Darlene Foster's Blog

Posts Tagged ‘tea

Here is my entry in Stevie Turner´s August Short Story competition.

You might like to enter as well. Here is the link https://steviet3.wordpress.com/2019/07/31/share-your-short-story-august-2019/

A Good Day

by Darlene Foster

Erin Arnold cocked her head to one side and narrowed her eyes as she entered the coffee shop. Her favourite table appeared to be free. She bit her lip and suppressed a smile. Good days were rare for Erin. The new medication was working.

Keeping her eyes on the seat by the window, she clutched her handbag and cautiously made her way. She dusted off invisible crumbs from the chair before settling down. Erin removed a wet wipe from her purse and gave the already clean table a swipe. She ordered her regular mint tea and chocolate macadamia biscotti and stared at the people walking by the large front window. The china pot of tea arrived and, after steeping for the full three minutes, she began to pour into the white porcelain cup. She set the pot down abruptly when hot liquid slid down the spout and onto the table.

“Damn, why does this always happen? When will they invent a teapot that doesn’t drip?” Her face burned crimson.

She sopped up the drips with a paper napkin. With a fresh napkin, she dabbed the sweat off her upper lip and began to pour again. The tea continued to dribble. She could feel herself losing it. She clenched her fists and then unclenched them. She wiped the table once more and took two deep breaths. The third time she poured the tea without a drop on the table.

She sighed. A minor glitch in an otherwise good day.

Erin dipped the biscotti in the tea. Biscotti was perfect as it didn’t immediately disintegrate in the tea. She savoured the combined taste of mint, chocolate and macadamia nuts. She felt vaguely happy and satisfied.

The blast cut through her pleasant thoughts like a volcano erupting in a tranquil mountain scene. The teapot jumped from the table to the floor, shattering as it hit the tiles. The biscotti followed, dissolving into mush as crumbs mixed with the brown liquid. The window shattered showering flakes of glass throughout the coffee shop. People shouted and screamed, a child cried.

Erin put her hand to her forehead and closed her eyes. She felt tea running down the side of her face. She lowered her hand and opened her eyes. Blood dripped onto the pristine table.

She knew something like this would happen.

The day had been too good.

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March came in like a lion this year; cold, rainy, windy and just plain ugly. While everyone around me complained, I reminded them that this was good, as it was a sure thing we would be blessed with nice weather at the end of March. Sure enough, we have had an amazing week of lovely warm sunny weather here on the west coast of Canada. This Easter weekend I have been for a walk on the beach three days in a row. So glad the theory works, every time.

Orchid and easter basket, gifts at work

Orchid and easter basket, gifts at work

Having four days off is wonderful, but to have four sunny days off on the “wet coast” is almost unheard of. It has been lovely. Everyone left work on Thursday in a happy mood.  A satisfied client brought us orchids and a colleague provided Easter treats.

Besides going for walks on the beach, I have been meeting friends for tea and having coffee with hubby at various special places around town. Also enjoying the multitude of  blooming daffodils and cherry trees in our neighborhood.

Tea with friends

Tea with friends

Macaroon latte with hubby, yummy!

Macaroon latte with hubby, yummy!

I have always loved the Easter season and the spirit of hope it evokes.  Spring flowers are my favourite.

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Tulips given to me by the students at Holly Elementary School.

Tulips given to me by the students at Holly Elementary School.

I hope you all had a wonderful weekend, however you celebrated it.

May your days be filled with much sunshine, flowers and hope.

Every now  and then you read something that restores your faith in human nature.  My blogging friend Maxi posted this on Maxi’s Comments March 19, 2012 and with her permission, I am reposting it on my blog.  Everyone should read about this special person.

Tea Can Save A Life

A woman teeters on the edge of a cliff in Sydney, Australia. It’s called “The Gap.” A three-foot-fence is all that separates the jumper from death. Hopeless and helpless, she inches forward, than drops to the ground.

 (two people stand at the fence of The Gap)

“Why don’t you come and have a cup of tea?” a voice whispers on the wind. Slowly, she turns and connects with the smile of an angel. It is enough to coax her back, to change her mind.

 

 

Don Ritchie has saved many lives in his 50 years on the porch. He sits in a favorite green chair to read … and watch. He and wife Moya live across the street from the suicide bluff.

“You can’t just sit there and watch them,” Don sighs. “You gotta try and save them. It’s pretty simple.”

Some people think it’s grim, not Don. He used to sell life insurance, now he sells life. “It’s a gift,” he believes. Every day when he awakes, the elderly man shuffles to the second-story window, prays no one is at the cliff.

“He’s an angel,” beams Dianne Gaddin. “Most people would be too afraid to do anything, and would probably sooner turn away and run away. But he had the courage, and the charisma, and the care, and the magnetism to reach people who were coming to the end of their tether.”

Dianne likes to believe that Don was there when her daughter jumped from The Gap in 2005. He can’t remember, yet she feels comfort that Tracy felt his warmth at the end. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Gap_%28Sydney%29

There was a time when Don climbed the fence to save a life. No more. He almost went over the cliff with a woman one day. She was hysterical, out of control; Don stood between her and the abyss below. Had she launched herself over the edge, he would have gone also.

