The Mr Alexander tea ceremony
If I had to choose between tea or beer, then beer would have to go. It would be impossible to do without tea.
For me there’s a ceremony involved. My first tea of the morning is a sacred ritual. It’s usually cold in the lorry when I wake up so the first thing I do is to fill and turn the kettle on (if I’m lucky enough to have electricity, if not then on goes the gas kettle). A teabag (Clipper tea) in a clean mug the clean spoon alongside on the coaster.
While it’s heating up there’s enough time to empty the fire of ash and embers, light a firelighter and build up the fire. If that goes smoothly (a sign of the start of a good day) then by the time the firedoor is closed with the crackling embryo behind, the kettle is just coming to the boil and I can poor the newly boiling water on the teabag. The moment is fundamental. It’s never quite as good if I have to reboil the kettle if the fire has taken a few seconds longer than normal. Either way it must actually be boiling as it hits the bag. A few seconds wait (how many, who knows but long enough to open the kitchen blind, wipe the condensation from the window and check the weather) a pinch of the bag on the spoon squeezing out the final strong juice drops with forefinger and thumb and dumping it in the bin. A drizzle of cold milk and some sugar, a stir and back to bed for five minutes with the warm sleepy dogs letting the heat of the fire fill up the double cube of my space and the tea cool long enough to be drunk in two or three goes.
Last night was harder than my first night of abstinence on New Year’s Eve. The black dog stalked around the lorry and the quarter bottle of gin promised relief. It was only writing this and thinking of your disappointment if I gave in. It was touch and go with the rain and wind rocking the lorry. It all felt so fragile. Me included.
But then this morning’s tea ceremony revealed a wonderful sunrise and a calm sky. I’m so close to the weather and the elements in this space. A walk with the dogs and all seems a lot more possible somehow. I’m proud that I didn’t give in to the gin. The thought of having to confess here that I’d fallen at the first fence would have been at least embarrassing, at worse a disgrace!
An there’s always another cup of tea.
And I’ll plan the Aldi and B&M shop now. Whoay, who says living on the road is dull?
All the best, and still on mission, surviving on a road near you,