The following posts have no fixed theme or style, but I hope you enjoy reading them!

Sunday, 25 January 2009

First Class Teas

In all the hubbub of the Christmas period, I forgot to mention the disaster that occurred.

First Class Teas closed just before Christmas. This tea shop was wonderful and the wonderful staff in there (like Roger, William and Naomi) introduced me to lots of new teas that I had never tried. In fact, without First Class Teas, I would not be obsessed with tea today, and my life would be very different. The shop sold over a hundred types of tea of all sorts, as well as teapots and other tea-related equipment. It was impossible to go there for less than an hour, as they give you a small pot each, encouraging you to stay as long as possible.

Fortunately, the mail order side of the business is still going, as is the wholesale side (the side which sells tea to other cafes), so we can still enjoy the tea in some way. But I miss the care and attention spent on tea during the time spent there. It can only be comparable to the tea houses of the far east. And they are places that I have to visit for certain.

Saturday, 17 January 2009

Milk in Tea coming soon

It's about time I continued this series with some proper experiments isn't it? I had put it on hold for a while but it could certainly be continued now. Taste tests can be carried out on myself and also my housemates, who I have been training (I serve them lots of tea)

The latest additions to the tea cupboard have been yellow tea and ginger flavoured black tea, which are both exquisite. I recommend them both to you

Friday, 16 January 2009

Colin Murray Disagrees With Me

But he did read out my text

It said "An album should be judged by the quality of the second track. I always distrust an album with a good first track"

If I want to find out how good a band is I *always* listen to the second track first. If I like one track, then I'll listen to two or three, and then the whole album. First impressions are important. The first track on the album could be a boring Intro track, or it can often be the only good song on the album and the one that made the band famous. Track two is a much better taster of whether you'll like the whole album. Tracks 3&4 are also good.

After that, less good. Later tracks are much more hit-and-miss. Most albums have at least one filler track that's a bit rubbish at some point in the second half, so it's likely you could hit that one.

This policy might be a bit arbitrary but it's one I stick by and it works for me

Tuesday, 6 January 2009

Days of Christmas

It's the thirteenth day of Christmas, or rather, the first day of 2009 that is not a day of Christmas. Hooray!

The song about the twelve days of Christmas chases me round the country every year. It sticks in my head incessantly and won't go away for around a fortnight. Every year I find myself wondering which day of Christmas we are on. I suppose I am slightly fascinated by the possibility of having a song that develops over the course of almost two weeks.

Also, I am always curious about the song and the gifts themselves. Why did my true love stop at twelve days? Was that the plan from the start, or did it just seem like a good place to finish once everyone is having a nice dance at the end? It annoys me that there is one more Lord than Lady. Surely the Lord is a little annoyed that he doesn't have anyone to leap for. Perhaps the recipient of the gifts is intended to be the missing Lady? In that case, is the giver one of the Lords as well?

At which point did the recipient realise that they were going to receive a partridge in a pear tree so many times? And how was the giver so sure that the partridge would stay in the tree long enough to give it? He must have ordered these things a fair while in advance for them to arrive on time. He was lucky that it all went to plan, because it sounds like a logistical nightmare. Perhaps the song is just badly phrased and my true love only actually gives the pear tree on the first day. It could be that in later verses the previous presents are mentioned simply as a reminder of what has been given already. Who knows?

All of the gifts are a bit silly though. Swans seem fairly normal, but they belong to the Queen so unless my true love is the Queen, they are not my true love's to give. Maids-a-milking are also crazy. To have eight of them for the last five days means forty maids, which must be most of the professional milking maids in the county.

The "proper" meanings of the song you can read here

Anyway, these thoughts keep me occupied through the coldest, darkest days of the year, but that is over now, and I will have to find something else to occupy me

The fact that the coldest night of the year is TONIGHT (it's supposed to get down to minus 10 in some parts of the country later) makes the loss of the song a little harder to bear than normal. So forgive me if I shed a tear as I head to bed

Monday, 5 January 2009

Question #2

What happened here?

A food fight or merely a cress mishap?