The half of me that is British is very British with my tea. At about 3 pm, its Tea Time. And what is rather amusing is that in England, 'Tea Time' in in fact dinner time. There's not normally tea to be had at Tea Time. For me, it's usually an Earl Grey caffeine boost to see me through the evening. I love my Peppermint tea in the morning for that refreshing wake up; especially with a drop of Peppermint Essential Oil.
I miss tea with my family. Siblings chatting over cups of tea. You know it's been a good natter when the sink is full of dirty mugs and, somehow the afternoon has escaped us. And it's such a mix of frivolous conversations intermixed with serious confessions, and/or revelations. It must be something in the Chinnery blood (my mother's side).
I remember visits to my Grandparents'. My dad (not being of Chinnery blood) would immediately get settled in the wooden chair by the table with a newspaper, while my mom, my grandma, and whichever various aunt was visiting would talk away til the sun went down. And then, there would be the 'time-to-leave' time. 20 minutes after that would be the 'yes-we-really-must-be-going-now' time. And then another 40 minutes after that would be 'wailing-children-we-must-leave-right-now!' time. All with cups of tea keeping the conversation going.
As an adult, now partaking in these tea times, I drift in between actively conversing to "wall-flowering" in the background. I sit in amusement as my aunt(s), uncle, cousin(s), mom and grandma cover the same topics we cover each time a visit incurs. I love how we can be discussing something very intense and heavy, yet without warning a quick 'my-goodness-these-scones-are-nice-what-did-you-put-in-them' can halt and flip the conversation towards baking shenanigans. My husband (no Chinnery traits) sits in the corner and listens. He speaks when spoken to, and normally in short, concise answers; for the rate of chatter is lightening speed, and one can get left behind very quickly. Just pop out for a minute to put the kettle on, and by the time you're back, the conversation has raced through at least three topics. But never fear, interrupting and interjections are common and (for some reason) not in the slightest bit rude. If there's something you missed, just wait and be patient, that subject will make its rounds again. before the afternoon-into-evening is up!
From 'let's-pretend-we-don't-see-our sister/daughter-and-avoid-eye-contact-and-maybe-she'll-go-away' foolishness and juvenile behavior, to discussing very serious subjects. All part of Tea Time.
As grown-ups, my siblings and I partake in the same tea afternoons, especially when my son was a baby (their main reason for aunts and uncle coming to visit!) We like to think our conversations much more witty, jovial and full of lighthearted banter than my mom's, aunts', and grandma's. But doesn't every current generation!
So, here in Japan, when the golden hour of tea alights, I enjoy the peace and solitude sipping my tea. I'm normally reading, studying, or "art-ing" (no, I did not miss out an 'f '). And, I miss my family. Just a bit.
My recent Photo Montage Fuji Tea 2017 was about how I feel when I see Fuji in the mornings while I'm getting breakfast ready, and waiting for my Peppermint tea to cool. It developed into a visual after visiting Nikko; waking up to mist upon the encompassing mountains. It was about how very drastic the landscape changes in color from sunrise to sunset. How the view of Fuji changes throughout the year. How cloud formations alter the appearance of the mountains. All things I delight upon seeing every morning and evening. How will Fuji look today? Will I even be able to see any mountains?
Here's a progression video of this piece.
I realized I wasn't finished with the Fuji Tea comprise. And that is where my most recent Photo Montage journey went. The focus is in the steam rather than the pot and the cup. The steam takes up 2/3 of the composition. The steam is where my mind wanders. While I sip my tea, when it's just almost too hot to drink. As soon as it gets below this temperature, one must heat it up again. It's just wrong to drink it down, or Heavens forbid, gulp it! (gasp!) No, it must be sipped. For in the sipping, does the conversation happen. In my case, being in Japan without my siblings and family, its when the mind can wonder and travel. Like the steam. The colors underlay-ed within the steam are various sunsets and sunrises taken around Fuji. Many different locations and times of year. The colors are vivid, and (I think due to the movement of the steam) almost psychedelic. Groovy Man! (giggle to myself). I love the blue serenity of the Fuji in the cup. I loved it in Fuji Tea, so I adapted it into this piece.
What do you think? I'd love your opinions on this piece. Where does having a cup of tea take your mind?