Tea. A friendly welcome and all over the country thousands of cups are offered and drunk in a day. I wonder just how many?
http://www.tea.co.uk/teafacts If you check out this site it suggests that during today (8.30 pm) people in UK have drunk 135,396,890 cups of tea! The little counter on their page goes round even faster than my electricity meter!
That's a lot of tea! Apparently 98% take milk in their tea but only 30% add sugar. I don't like either in tea although can drink it with both and in Kenya the sugar certainly provided energy for us on the building site.
96% of tea is brewed from tea bags - so I'm guessing that I'm in the small minority who prefers loose tea.
I love the lines of that Denby teapot and the deep shine on the surface. Everything about it is just perfect (in my opinion) and the contrast with the Wedgewood white china works well too. Bit by bit I've been adding to the original gift of a half set of the china and can now do a complete dinner for three with it.
So that was today's tea - a Green Tea blended with a Ceylon which is certainly better drunk without milk or sugar.
The other subject that seemed to go perfectly with the white are some lilies that have opened in the last day or two.
They have such a simple, uncluttered beauty and stand in stark contrast against the green stems and the dark wood of the table.
In Christian art the lily symbolises purity, perfection, majesty and mercy. The Angel Gabriel and the Virgin Mary are the characters most often associated with the flower although Christ the judge is sometimes shown with a lily to represent mercy. Tradition says that the lily grew from Eve's tears of repentance as she was banished from the Garden of Eden. A lily and a sword shown together represent the innocent and the guilty.
The deep reddish pollen falls so easily from the stamens. Should you get that on your clothes then soak it in milk before washing! I once managed to cover the back of a surplice with lily pollen and a helpful parishioner gave me that useful tip!
For the beauty of the earth,
for the glory of the skies,
for the love which from our birth
over and around us lies,
Christ our God, to thee we raise
this our sacrifice of praise.
Church Hymnal number 350
by Folliott Sandford Pierpoint