Tag Archives: Tea bag

Epilogue

15 Mar
London Eye

London Eye (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

We went on telly every morning for a week. People in the street recognised us. We had a huge cooked breakfast each day and VIP treatment at Madame Tussaud’s, the Planetarium, Planet Hollywood, the London Eye (bumped to the top of the  long queue and given a semi-private capsule – just one other couple in it) and somewhere else which I can’t now remember.

We met famous British people and the World’s Smallest Dog (they bumped our green segment for that one).  We met a man who did something interesting with Lego (so interesting, I can’t remember what it was) (they bumped our green segment again for that one).

The production staff were lovely.  They told us that our boys were the best-behaved children they’d ever had on the show.  Stuff was always coming in to the office, to be featured on TV.  One morning, a member of the production team who I don’t think we had met, came up to us with two expensive remote-controlled cars and told me they were for the boys; she had received them and thought, ‘I know just who I want to give these to.’  Wasn’t that kind?

We had a fantastic week, though the Hub was looking rather lyard in hair and face by the time we were dropped at Euston Station.  His M.E. wasn’t as bad then but it had been a hard five days for him and the kids were propping him up at that point.      Our train was in and we were about to board when we were suddenly stopped by a station guard.  She politely asked us to wait a moment, and then led us into First Class.  Apparently, the train was standing room only and she turfed four people out of their seats and gave them to us.

Euston station, London, UK

Euston station, London, UK (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Nothing to do with The Big Breakfast – we were a family with two young children, looking exhausted (the boys and I) or about to collapse (Hub), and the four people were all young and travelling alone and only allowed those seats because there was no space in steerage. We still had the bulk of our cash wad but we discovered you don’t pay for snacks  in First Class, even if you haven’t paid for a First Class seat.

All in all, a fabulous week.

Now, the teabags:

When Tory Boy was eleven, he didn’t like a strong cup of tea and he liked half milk-half water.  I made two cups of tea from one tea bag, leaving the bag ready in another cup after making the first brew.  Lots of people do it; there’s nothing peculiar about it – but for some reason, it was all the council, Bella, the Newspaper Which Must Not Be Named and The Big Breakfast could fixate on.

Tea Bag Firestarters

Tea Bag Firestarters (Photo credit: Earthworm)

I made two cups of tea from one tea bag and as a result there is a photograph floating around the ether of me hanging used tea bags on a washing line; and I and my family got to be in a magazine, a newspaper, a local council event and on telly for a week.  We were given free gifts and food and money and treated like we were something special.  We met kind people and nice people and friendly people and a couple of jerks (not discussed in these posts because if you can’t say anything nice about someone then don’t blog about them).  We lived a charmed and somewhat pampered existence for a week and came out normal at the end of it.

Ain’t life weird?

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I hope you’ve enjoyed my saga.  It was supposed to be one post; two at the most. It stirred so many memories, however, it stretched to a week.  With all the fun things that happened to us, it’s no wonder we felt kef on the train home, or in a state of drowsy contentment.

 

Telly, Part Two

9 Mar

So, continuing on from yesterday’s post…

Apologies for the weak Six Word Saturday.

The phone rang.  It was Bella magazine, a woman’s weekly.  They wanted to interview us about our greendom!

That was my moment of entelechy, or realisation – we no longer had the potential to be freaks, we were actually freaks.  But newsworthy freaks.

A reporter came and talked to us about our green habits.  I didn’t know at that point that she was facinorous.  Even when a photographer arrived, primed by what the reporter had told him, I didn’t get it.

Amongst others, these were the kinds of photos he wanted to take:

  • Me hanging tea bags on the washing line
  • Me pouring the water from vegetables cooked on the stove into plant pots
  • All of us sitting in the dark, huddled under blankets

I was a little uneasy and the Hub told me I didn’t have to do anything if I was uncomfortable, but the photographer assured us it was a lighthearted piece.  You know me and fun…what a silly girl I was.

I let the photographer take the pictures, all the while assuring him I didn’t keep my family in the dark, use vegetable water on my two plants (I use it for gravy) or hang tea bags on my washing line.  Think of the stains – and the flies.  Eurggh.

Bella

Bella (Photo credit: Houstonian) Nothing to do with that horrible magazine.  I’m trying to replace the images in my head when I hear the word ‘Bella’.  Even a crying vampire groupie is better than the red mist which usually appears.

The article duly appeared.  We were made to look like stingy idiots.  The reporter used half-truths and exaggeration.  I was upset but resigned; I resolved to forget it – even the charming photo of me, smiling as I hung dirty, wet tea bags on my washing line.  I was done with reporters.

