Have you any addictions? Now there’s a personal question if ever I heard one. As my mother would say, “A policeman wouldn’t ask you that!”. Well I have no problem admitting to having one or two. Not of the heroin or crack cocaine variety you may be disappointed to note, something a lot tamer. Some of you who follow me on twitter or facebook may think it’s wine, but again you are wrong.
My true love in life is a cup of tea.
I can hear how disappointed you all are but that is a fact. In any given day I drink between 11 and 15 cups of tea, and I love every one of them. As I wrote here before, ‘The truth behind a cup of tea’, it is not just a cup of tea, it is so much more.
Here in Ireland it is the first thing we offer you if you are in shock, happy, just visiting,just about to leave, devastated, dumped, worried, gossiping or furious. There is nothing in life that sitting down with a cup of tea and a friend does not make a little bit easier. From my very first morning gulp, to my suppertime sip it is healing to my soul.
However here in Ireland the cup of tea is in danger. The younger generation do not view it as I and generations of Irish have done for so many years. The tradition is dying and on my watch. I have four children and not one of them drink tea. Many of my friends have also gone to the dark side… coffee! Expresso, latte, capuchino are their preferred choice. Not to mention the ones who arrive here and ask for a cup of hot water, that I can’t cope with at all.
Recently one of my children began to lecture me about my over indulgence in tea, ( I admitted to drinking eight cups and she was horrified, so I was glad I lied) I said I could take it or leave it if I had to, or at the very least I could cut back. She said I couldn’t, which really bugged me, and for some unknown reason I heard myself say,
“Yes I can, and for Lent that is what I am doing. I will not be drinking any more than four cups of tea per day, so there”
I cannot tell you what madness overcame me, but without doubt it is one of the most ridiculous, spur of the moment things, I have ever been foolish enough to say out loud. For those of you not of a Catholic religion, what I agreed to do, was to reduce my tea intake for all of Lent which any decent Catholic will tell you, lasts forty days and forty nights. Don’t ask me why they feel the need to clarify that Lent is both day and night, but they do, which sadly means I have no get out clause such as drinking after dark. We are currently on day two.
How is it going?
Well let me tell you now, things are not going at all well. I am like someone wandering the Sahara Desert I have such a thirst on me. I don’t just have it occasionally, but all the time. Even when I am drinking my permitted cup of tea I am doing so in a panic, all the while thinking “Oh no it’s nearly gone”. Today I’d a great idea, I substituted my normal mug for a rather large (okay huge) one, but it hasn’t worked. I can only liken the whole thing to passing a sign which says “keep off the grass” or “wet paint”, you just have to put your foot out or touch the wall. I have begun to wander past the tea bags and imagine making a cuppa. I expect it is only a matter of days before I begin to dream of it. My every moment (no I am not exaggerating) is about my next cup of tea.
I will try to continue, but I am not sure I will be able to. My children have each ‘gone off’ something for Lent, such as biscuits or chocolate and my OH has bravely told us he is off sweets. Off sweets I say! He never eats sweets the cheat, but he tells me he does and that his is a greater sacrifice as he will not be ‘indulging’ in any sweets at all, unlike me with my four cups of tea a day. Can you believe it!
Oh dear now I’m all worked up again. I can feel myself getting agitated, my fingers are definitely beginning to shake. the only cure… a cup of tea, but that would be number five… and it is only midday.
I will try for one more day, but more and more I am thinking that I will forget about this stupid challenge, surrender so to speak, and when questioned I will sit up on my high horse and say,
“I don’t believe in Lent anyway”.