I learned about the Hospital-i-Tea-a-Thon from Rosanne at Firefly Nights and since tea is such a big part of my life, I've decided to join in. I'm a little late beginning so have two topics this time.
The Teacup Stories
Assignment: Share a picture of your favorite teacup and explain why it's meaningful.
My favorite teacup came from my Auntie Fay, who isn't really my Auntie at all but a dear family friend who remembered me on all the special occasions of my life and, in practice, was more than any actual extended family to me.
The teacup she gave me is special both for it's beauty and what it represents. The beauty of this teacup speaks for itself. It is fine English bone china manufactured by Shelley China and is light as a feather, very strong, and holds heat well, the hallmarks of good bone china. I do believe a nice teacup does make drinking tea a little more enjoyable and so if you don't have a special teacup I think you ought to consider treating yourself to one!
This teacup is also special to me because of what it represents. My Auntie Fay, you see, is the essence of hospitality and you are never in her home for more than five minutes before she is putting the kettle on. It does not matter the time of day or night a cup of tea in her home means you are in for good conversation and a relaxing interlude. Countless conversations with her family and friends have taken place in her snug kitchen around a teapot covered by a wonky tea cozy and a plate of cookies. The essence of true hospitality to me.
Assignment: Share tea from the perspective of literature.
This second topic is an easy one for me. No question, the literary influence goes to Alexander McCall Smith and his The No. 1 Ladies' Detective Agency series featuring Precious Ramotswe. It is entirely due to the protagonist Precious Ramotswe drinking daily cups of red bush tea while she ponders human nature that I have become a devotee of this tea myself. It is also known as Roobius herbal tea and I like it best in the plain unadulterated version that I buy from The Lavender Tea Company in San Clemente. I understand you can also use it in cooking - something I must look into.
A BOOK meme!
I'm always looking for a good book. I ask friends and strangers alike what they are reading and the all important question - is it a good book? So when Bridget at The Ravell'd Sleave tagged me with a book meme I thought what a great idea! I must confess, it's no longer quite the same meme as I've modified it a little to focus more on sharing favorite books.
1. What book are you currently reading?
I've only just started reading The Jane Austen Book Club by Karen Joy Fowler. Unfortunately I'm not far enough along to say much about it other than I would not recommend it to someone unfamiliarity with all of Austen's books.
Next up for me is The Grenadillo Box by Janet Gleeson. It's a mystery set in 18th century England. I've read several Janet Gleeson books including The Serpent in the Garden and The Thief Taker and, having enjoyed both of them, imagine I'll enjoy this one too.
2. When you think of a good story what are the first 3 books that come to mind?
Ender's Game by Orson Scott Card. Such a creative and well written story. Winner of the Hugo and Nebula awards it is a standout in science fiction.
Jamaica Inn by Daphne du Maurier. Novel set on the cold British moors with mysterious goings on. Classic.
The Peaceable Kingdom by Jan De Hartog. Historical novel surrounding the Quaker movement. I just find these characters and their story compelling.
Honorable mention: Mr Puffy's favorite is Where the Red Fern Grows by Wilson Rawls. He tears up just at the mention of the book. Such a beautiful and sad story. If you have a young teenager on your hands this summer give them this book.
3. Which 3 books would you recommend for summer 2008 beach reading?
Tulip Fever by Deborah Moggach. Set in 17th century Amsterdam this story brings to life an extraordinary set of circumstances.
Jonathan Strange and Mr. Norrell by Susanna Clarke. An adult fairy tale about English magic.
Any Tea Shop Mystery by Laura Childs. Very light and fun reads.
4. Any knitting book(s) you care to share?
The Knitter's Gift, An Inspirational Bag of Words, Wisdom, and Craft, edited by Bernadette Murphy. I received this book free along with a large purchase of Fleece Artist Yarns that I made several years ago, to knit a blanket. Yes, I have knit a blanket. The book is filled with individual stories of how knitting has impacted various lives. Some of the stories are rather sad and poignant. While I would not run out and buy this book, if you are looking for a gift insert in a basket I think it would serve rather well for that purpose.
I now get to tag three bloggers and I'm tagging Rosanne at Firefly Nights who is a really talented writer, photographer, fiber enthusiast and all round clever blogger who I know will have some good books to share; Hilary at The Yarniad a fantastic knitter and I'm just nosy about what she likes to read; and Denise at The Knitting Den who I share a lot in common with including a British mother and a shared passion for Christmas fruitcake (I'm using her recipe this year) so I'm curious what books she likes. I actually would like to know what everyone reads so if you would like to share please don't wait for a tag.