Yesterday I worked from home on a specific assignment for a client. It was pretty tough to concentrate, what with the sunny day outside my window calling my name. But just a shade past 3:30 and I was out the door heading for Granville Island. It’s not a place I’d usually go on a winter’s day, but I thought I’d do some writing in the library of Emily Carr and then head to the food court for a cup of tea and a snack.
I never made it to the library or the food court. Instead, I happened by a little shop called “Eklectic Finds Home & Garden” – I just couldn’t resist going in to explore. My instincts were right – it was a place packed with treasures waiting to be discovered. At first there appeared to be no real order to the arrangement of the items on the shelves. Unrelated items were jumbled together. The more time I spent looking, I realized that the jumble repeated itself – if you missed the teapots in amongst the elephants, Buddhas, hats, gloves and tea mugs in the northwest corner of the store, you might spot another selection of teapots nesting happily with the garden obelisks by the front door.
I think I learned to make tea before how to write a poem. Tea was a big deal in our household (my dad hailed from England, after all). You had to make the tea in a pot; you had to hot the pot; and you had to make sure that it was served properly (on a tray with accompanying accoutrements like matching cups and bickies). Tea still plays an important role in my life. When it’s just me, it seems like a lot of fuss and bother to make tea in a pot. Friends have suggested a tea mug with strainer or a tea infuser. It seemed like a great solution to my dilemma but I’ve never been able to find one not made of plastic. I might condescend to dunking a tea bag in a mug of hot water, but I draw the line at drinking tea from plastic containers.
In “Eklectic Finds,” I walked by a bunch of tea mugs several times before I realized that they weren’t just tea mugs with lids; they were tea infusers made of china. No lurking tea bags, strings still wrapped around teaspoons or the remains of loose tea glued beyond redemption to the sides of a tea ball. Typically I’m the kind of person that always pauses before purchasing anything. Not yesterday. I just had to have it.
So I am now the proud owner of a tea mug with strainer. And a new place to buy those one-of-a-kind Christmas presents for the special people on my Christmas list.