Tea – there’s nothing like a nice cup of tea. The mere mention of the word will have made all the English readers sit bolt upright. Perhaps some of you saw the title, dashed to the kitchen, popped the kettle on and returned with a freshly made ‘brew’ ready to read on…. I hope so. This should be good.
A nice cup of tea is a powerful thing. It is the solution to all problems – or so the English believe. In the book ‘Watching the English: The Hidden Rules of English Behaviour’ Kate Fox paints the perfect picture of typically English families in their typical English households with their insane belief that tea can do mighty things. Being English myself, I have to admit that tea-drinking plays a major part in social occasions – yes, even more so than wine or dare I say it –beer.
Fox explains ‘the universal rule (certainly for the English is…): when in doubt, put the kettle on. Visitors arrive; the English have the usual difficulties with greetings and say ‘I’ll just put the kettle on’. When the conversation runs dry and there’s nothing more to say about the weather, the English say ‘Now, who’d like more tea? I’ll just put the kettle on’. After a bad accident – people are injured and in shock: tea is needed. ‘I’ll put the kettle on’. World War Three breaks out – a nuclear attack is imminent. ‘I’ll put the kettle on’.
You see – tea has wonderful magic powers that can cure people, revive people, calm them down and give them the well-needed ‘get up and go’. It is so very true of life in England that we (the English) do say many of the things above. My mum loves a nice cup of tea. The ritual must be followed – milk in first then the tea (after it has been prepared in the teapot). Apologies to the readers who are shocked by the ‘milk in first’ comment – you are probably thinking ‘no, but it is surely milk in last’. I have heard an debate on this matter (honest – some people care that much about it.
So, who’s up for a lovely cup of tea then? I’m just putting the kettle on now…
You may also enjoy reading this:
- The blog about Understanding the English and all their Englishness.
- A light-hearted post about those Angry English People….. (possibly).