Then a national Sunday newspaper called, having picked it up from wherever national newspapers pick up stories, and asked to interview us. I thought it would be a chance to set the record straight after the Bella debacle.  I shouldn’t be allowed to think.

I won’t tell you the name of the paper because it is not allowed to be mentioned in this house any more. I did begin to tell you the details of the many, many, many facts they distorted or outright lied about (they even re-used the Bella tea bag photo when I refused to pose in a similar way for them), but I don’t think a bitter diatribe sits well with a Laughing Housewife ethos, so I scrubbed it.  Suffice it to say that the following week they ran a whole letters page in response to our article, the gist of it being that our children were unfortunate in their mean and hateful parents.

I was done with all media.  

Then came a knock on the door…which I will tell you about tomorrow (I said it was a long story).

Am I Weird?

12 Jul

From Noveltea.co.uk

A national newspaper once pilloried me for saving money, suggesting I was careful to the point of mean.  We never buy that paper and we never speak its name, so I can’t tell you which one it was.  When my poetry book is e-published and goes viral, doing for rhyme and form what Fifty Shades of Grey has done for mommy porn, I will refuse to allow it to be serialised in that particular paper.  So there!

The thrust of their argument was that I re-use teabags and therefore I am a heinous person.  They conned me into posing with used tea bags on my washing line, claiming it was ‘a light-hearted piece’.  And so it was, if by ‘light-hearted’ they meant, ‘vicious to the point of stabbing her in the heart with a teaspoon.’ But I’m not bitter, unlike that editor’s soul.

I do re-use tea bags.  I don’t hang them on the washing line.  Here’s how it works:

I drink milk, water, the occasional glass of wine or Dandelion & Burdock, and Earl Grey Tea.  I drink tea all day long.  I like tea; it’s refreshing.  I don’t do drugs, snue gliffing or alcohol to excess so, in the scheme of things, it’s not a dangerous addiction.  I’m not likely to mug a granny for the price of a china cup of char.  I don’t get high on bergamot & lemon fumes.  I refuse to apologise or stand up at the TA* and declare, ‘My name is Tilly.  I am a tea-drinker.’

* Tea-drinkers Anonymous; not the Territorial Army.  I’m hardly likely to wander into barracks and declare ‘I drink tea,’ am I?  Not if I’ve had my regular doses, anyway.

[276/365] DSC_1914

[276/365] DSC_1914 (Photo credit: knowinspiration)

We are on a minuscule budget and fifty Twinings Earl Grey Decaffeinated teabags cost around £3.59.  That’s more than seven pence a cup!  

I drink an average ten cups a day. Seventy pence a day x seven days a week x four weeks a month x thirteen months a year because four weeks x twelve months adds up to only forty-eight weeks and I’m not giving tea up for a day, never mind a whole imaginary month = £254.80.

I know I could use that money to go on holiday or buy gifts for my boys or pay my gas bill (it hasn’t stopped raining since last September; of course I’ve got my heating on in July), but I won’t.  And you can’t make me.

I drink decaff after noon and regular before noon, and the regular is a little cheaper; but if I drank regular Earl Grey all day I’d get no sleep and start writing daft posts about ordinary things, and you wouldn’t want that, would you?

I drink my Earl Grey black.  I drink ordinary tea with milk, not too weak, not too strong, no sugar, not too milky, just so you know when I visit you.  I’m easy to please, so long as you make it exactly how I like it.

Black Earl Grey is strong.  I don’t like strong tea; I’m not that northern.  Making my tea is a matter of pour, wiggle, remove.  Around a third of its natural strength.  That’s two-thirds of a tea bag unused.  In this – or any – economy, that’s a scandalous waste of money.  Would you throw away two thirds of the contents of your tea box?  Of course not.

Excuse the blurry photos – I’m useless before the third cup of tea.

This is what I do every morning when I get up:

  • Put the kettle on (filling only to the required level; don’t waste energy, water and money by over-filling the kettle).
  • Set out three cups – one wide; one large; one small.
  • Make the first brew in the wide cup: pour, wiggle, remove.  It cools quickly, giving me an immediate fix.
  • Put used bag in large cup.
  • Make the second brew with breakfast – pour, wiggle-iggle, remove.  A large cup, to wash down the meal; not wide, or it would cool before I’ve finished eating and it has to be drunk at just the right temperature: not too hot, not too cold.
  • Put used bag in small cup.
  • Make the third brew around ten.  A small cup, because the tea is beginning to lose its strength.   Pour, leave to stand for a minute, double wiggle, squeeze, remove tea bag to food recycling box.

There’s nothing weird about that, is there?

Why don’t you visit me, and we’ll discuss it over a nice cup of tea?

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