Yet, he can’t save them all. The wind was strong on the day a teenager stood at the brink.  As the old man offered tea and solace, the boy glanced up, it wasn’t enough. Just that quick he was gone. Don reached out, the boy’s hat landed in his open hand.

The “suicide angel” discovered the boy had lived next door years ago. His mother brought flowers to Don, grateful that he had tried. “If you couldn’t talk him out of it, no one could,” she sobbed.

There is no regret for those he can’t help, no lingering nightmares. Don does his best, accepts that no more can be done.

In 2006, the government awarded Don Ritchie with a Medal of the Order of Australia, a high civilian honor. It stands out on his living room wall, above a painting of sunshine; someone left it in the mailbox. The honor on the plaque reads: Ritchie “an angel that walks amongst us.”

Remember the woman at the start of this story? The ground beneath her body felt warm as she sat and gazed across the water; her purse was on the other side of the fence. Don convinced her to come to the house for tea; he and Moya dished up breakfast as they listened to her troubles.

The stranger was spent at the end of her tale, but felt much better. She decided to go home.

She returned a few months later with a bottle of champagne. Once a year she makes contact with the Ritchie’s to let them know that she is okay, happy with life.

Don Ritchie is a former Navy seaman, used to be busy, out and about, lunch with friends. His age and a constant battle with cancer have slowed him down. http://wentworth-courier.whereilive.com.au/news/story/honour-for-angel-of-the-gap/

Still…

The last I read, as of Feb. 2011 Don was still there reading … and watching.

May Your Glass Always Be Half Full

_________________

 Read Maxi’s other great blog posts at  http://maxiscomments.com/

Have you heard of any one special lately? Someone who is making a difference.

Have you discovered how having  a cup of tea can make a difference?

Spread love everywhere you go. Let no one ever come to you without leaving happier. Mother Teresa

“The company of clever, well-informed people, who have a great deal of conversation; that is what I call good company.”  ~ Jane Austen

On Sunday I met with nine friends for an early birthday celebration at one of my favourite places, The Secret Garden Tea Company in Kerrisdale. http://www.secretgardentea.com/   It was a delightful gathering of friends who have supported and inspired me over the years.  Many had not met each other before but all had something in common. Besides being friends with me, they love to travel and shared many interesting travel experiences.  They also love to read and we often exchange books and book ideas.  Oh yes – they all love good food.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Upon our arrival at this cozy tea shop, we were presented with an extensive menu of teas, making it hard to decide on one.  I chose the plum and cottage pear tea for this occasion. Then came the elegant three-tiered trays of miniature pastries, sweets, sweet scones,Devoncream, raspberry jam, and tiny sandwiches.  Everything was fresh and delicious, no one left hungry.

It was a perfect occasion for me to wear my fabulous fascinator, a Christmas gift from one of the friends attending.  It felt so right.

I left contented and filled with happiness, so grateful to have such wonderful friends to share tea and lively conversation with.  One should do this more often.

“Whatever our situation in life… we can and should surround ourselves with friends who not only understand us, but also inspire us to make the most of our current calling.” ~ Beverly LaHaye

I had long since given up hope of being invited to tea at Buckingham Palace but recently I had an opportunity to do the next best thing – enjoy tea at The Empress Hotel in Victoria BC. The majestic Fairmont Empress Hotel, a landmark in Victoria, has been serving its renowned afternoon tea for over one hundred years to royalty, famous and not so well known individuals. I belong to the later.

Boarding a BC Ferry with a friend, we travelled from the lower mainland to Victoria, took a bus into the centre of town and arrived in time to partake of the legendary tea. It did not disappoint.

Before entering the prestigious building we were greeted by a bronze sculpture of Victoria’s most cherished citizen, artist Emily Carr. Upon being seated in the elegant tea room, we were presented with fresh strawberries in a sherbet glass topped with whipped crème, while deciding on the perfect pot of tea. After much deliberation we chose Kea Lani Orange Pineapple, a refreshing aromatic herbal blend.

Soon after, a three-tiered china server arrived at our table with a variety of delicacies artfully displayed. We had difficulty deciding where to start. The selection of dainty sandwiches was amazing; cream cheese with crated carrots and ginger, smoked salmon pinwheels, mushroom pate crostini, egg salad croissants and mango curry chicken.

The pièce de résistance was the freshly baked scones with Devon cream and strawberry jam. This is a taste you tend to dream of later. The top plate held exquisite desserts, such as pink, brown and vanilla Battenberg squares, rose petal shortbreads, lemon curd and berry tarts, and my favourite – green tea cheesecakes trimmed in dark Belgium chocolate. We tried everything. As we relaxed over our tea, with a stunning view of the harbour and Queen Alexandra looking down from the mantel, we felt like royalty, or at least, like friends of royalty. We were certainly treated royally.

A commemorative box of Empress Tea was presented to each of us to take home as a reminder of our fabulous experience. It proved to be a lovely outing and an unforgettable treat.

There is no trouble so great or grave that cannot be much diminished by a nice cup of tea. ~Bernard-Paul Heroux

http://www.fairmont.com/empress/GuestServices/Restaurants/AfternoonTea.htm


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