ness talks about life

how to make a cup of tea

I’ve discussed the Art of Making a Mug with fellow countrywomen (and found that some pour the milk first and the water after *shudder* and others scald the teapot before beginning the brew etc etc) and have decided to throw in my penny’s worth.

Here, dear friends, is a true and definite guide to how I make a cuppa.

step one: assemble ingredients


Needed: A dodgy tin containing tea bags* (origin unknown, possibly from shop down the road).

A cup, most likely slightly tea stained

Milk, in my case, goat’s milk

A kettle

*Note to reader. The round tea bags are to be preferred to their weaker relatives, the pyramid tea bags. The shape is important. (No, really. It is).

step two, three and four: boil kettle, deposit tea bag into tea cup, pour boiling water into cup


Tip the boiling wrath onto the innocent tea bag. (Pouring directly onto the tea bag causes it to bleed more rapidly). Continue pouring until an inch or less (measurement could be grossly overestimated, hence the less) beneath the rim of the Chosen Vessel.

step five: add the milk


Do not overdo this step. Actually, as a point of fact, don’t underdo it either. Over brewed tea is awful and leads to a Wiggling Serpent of Discomfort in one’s unfortunate stomach. Overdoing makes it white and bland and boring.

step six and seven: be impatient, grab a teaspoon

I don’t like waiting for my tea to brew. Occasionally, I can leave it for say, ten seconds or perhaps even more than that (gasp!) but then I worry that I might be over brewing it and this is a genuine fear that grips me, my friends. 

This. Is. Tea.

On the most part, I fling brewing advice out of the window and wield a teaspoon.

behold! The ‘Teaspoon’

step eight: drain the tea bag of its life


Personally, I like my tea to be the colour of a medium sun tan. Take that spoon, fish for that bag and then push it against the side of the cup. Watch the last dregs of its life spiral out and colour your future drink. Desperately hope that you don’t split the tea bag with your fervour.

step nine: bin the tea bag

Fling the spent and tired bag into the bin. Take a moment to reflect on its sacrifice. Clean drops from its voyage from side to bin.

step ten: enjoy the tea of your labour


Reading, writing and living in general – all is made complete with a cuppa.

ness writes about writing

Patience, Young Grasshopper




I was impatient –  I wanted to finish The Many Trials; to get it done. Over with. Complete. Move on to something else. And it seemed such a chore to do so.

I’m sure that you can see the error in my thinking – I didn’t though, and it took me awhile untill it ‘clicked’.

Why on earth was I worrying about getting it done? Why did it feel so hard to plonk one word in front of the other? Why was I beginning to loathe it?

I’d forgotten, you see.

I’d forgotten that writing isn’t about finishing it. Sure – doing so is, you know, just a teeny bit important. But there is no use in finishing a novel which drops like a dead weight around the neck at the very thought of completing it. It was like one of those awful dreams where you want to run, but are stuck in an invisible pool of glue and cannot move.

I’d forgotten to enjoy it – to love telling my tale. Forgotten the thrill of a funny piece of dialogue, a humourous description or an emotional scene.

And that is a rather big thing to forget.

So have patience, Young Grasshopper – you’ll reach the End. But what use is there in reaching the ending when the journey there has been dry and devoid of any enjoyment? Enjoy it. Put heart in every scene. Give colour to the voyage, and those who reach the End will be left with the longing to read just one page more.