"Practising the piano"
"Playing the piano"
(There are a few necessary other items - letters to write; shopping to do of both the necessary and the "fun" kind; and the basic household tasks which don't like doing but like it when they are done).
One of the "holiday" categories was "Writing Prompts". Last year, in an effort to improve my writing skills, I bought a book called "The Writer's Year" by Judith Reeves.
I saw it in a bookshop somewhere, Foyles, I think, so it must have been on my way home from a hospital trip, and thought I'd give it a go. It is a pleasant, engaging, chatty mix of encouraging articles and also a daily writing prompt. Last year I tackled most of "August", so this year I've started on "May" - another 31-day month, chosen at random.
I've reached day 6 (OK, OK, I'm catching up) "Write about an opening blossom".
Inspiration deserted me.
So I decided to make a cup of tea, but not just any old tea.
This is one of the last remaining sachets of a box of floral teas. I took it out and dropped it into my specially bought thermal cup; It looks unpleasantly like a large rabbit dropping. Or a dropping from a large rabbit.
I added boiling water. Things started happening almost at once. It floated to the top...
and then sank, twitching and turning and putting out tentacles and revealing a glowing red centre. I watched from a safe distance to see what would happen next.
Yellow particles erupted from the brilliant core, and milled about in a confused manner. It was certainly behaving like some coming back to life from death. I kept my distance, just in case.
The yellow bits sank, which was just as well as I wasn't sure how I was going to drink them without risking choking and spluttering.
It took quite a while to cool down enough to start drinking. By then everything had stopped moving about and it was behaving more like tea and less like some tropical sea-creature. In then end I removed the foliage so that I could drink the liquid more easily. I also needed to add more water as it was so strong I couldn't properly taste it.
I did drink it. What did it taste of? Difficult to say. It tasted of oddness and weirdness. Bitter and dusty, strangely dry, not particularly floral. It made my tongue feel all crinkly.
I think I could sum up the experience as more a visual pleasure that a gastronomic one.
So, beware. If you are offered a "Summer Love" floral tea, my suggestion is choose another one.
I've two left in the packet. It may be a wee whiley before I stray from "English Breakfast" again.
However I did manage to write a whole page. So maybe it had some inspirational qualities?