'How pleasant it is to spend an evening in this way! I declare that after all there is no enjoyment like reading! How much sooner one tires of any thing than of a book! — When I have a house of my own, I shall be miserable if I have not an excellent library.' No one made any reply. She then yawned again, threw aside her book, and cast her eyes round the room in quest of some amusement. — from Pride and Prejudice, by Jane Austen (1775-1817)
. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

September 7, 2016

Tea in books




Once he had unpacked his books, Atticus removed a small electric kettle from his suitcase. It was a pain to take it everywhere, but it was worse to have to wait for room service to bring him hot water. He needed a cup of tea every forty minutes; he had it calculated down to the second.
      He always traveled with two or three boxes of Earl Grey, even though people assured him you could buy it in most countries, because he was truly terrified by the idea of ending up without his cure-all remedy. This wasn't a new habit. He'd arrived at Eton a frail thirteen-year-old boy, constantly struck down by flu, headaches, and poor digestion. He was lucky enough to fall into the hands of Dr. Hamans, who hailed from the Netherlands and was writing a thesis on the curative properties of herbal infusions. He adopted Atticus as a guinea pig and managed with Earl Grey what no one had with conventional medicine:  He transformed the fragile boy into a mighty oak. If Atticus had stomachache, he prescribed a cup of hot tea. If his head ached, the prescription was for cold tea. If he fell playing cricket and scraped his skin, a squirt of tea on some cotton wool was enough to clean the wound; if he got a fever, compresses soaked in Earl Grey would bring his temperature down. The treatment worked with astonishing efficiency. Atticus grew thirty centimeters during the five years of his secondary education, didn't fall ill once, was chosen as captain of the cricket team, and was top of the class in six subjects.
      Hamans wanted to study the case in-depth at a medical school in London with a grant from Twinings, but Marlow refused to let his son be used as a lab-rat. In the end, he allowed him to donate only a few blood and tissue samples, which, unfortunately, Hamans studied furiously for months without obtaining any conclusive results. Atticus, meanwhile, remained convinced that tea cured everything and developed an addiction to Earl Grey that was more psychological than physical. He decided to take his kettle everywhere, just as some women travel with their hair dryers.
      Alone in his room, he plugged in the appliance, filled it with water, waited until the light came on, and then cursed himself for having packed in such a rush, with four pints inside him and his head all over the place. He had forgotten the mug. His mug.


From The altogether unexpected disappearance of Atticus Craftsman
by Mamen Sanchez

{Mug on Etsy.}


2 comments:

JoAnn said...

LOL... love this!

Cosy Books said...

I second JoAnn's comment! Off to plug in the kettle....

Thank you for visiting!

Card Catalog

#6barsets #emma200th #maisie #PalliserParty #Woolfalong A.A. Milne Agatha Christie Alexander McCall Smith Amy Lowell Angela Thirkell Ann Bridge Anne Perry Anthony Trollope Anticipation Armchair Travels Art Audiobooks Barbara Pym Biography Bloomsbury Bookish things Boston British Library Crime Classics Cambridge Cathleen Schine Charles Dickens Coffee-table books Cookbooks D.E. Stevenson Deborah Crombie Donna Leon Dorothy L. Sayers E.H. Young E.M. Forster Edith Wharton Elinor Lipman Elizabeth Gaskell Elizabeth Jenkins Elizabeth Taylor Elizabeth von Arnim Emily Dickinson Ernest Hemingway Eudora Welty Fiction Films Food from Books Food Writing Found on a Blog George Eliot Georgette Heyer Helen Ashton Henry James History Homes and Haunts Ideas Imogen Robertson Isabella Stewart Gardner Jacqueline Winspear Jane Austen Joanna Trollope Julia Child Language Laurie Colwin Letters Library Books Literature Louise Andrews Kent Louise Penny M.F.K. Fisher Madame Bovary Madame de Sévigné Madame de Staël Margaret Kennedy Margery Sharp Mary Shelley Memoirs Miss Read My Year with Edith Mysteries Nathaniel Hawthorne Nonfiction Nook Only Connect P.D. James Paris in July Persephones Plays Poetry Pride and Prejudice 200 Queen Victoria R.I.P. Reading England 2015 Ruth Rendell Sarah Orne Jewett Short Stories Switzerland Sylvia Beach Team Middlemarch The 1924 Club The Brontës the Carlyles The Classics Club Thomas Hardy Virago Virginia Woolf Washington Irving Willa Cather William Maxwell Winifred Peck Winifred Watson