Me, Mirth and Merriment

I went shopping this afternoon – a few groceries for Number One son as a hint that it was time to go back, and a few bits for the kitchen. And tea. By some oversight we had run out of tea, and I can’t settle knowing that Julia is likely to make that Indian spiced stuff that she likes and which I consider has no place in civilised society. I know that India has produced great philosophies and mathematics, and Mahatma Ghandi, but I’m sorry, I don’t consider them sound on matters of tea.

For those of you who are thinking of pointing out that India virtually invented tea may I just point out that the English invented football. It doesn’t mean we’re any good at it.

The car park was fuller than normal, a state of affairs which also applied to the shop.

Large numbers of resentful looking men were trailing round the shop muttering rude words at their partners whilst feral children stalked the aisles and trolley rage seemed to simmer, barely under control.

This did not bring out the best in me, and I was thinking evil thoughts, including wondering about the practicality of disemboweling a curly-haired tot with my reading glasses, when a wave of good humour rolled over me.Β  This is not normal. It hardly ever happens, and certainly not at Christmas, when the spirit of Scrooge stalks the badly heated rooms of my draughty hill top domain.

I looked at the couple arguing over the wife’s choice ofΒ  cheese and thought how lucky I was that we could afford all three of the varieties she was looking at. We would, of course only eat two of them before the third matured into a new variety of blue cheese (in our fridge even Stilton goes mouldy), but that, in a way. is even luckier, as we have lots of cheese and the thrill of playing botulism roulette.

After that I was on a roll, to the point of being quite charming and enjoying a laugh with several ladies in the checkout queue. When I mentioned this to Julia she muttered something about it not being the first time I’d provoked mirth in a woman.

There was something in her tone I couldn’t quite place…


21 thoughts on “Me, Mirth and Merriment

  1. Clare Pooley

    Cheerful? Oh dear! Advent is not a time for cheerfulness.
    I love Assam tea and I like English Breakfast tea and a few fruit teas but that’s it. I can’t be done with spicy or herby teas.

  2. tootlepedal

    The whole thing is very unsettling. I hope that being cheerful hasn’t upset your system too much. (No cheese lasts in my fridge long enough to catch a cold let alone botulism.)

  3. Jessica Triepel

    Uh oh! Sounds like someone’s a bit jealous! πŸ˜‰
    I think I’m within you on the tea. I’m a health nut, and one thing I’ve noticed an other health nuts is their obsession with weird and not so palatable tea blends. I’ve tried my fair share of Yogi Teas, and just can’t develop a liking for them. I think chai is revolting. Nope, it will have to be organic English or Scottish breakfast tea for me, and occasionally green tea or raspberry leaf. Even rooibus is tolerable.
    This past Friday afternoon, I had my own unpleasant shopping experience. I had the very bad idea of taking my three year old daughter with me to shop for a gift for a friend and buy some groceries. Long story short, I will not be doing that again during the holiday season!

    1. quercuscommunity

      To be fair – releasing kids in social situations is the only way to civilise them. Mine are in their 20s now and my work is nearly done.

      I tried growing my own tea but it didn’t prosper.

      1. Jessica Triepel

        Lol! U underestimate my daughter! She’s fine shopping with me most of the time. In town and at the market, it’s normally not a problem. But we went to a big shopping center. She’s been here before, but never to shop during the holiday rush. When your three year old has to be restrained and sat on the counter at the cash register to keep her from running away while you’re paying, and starts hitting you, it’s not worth it. It was a disaster!
        Are you in England? Is it even possible to grow tea there?

      2. quercuscommunity

        Yes, I’m in Nottingham. There is a tea plantation in Cornwall and another (under cover) in Scotland.

        I bought the plants off the internet. They were good plants, it was my management that was at fault.

      3. Jessica Triepel

        I know you’re pain. I love gardening, but a good portion of what I try to grow fails. Some things work for me. Others not so well. It’s a learning process. You just have to keep practicing and trying new methods until you get it right.

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