Here it is: Yorkshire tea. It promises “a proper British cup of tea.” This bright-colored box lists many health-giving properties of this special Yorkshire tea. It claims that nine million cups of the stuff are drunk daily, and assures us that if we find ourselves in Ilkley, we will be warmly welcomed with cakes and Yorkshire tea at Betty’s tea rooms.
Now, while I read British novels and watch British TV — in both cases, probably in equal quantities as American ones — I actually know nothing about England. Upon seeing “Yorkshire,” I think of the Wars of the Roses, a vague stereotype of a down-to-earth frugal Yorkshireman, and I think that maybe Yorkshire might be in the north of England.
I know more about Senegal than Yorkshire.
So the fact that nine million cups are drunk may mean that every man, woman, and child in Yorkshire drinks three cups of this every day, or it may mean nothing at all. Still, I found it rather reassuring. The people who made this braggartly box must have thought the number would be impressive, since they listed it before even mentioning antioxidants. They also tell me that the Queen has recognized them for being a particularly socially responsible company, and that they pack the stuff in Harrogate, which is “the home of good tea.”
How could I resist?
I bought this at T.J. Maxx, where I have also sometimes found Lifeguard tea, which is apparently blended specifically for people who have been shipwrecked. It seemed to me that a tea that revived the shipwrecked ought to be sufficient for me, even in the winter. However, they did not have any of that in stock yesterday, so I made do with this Yorkshire tea, and it turned out to be quite satisfactory. Here is my comfortable chair, with novels, tea, and knitting. This is how I spent the day yesterday, the last day of my long weekend. I did go to lunch with #2 daughter (in the back room of the optometrist’s office), and I did fill a prescription and go on a tea run to T.J. Maxx, where I had the opportunity to call out, “I’d just like to buy something!” and move right to the front of the line, away from the many who were returning things.
But mostly I was ensconced in that chair, knitting. Thus, I have made some progress with it. Not a lot of visible progress, since there are so many stitches. Really, there are more than are comfortable for the needle. It is nearly impossible to spread the thing out and have a look at it. Since it is an Alice Starmore design, I am taking it on faith. And I have actually used this particular chart before. It is not easy to read a chart and a book at the same time, so I am not getting in much reading, but I have managed a lot of talking, a couple of movies, and a crossword puzzle.
Don’t think that I am the only lazy — or rather, relaxed — person in the house, though.
Here is an unrecognizable picture of my boys turned into cartoons. They remained in this position — playing video games — all day, except for some brief spells of playing boogie-woogie piano or blues guitar.
#1 son got a Sam Cooke song book for Christmas, and has been working on his barroom piano skills ever since. I am looking forward to his honing those skills. I love that style of piano. If nothing else, it reminds me of my grandmother, who could rag hymns up on the piano like nobody’s business. At the moment, though, he is doing this music in 3-minute bursts, in between games of Madden 2006 and Prince of Persia. This — and hanging out with friends and family — has been the shape of the holiday for both the boys.
But things were different for the remaining family members.
Pokey went out on the town on New Year’s Eve and spent about an hour counting down to the new year and another four hours attempting to get back into my car, which she had locked with the keys inside. Being Pokey, she did this with a collection of boys to help her. She gave up in the wee hours of the morning and got a ride home in time to catch a little sleep before church.
While she and I were at church, my husband went downtown to see if he could rescue the car. He has good skills with physical objects, and I had expected him to succeed. There were apparently quite a few people down there trying to get into their cars. It may be a natural consequence of the New Year’s Eve revels. However, my husband was selected by the police for questioning.
I have to wonder about this. Pokey and half a dozen boys spend hours trying to break into my car in the middle of the night, without a word from the police. My husband goes down there in broad daylight and is nearly arrested.
Eventually, the police accepted his story and agreed to try to help open the car. They could not do it either. I have one hard-to-steal car, I’ll tell you.
Pokey and I had just returned from church when my husband came home, having given up, and we called a locksmith. He was able to get into the car quite easily, for a mere $45.
My car is now home and safe. My husband as well. I did not mention this story before, because it wasn’t funny until they were home and safe. Our motto is, “If it’s going to be funny in a few years, why not laugh about it now?” but sometimes it takes a little distance. Granted, the car was home and safe on Sunday, but the $45 prevented it from being funny until today. Pokey covered most of it, but since I am panicking over her unpaid tuition, this did not make it Not My Problem.
Actually, since my husband has been out of work for over a month, and will not see a paycheck for another week and a half, even though he goes back to work today, unpaid tuition is not even the worst of it. And yet I am, unreasonably enough, going around being cheerful and unconcerned most of the time. In addition to the motto about things being funny, we also have another that is relevant at times like these: “No problem that can be solved by money is really a problem.” It is good to have a few mottoes hanging around in your mind when challenges arise.
I think the Yorkshire tea helped, too.