Wednesday, November 14, 2007

Tony Curtis and George Best

I've got three days holiday left which I'm taking this week. This morning we went to the hospital and were in and out of the fracture clinic in a couple of hours. Pretty good going, I thought. Betty's looking good in her new cast, choosing traditional white rather than a garish coloured one. She looks so at home in white, it makes me want to renew my marriage vows.

Back home, we went out to the shops where I bought a new teapot, a strainer to go with it, and some loose leaf tea. I've just had my first cup and I've fallen in love with tea all over again. The loose leaf stuff is so much more tasty and refreshing than those shitty weak bags. Last week I bought some ASDA Extra Special loose leaf tea bags which cost £2 for 25! And they were crap! They're supposed to be revolutionary with their nylon bags, but nobody in their right mind is going to buy them twice. Buy the real thing! Drink your tea! Get Gypsy Rosy Lee to read your grouts!

The taste takes me back to the old days when bags weren't available, when my nuclear family was all together. I've just borrowed some old pictures from my mum which take me back, too. There are some snaps of my parents in their bathing costumes on beaches when my dad thought he was Tony Curtis. Well, he was more Tony Curtis than Ian Curtis, anyway. Chubbier than Ian.

There are my parents' wedding photos, including both sets of grandparents. Didn't grandparents look old back then? And miserable.

There are some photos of my cousin Michael's wedding to Linda. They made a good-looking couple. He had something of the George Best about him. All the young women at the wedding wore short dresses and were smiling. The old women wore hats and looked miserable.

Michael never drank tea. Or coffee. He was strictly squash.

I wonder if he still is?


  1. Nylon tea bags? You might as well use Betty's old tights. I've never heard of such an awful thing done to tea.
    Leaf tea, good or indifferent, is very hard to find in Texas and other arts of America. I'm enjoying some Assam and Ceylon brought out of France in a pair of socks in September. Lovely.

  2. You've just brought back a memory of going to the COOP on the corner for 'Indian Prince'- the only sort of tea that mum would have.

    No tea bags then.

    So,I'll search out the tea pot and buy some loose leaf. But not the old photos - please.

  3. I live with Grandparents, and can vouchsafe that 50% of them are old and miserable.

    (If you put 3 sugars in the mug of Tea Betty will appreciate it.)

  4. Tsk! You'll be experimenting with biscuits next.

  5. Arabella - You could be on to a marketing winner there. Betty's Tea (ingredients: Tea and Betty's Old Tights). What could they have charged you with for smuggling tea?

    Kaz - Do the tea but don't make it too strong. My second cup was a bit too much. Don't worry, I'm not going to post the old pics on here. Not even the ones of me as a mardy baby.

    Murph - I can guess which grandparent is the miserable one - the Leonard Cohen fan. Betty doesn't want three sugars in her tea tonight, she wants lots of wine to celebrate not having to have an operation.

    Istvanski - I've never been a biscuit man. Though I did make some ginger ones with rice flour in my veggie/IBS days.

  6. How can you have tea without biscuits?

    That's the only point of drinking tea, to crack the hob-nobs out,

    Isn't it?

  7. Geoff - I meant my old photos - Yours would be fine.

    Bottoms up to Betty

  8. Do you know, we always used to drink loose tea, but the old teabags have found their way in somehow. I think it's maybe to do with the tealeaf messy sink syndrome. Maybe I'll try again - you have inspired me!

  9. It's not fun being prodded by the Agriculture inspector at an American airport. I think tea in any form except iced would fall under 'suspiciously un-American tendencies'. Oxo cubes are a banned substance, you know.

    BTW, I wanted to acknowledge your George Melly post when I posted mine and promptly forgot.

    Now I think of it, I'm sure Betty's tights are never old but ever fragrant. Oh dear. This isn't sounding right at all..

  10. Did somebody mention HobNobs?!

    *recent convert and HobNob addict*

  11. Spin - We are an almost biscuit-free household. Except Betty has the odd chocolate one. I don't like them. Am I strange?

    Kaz - We didn't get too pissed. It is the week, after all.

    Tom - It is messy, but worth it.

    Arabella - Is Linda Bellingham allowed into the USA? I am outraged by you not linking to my Melly post. I showed such a depth of knowledge of my subject! Betty's old tights are stopping leaks from the water pipes.

    MJ - You take Anglophilia just that little bit too far!

  12. "They're supposed to be revolutionary with their nylon bags.."

    What is it with you and the old nylons right now, Geoffster??? Betty's done her arm in, not her pins...


    wrod vrecifififificatoin: kjzngigy - so near, and yet so far...

    or this:

    pltjdlto - dlt-o? That's got to be from a folksong, hasn't it??

  13. The nylons are for me a la Keith Weller.

  14. I've been a loose leaf hold-out all my life. I refuse to drink tea made with tea bags at all.

    I use a bodum tea press. They do some attractive white porcelain ones with a metal strainer in the middle, and it's easy to chuck the leaves in the bin afterwards.

    My recommended loose leaf blend is Waitrose Gold Label. I used to drink Sainsbury's gold label, but they changed it to include more Ceylon tea, which made the blend too insipid.

    I'm no believer in the single-leaf packet. The true art of tea is in the blend, and finding the right balance of body and flavour. Currently it's Waitrose, though if you beef up the Sainsbury's with a bit of Assam it's good enough.

    Fortnum and Mason do a good blend they call Irish Breakfast, though you obviously can't use that all the time. Good for a treat, though, and comes in a nice tin.

  15. My palate needs a lot of educating.

  16. In my experiance loose leaf teas and tea bags are not even the same drink.