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Welcome to my site. I have several bodies of work and interests. I hope you enjoy looking through them and find something that speaks to you!

Rainy Run

Rainy Run

There’s nothing like sleeping to gentle rainfall. There’s also nothing like waiting all day for it to stop so you can get some exercise on one of your two days off. I resorted to going over to the school and climbing their stairs for 15 minutes, saw my chance when the rain slacked off and bolted for the door. Thirty minutes and three miles later, I was a happy camper but I was soaked to the skin and my nice, new-ish tennis shoes were a sloppy-wet and slightly, muddy mess. 😑 No real bother, I just washed them.

 A lovely quote by W. B. Yeats at the school

A lovely quote by W. B. Yeats at the school

While I was trying to outwait the weather, I enjoyed two satisfying cups of hot tea. Did you know there is a right way to make tea? Did you also know that tea bags contain the dregs of what is considered “tea?” Yeah, me neither. I’ve been a die-hard hot tea drinker for years and thought the taste of my Lyons tea bags, next to ambrosia. Since I’ve been here, I’ve had the opportunity to have many cups of loose-leaf teas and I have to say, there is a discernable difference. I leave it to the Irish to be the experts here because Ireland drinks more tea per head than any other nation! Take that, China!

So, here’s how you make a wonderful cup of tea: Use top quality tea leaves. The folks around here like Barry’s Gold Blend. I still like my Lyons, but Barry’s is good. Next, pour fresh, cold water into a kettle and bring it to the boil. Most Irish and we at home too, have electric kettles and they’re the best! They’re so easy to use and handy to have. Next, pour some boiling water into the teapot, rotate the pot in your hands until it feels hot. This is called, charging the pot. Discard the water, measure the tea leaves into the pot. Naturally, the amount depends on the quality of the tea and the strength required. 

Then, bring the water back to boiling and pour some over the tea leaves, swirl it around and finish filling the pot. Cover your pot with a tea cozy and allow it to infuse for three to four minutes. Of course, the tea cozy isn’t essential but it’s great to keep the tea pot hot.

Another word on tea is Tisane. You may already know what that means but I didn’t. It’s simply French for infusion. I’ve become a major fan in two weeks’ time of mint tea. With their herb garden full of an abundance of herbs, they make lots of tisanes and herb teas. All you need to do is pop (they do a lot of popping here) a few leaves into a teapot and pour on the boiling water. And, it’s infinitely more delicious than the dried herb tea bags.

Darina tells of a time in Paris once when the waiter came to the table with several china bowls of fresh herbs on a silver salver. With tiny silver tongs, he put the guest’s chosen herb into a little china teapot, poured on the boiling water and served it with a flourish.

Et, voila! It’s the little things, I find, that make all the difference.😉

It’s essentially the same when making herbal tea. Bring fresh, cold water to the boil, as our teachers say. Charge a china teapot, take a handful of fresh herb leaves and crush them gently. The quantity will depend on the strength of the herb and how intense an infusion you enjoy. Put them into the scalded teapot. Pour the boiling water over the leaves, cover the teapot and allow to infuse for 3-4 minutes. With Fall coming on, this will enhance your cozy-factor by a mile. Enjoy!

It’s been a really lazy day today. Everyone watched the movie Chef earlier. How apropos. We’ve been invited to a pizza party at the Play House, another of the cottages in our courtyard, later to celebrate Lulu’s birthday. I’m really looking forward to a nice evening with everyone with another morning of sleeping in to look forward to.

 Revelers

Revelers

 H A PP Y people

H A PP Y people

 

Happy Saturday, all!

 

 

Rory

Rory

Salt, Shot, Lemon

Salt, Shot, Lemon