Would you like a cup of coffee or tea?

Good afternoon!

Please, come in: it is drizzling at best, raining at worst, and in between you may stand under an impromptu shower. This is a very unpleasant weather although it is mild enough for the season. But any good farmer would look quizzically at the sky, the trees, the grass growing, and ask “Which season?”

Do come in the sitting room and make yourself at ease. Give me your coat or your raincoat, and I will pour some coffee or tea – even Clipper mint tea… There is a whole array of teas from the UK, Russia and good French houses.

It has been some time since I have not asked you to come. You may see by the untidiness of the room that we are up to something, and, yes, we are. We have planned a great overhaul of The House as soon as the sun will be here. Miss Read’s readers will recognise the symptoms of spring cleaning! No Mrs Pringle but the Shopping-cum-Cleaning Lady who is training a very nice young woman. Over a cup of tea, after shopping, one Friday aternoon, we decided to unite forces and to go through the whole rooms, one after the other: five pairs of hands should be efficient.

But we have to do something with the stacks of books that are littering every flat inch of table, armchair, sideboard, and even floor. We have cardboard boxes and sticking tape; I am trying to sort out rationally the books and magazines and pack them.

I would be glad to have most things tidy by April as we may have guests then. Best Friend from England told me yesterday over the phone that she thought about coming and visit us with her husband in April. Said husband was drinking tea with me at the same moment, smiling and nodding all the time. This is something to look forward to! Other Friends may be on their ways to visit their families and would stop en route.

Oops, here is the jug of hot water from the kitchen and some biscuits. Please, help yourself.

You may have seen that there are still crocuses, and that the winter jasmine is in full flower as well as briars. Have you noticed the clump of narcissi around the summer jasmine. Their buds are ready to explode in a flutter of white with an orange heart frilled with black. And were you to come on the North-Eastern side of the house, you would be able to watch the first primroses. Soon, there will be a whole carpet of them under the cherry trees. Readers of carissima Lucia, you will recognise Perdita’s garden further West, close to the garden house. It is a remain of the efforts of a Grand-Mother who was an adept of E.F. Benson.

We had some sunshine days last week, mostly during the late afternoons. A kind Friend known online gave me some things to potter round, about English literature, and I have been reading about known authors, regional authors, and authors I did not know at all. That brought me back to Parson Woodforde and Francis Kilvert. (Decidedly, I am full of references for Miss Read’s readers and Barbara Pym’s). In fact, I dipped happily into Betjeman’s poetry. This quiet, discreet, and reserved England, well-bred and uncomplaining, who does not exist that much any more nowadays.

I read one book about which I would like to talk with you: “English Passengers” by Matthew Kneale”, and begun another: “The Master” by Com Toibin. Both are re-reads that I enjoy slowly and probably more than I did the first time I read them. More to come.










At first sight, this seems very conservative and very “gentle”: it is less than it seems. Have you read these books? Did you like them?

What are you reading these days? Are you, like me, induced to be more outside, watching the flowers and listening to the birds, now that days are growing?

However, I may be indiscreet and asking too much. Perhaps it is time for you to leave? The drizzle has ceased. The night is slowly falling. Grey swollen clouds take over the sky, but still the twitter of greenfinches sings in the fir tree near my window. Look up and you will see wild geese in formation looking like an arrow. There is a thrill of spring. If you are in the Northern hemisphere, do you feel it as well? And what does it look like in the Southern one?

Yes, sorry, so sorry: I am too talkative. I was glad to have you this afternoon. Please, do come back and let’s chat again! Thank you for your being with me. You cannot begin to guess how much you are important for me!

20 thoughts on “Would you like a cup of coffee or tea?

  1. Dear Camille, thank you for another cosy afternoon tea and chat, perfect for a rainy day. Yes, I have read English Passengers, but a long time ago, I really don’t remember that much about it. So many books, so little time. And even less, since we have acquired many online friends whose blogs we have to peruse regularly… Yes, books tend to pile up on any available surface, but how empty is a house without books! And as for spring cleaning, you have reminded me about the Dreaded Basement, which need to be cleared desperately…

    Liked by 2 people

    1. “English passengers was first published in 2000. Times fly! I readit once and remembered the main lines of the plot, some characters, the way it was written,and that I enjoyed it. I enjoyed it this time even better.
      Because I like re-reading, I very seldom gives a book away. They are friends and each has its story. But I must pack a lot of them to put them back on their proper shelves and I shall have to buuy some new ones. And yet, I have not bought abook during this last three years. They seem to grow and multiply by themselves!
      You are right with the time spent in front of the screen of our computers or internet in general. I try to reduce it. It may be easier to do with spring calling us outside. Right now, the birds are singing and I can see hem darting from one bush to another. Better than any image on the screen… 🙂
      I am glad (in a way) not to be the only one to have Dreaded Places in the house.
      Thank you for taking time to read and comment. 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

  2. I would enjoy having the guy with running nose for tea, in spite of his running nose! And I would prescribe either hot tea with sugar and lemon or herbal tea. But I hope this guy would not come alone and would arrive with his wife and their son: there should be toys for a little boy in this house! The guy’s wife would be more qualified than me to prescribe the tea or herbal tea that would do him good… And women like to collude :). Perhaps something like paracetamol to reduce the headache as well?
    I am sorry you feel so bad. The flowers will be even more in bloom next week nd the week after: they will wait for you. So, take care and there will be another time for coffee or tea when you feel better. Meanwhile do rest… 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Yeah, I know women will collide 🙂
      That little boy will play with toys or he either be more interested in just sitting on his father’s lap as he acts shy in new places. Perhaps couple of visits will make him comfortable.
      Thinking about taking a full day rest!!

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Feminine common sense everywhere in the world… Take something to calm down your headache, something to let you breathe more easily, do not forget to drink a lot of tea or water with lemon or fruit juice (for vitamin c), and rest. Sleep if you feel like it. You will be better tomorrow.

        Liked by 1 person

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