The 358th year of British #Tea: time for a #mindful pause?

I see Google is celebrating the British cuppa today. Which is a good thing I think. In spite of Britain supposedly falling out of love with tea in favour of coffee, anecdotally, I know loads of people who drink both.

I like most drink coffee out and tea in. Although, i’m bucking the trend and like my teabags round (I also like them fairtrade)…

At the end of the day however, there are less tea drinkers in Britain, and why? Bcause we just cant be bothered. The Independent says:

Tea’s fading popularity is attributed to faster-paced living, a generation gap and a stodgy image. Many people these days do not want to take the time to brew tea, and even fewer will interrupt their busy days for the leisurely, civilized ritual of afternoon tea, a 19th-century invention of Anna, seventh Duchess of Bedford, who decided that tea and cakes were the best antidote to a late afternoon ”sinking feeling.”

But wait, isn’t that the point of a cup of tea? A timeĀ in the day where we can stop, and savour the moment rather than rush on by? Perhaps in our modern world we need a touch of old fashioned.

Maybe the humble British brew could in fact help us all not rush headlong into busy oblivion….

And then again perhaps it is just, a nice brew.

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Drying #mint for #tea and #mindfulness

I like herb tea more and more, especially since I was given this:

It makes the whole thing so much more of a treat. 

And it turns out, drying your own herbs adds to the experience. I know green tea is good for you but that doesn’t stop it tasting too earthy for my liking on it’s own. 

Mint to the rescue. And mint on its own, especially if you pick it and steep it straight away is just heavenly. 

So I thought I would also try drying it. So far, so good:

All this time taken, just for a cuppa you ask?

But the time taken allows me to savour and enjoy my cup of tea in a way slinging a bag in a mug just wouldn’t allow for and it leaves me much more satisfied.

Mindfulness has its uses.

#poetry Thankyou Mr. T.

Thank you.

I never say it enough

Not about what matters.

So easy to say thank you

For a door held open

A cup of tea

Or a fork passed.

But what I really want to say is…

Thank you for loving me

At my most morning grouch,

Thank you for holding me

In my darkest grieving. 

Thank you for doing what you said you would right at the start, 

Even though it has meant sickness as well as health,

More skint than rich,

More moving house,

And changing jobs 

Than either of us imagined.

Thank you so much for making me laugh so much,

For showing interest in the garden, 

When you could be gaming.

Thank you for being

My life partner in crime,

But most of all,

Thank you 

for being you. 

The importance of investing in the #small

Democracy is overrated. Or at least ours is. True democracy is of course, priceless, but when you have to put up with a government you didn’t vote for and more to the point, you couldn’t even vote for the party you wanted to it doesn’t look so rosy.

And then there are multinational corporations. You know, the people who have more power than the government. The organisations which really run our lives. Just look at the climate change issue. Or fair trade. Or the living wage.

It makes you wonder what an average Joe could do.

Small actions when lots of people do them add up to world changing big actions, but what if you look around you and you feel like the only one taking any action?

But wait. Your action might not change the world, but it does change you. And lets face it, regardless of what happens in the world, you are still going to have to live your life, and those around you are still going to have to live with you.

If it is right to take care of the planet, it is, regardless of whether anyone else is or not.

For your soul’s sake, invest in the small.

Besides, some people do end up as world changers and they all had to start somewhere, so never despise the small.

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In the end, the colour of your soul is not changed by the number of online petitions you sign, especially if you have slid into slackivism.

But it is changed by the grace of God as you take each small choice, each action and offer it up to him as worship. As we do things because the are right and good, regardless of whether or not they change the world, we find that instead, we are changed and the potential that others around us will be changed appears.

All it takes is one small flame to burst the dark.

My @Tearfund #meanbeanchallenge

A lot of the world goes to bed hungry. It’s something not many in our country can imagine (although with the rise in the need of food banks perhaps more than in the past). I certainly struggle to get my head round it.

Which is partly why I am taking part in Tearfund ‘ s mean bean challenge. You can still sponsor me if you like.
The other reason is that Tearfund know what they are doing and can be trusted to use the money we all raise well.

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Yesterday was the first day and it was SO HARD. I hadn’t anticipated the sugar and caffeine withdrawal and it wasn’t fun. And I was hungry. And fed up.
I mean, I’m a vegan, I eat rice, beans or both every day. And it was still really hard.

First world problems. Seriously, I’m doing this for five days and then I go back to abundance.

Unlike all those women, children and men who use all their days just to survive. No one should have to live like that. While I temporarily long for fresh vegetables, fruits and nuts, spices and a nice cup of tea…
They long for the rice and beans I’m fed up with already.

I have raised money for people like Tearfund before, but this has really hit me. Imagine it was my family, my community going though this.

Although i will finish my rice and bean challenge on Friday and enjoy my Saturday porridge with koko coconut milk and dates, I won’t stop thinking about this, and putting some of my time and money into it as well.

@Number10gov shows total disregard for #democracy

I used to be the kind of average middle class citizen that believed in government and supporting our national leaders.
I have always voted and enouraged others to participate in the democratic process (and will continue to do so).

But now I am beginnjng to wonder if I even live in a democracy.

Truly, can this government get any worse? They disregard the poor, even though five months ago they said they wouldnt, ignore the mentally ill and are now showing a China like attitude to democracy.

Doesn’t this scare anyone else?

Right now our government is putting into law what we are allowed to protest or not.

And this is not just about Israel, it’s about weapons, tobacco and fossil fuels. Read this from the independent:

“Under the plan all publicly funded institutions will lose the freedom to refuse to buy goods and services from companies involved in the arms trade, fossil fuels, tobacco products or Israeli settlements in the occupied West Bank….
…The only exemption will be UK-wide sanctions decided by the Government in Westminster.”

You can see the full article here:
http://www.independent.co.uk/news/uk/home-news/israel-boycott-local-councils-public-bodies-and-student-unions-to-be-banned-from-shunning-israeli-a6874006.html

We live in worrying times.

September 2015 David Cameron says they won’t scrap.the funding for free school meals.

This month news comes out that the funding for free school meals is being scrapped.

The government’s own task force reveals the appalling state of mental health provision in our country.

#timetotalk addendum

Today the lovely people at the Blurt Foundation posted this on their instagram:

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It’s so true. I hate having to spend so much time and effort just to remain well.
Others sail through the week without so much as a thought to the fact that they are well – it is taken for granted.
Don’t get me wrong, I am so very grateful to be well. I notice it all the time and thank  God for it.
But all the same. All that time and energy spent maintaining wellness. Imagine what I could do if being well was effortless and I could use all that energy for something else. Imagine the projects that could be started, the goals achieved…
So yes, this little cartoon does indeed, say it all.