starting and ending in the front room on the Tottenham Riviera

sometimes you gotta pack up all your stuff

The trip to London is like a huge chunk of molten ore from which I’ll be mining blogposts for a long time to come. Were I to show you my itinerary, you’d be astounded at how much I packed into such a short trip. Big ups to @elaine4queen for meditation-related help and conversations of the highest order.

I got some business taken care of, and there’s big news on that front when it’s more concrete. Don’t count chickens before they’re scratched, or whatever. And I met Robert Godden, who’s also known as The Devotea in teablogging circles. That was an event. To say the least. Here’s a document of that auspicious occasion:

Whatchyou talkin’ ’bout Robert?

If you’ve had the pleasure of meeting Robert either online or in person, you know that he’s passionate and just the other side of sane. It’s one of the myriad of reasons we get along. I also met the infamous Lady Devotea, but was sworn to not publish the photos I took of her. Perhaps once she sees the way I respectfully portrayed her gent, she’ll relent. But until then, I must respect her wishes.

Then, I was introduced to Bloom Tea, which I’ve already mentioned over on the teablog, but bears repeating here. They have five different blends for different times of the day. It’s a clever way to sell tea, so I’m sure I’ll be talking more about this brand in the near future. Here’s a photo of the sample I was given:

the five phases of Bloom Tea

The mornings in London were exactly like they are back here in Germany for me. I get up relatively early, so I can plan my day properly. It means that when others get out of bed, I’ve already been at it for several hours. It’s all rather disconcerting if you think about it. Because I know my level of energy can be a bit off-putting, I attempt to tone it down as best I can – with varying results.

afternoon tea with some of my favourite people who I’d not previously met

Finally, I’d like to share one of the best photos of last weekend. It’s got some wonderful characters in it, innit? I’ll not bother listing them all, although I should at least make a passing reference to a certain Vic Darkwood, who you’ll see on the far right of the shot. Purportedly, he’s an artist of some renown.

I’m just glad to say we now know each other on twitter. I hope when he gains international fame and glory, that he remembers us little people.

Like I’ve said, I’m sure this isn’t my last London-themed blogpost. There’s tonnes more to tell.


the Eisheilge and other curiosities

on the evening of Heilige (Holy) Sophie

Couldn’t find anything in English about the Eisheilige, so at least until the bots find this corner of the web, this’ll be the lone English explanation. Not sure I like the pressure.

The Eisheilige could be translated as ‘icy holy days‘, and I’ve also heard these days called the gestrenge Männer (‘strict men‘). It’s a weather phenomenon in central Europe in the middle of May in which it often gets unseasonably cold. Some places it’s three days, some four or five, and finally there are even places that consider the Eisheilige to be a full six days.

The Wikipedia entry tells me they’re the Saints’ Name Days for 11-15 May…here they are listed:

  1. Mamertus – 11. Mai
  2. Pankratius – 12. Mai
  3. Servatius – 13. Mai
  4. Bonifatius – 14. Mai
  5. Sophie – 15. Mai

Purportedly, the stable spring weather can only occur after Holy Sophie is behind us. Sounds a bit unbelievable, doesn’t it? Like you can really predict the weather in such a way.

But here’s the thing. I’ve lived in Germany more than a decade now. More often than not Bavaria gets unseasonably cold for these several day in the middle of May. Almost without fail. And the rest of May is regularly quite beautiful. On this one, I’m going to trust the farmers. Just like Ben Franklin and his Farmer’s Almanac, they know what’s going on.

I’m sad to report that after the Eisheilige are past that we’re not quite done with such weather cycles. In June (sometime between the 4th and 20th of June…often exactly the 11th of June) we have the Schafskälte (cold sheep days). Again, there’s unseasonably cold weather. Not every year, but often enough that it’s even got a name. Named after the sheep. Not too shabby.

a grand total of seventy-four

really? only seventy-four? what're we doing here?

Stumbling round the web today, I happened upon McSweeney’s, which I’m certain I’ll be returning to for inspiration. I’m not kidding; there was so much wisdom (or satire of wisdom) to pass on that I could easily make this whole blog a ‘What I read on McSweeney’s site’.

Wait, let me ponder that one a minute.

No, I think I’ll keep on with the course I’ve been following. Whatever amuses, concerns or baffles me. That’s what you get here. Haven’t heard many complaints. That’s not an invitation for complaints. Really.

But then I found Teddy Wayne’s Unpopular Proverbs. How could you deny yourself taking a gander at such a thing? I would not be denied. It’s one of my superpowers. Unless I’m tired. Or distracted. But if I’m well-rested and have even a minimum level of focus, then I cannot be denied.

Here’s ol’ Teddy Wayne’s Unpopular Proverb when it comes to Writing:

‘A drop of ink may make a million think, though to be technically accurate, this isn’t printed, it’s just on the Internet, and with the fragmentation of modern media, I’d be surprised if it gets more than a few thousand readers and, let’s be honest, this isn’t very thought-provoking. So: An electronic display of characters may amuse a few thousand. Except the number of people actually amused is probably under a hundred. Therefore: An electronic display of characters amuses seventy-four.’

I’m ok with seventy-four. Well, for today I am. I didn’t create much here today. But on a day when I come up with some of my usual whimsy, I expect a few more of you to happen by. It’s not as if it’s going to affect you adversely. At least I hope it won’t.