago, necessitating a trip back to the old store, and purchasing three boxes. Even with a multi-buy and student discount, this came to £4.50, which, for 120 teabags is a bit steep. Alas, like with coffee, I now understand and appreciate the different tastes of tea, and cheaper stuff just tastes nasty.

I can guess that I'm not getting through. Think of it like wine or whisky. You will drink the £3.99 bottle of cheap Tesco's red, or Asda's blended malt if you have to, but given your druthers, you'd rather have the £40 Chateau Whosit or 40 year Laphroaig single malt. *WARNING - age & geographic restrictions await you at the end of that link. The following is from their terms and conditions:
Legal drinking age - to use this Site you must be of legal drinking age OR of the age required in order to purchase alcohol in your country - if you are not please exit this Site. We look forward to informing you about Laphroaig at an appropriate time in the future.
Restricted Territories – in some countries of the world it is not permissible for citizens to visit a Site like ours due to local laws restricting the sale and/or promotion of alcoholic beverages. If you are visiting from a country where restrictions apply, you should exit this Site now. If you are unsure about the law, you should exit now and check your legal position before continuing.

Happy browsing :)

My other problem is that I am a remarkably clutzy individual and break more mugs than even my father, which is saying something! Unbreakable mugs do exist (I own two!) but there is something about a decent china mug, with the right heft and feel, that adds to the experience. No longer working for the company means I don't get staff discount, so it's getting expensive to keep me in mugs. I broke ANOTHER one the other day. Roll on the trip to Asda to get a nice(ish) mug for 67 pence that I won't be too heartbroken to break.

Still not enough to make me go back to the job though!



This is a post I believe deserves being read again, if only because its length challenges some of my best. The pure unadulterated pain and anger that prompted JB to write this piece is palpable and really makes your heart go out to the poor chap. I think this is going to become the post I read when I have had a bad day. Nothing could be this bad, could it? Tuesdays. Don't you just love 'em?
Endnotes:
*1* We will ignore, for now, the half Scots' blood that runs through my veins. 'Tea Drinker' isn't the first thing that springs to mind when talking of the Scottish. Whisky is mentioned in two paragraphs time though, if you are worried about my Scots credentials.Back
*2* We will also ignore, for now, the detrimental affects such as the inordinately high proportion of caffeine in the standard cup (more per unit than coffee) can have from prolonged usage. Mmmmmmm, caffeine-withdrawal shakes and headaches.Back
*3* In fact, I will drink most anything tea-related unless it is Earl Grey. Drinking Earl Grey is like trying to drink my grandmother. Overly scented and utterly repulsive. It is, in my humble opinion, a crime against tea. Alas, as far as most Americans are concerned, it is the best thing since bread came sliced, and pretty much the only tea you can get out there. Surprisingly enough, I never did sell much Earl Grey, funny that...Back

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