#weekendcoffeeshare: The Return

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It has been a long time since I have written a blog post. I feel enormously guilty. I feel as though I haven’t had friends over since April, and here we are. I would be shoving delicious treats your way, asking if you needed anything else. I’m still drinking my Wedding Breakfast tea; 250g makes a lot of cups of tea.

So, how have you been? I should give my excuses, but it’s been a mix of depression, lack of motivation and actually a very busy summer. I went to Iceland! I started my second year at the high school at which I currently teach (I finally have a classroom). And I watched the world of politics unfold.

First off, Brexit. What a miserable outcome for this. I’m anxious to see how it will play out. Theresa May as been handed a messy, uncertain mix of things that she must turn out to satisfy the Exit voters, but not alienate the Remainers. Though, honestly, what does she care about the Remainers? They’re probably all Eurotrash™ anyway. (Those last lines were sarcasm, by the way, in case it doesn’t read well through the screen.)

The US elections are just not at all in any shape to be commentated on, and yet, here we are, a little over 8 weeks until the elections, commentating. The era of False Equivalency must end: Hillary Clinton is in no way as bad as Trump, and the fact that her email ‘scandal’ is as bad as anything that comes out of Trump’s mouth. Trump is unfit to be president, and it is disheartening that there is any fight between Clinton and Trump.

I have been itching to write, and I shall go back to my weekly Friday reads and these Weekend Coffee Shares, and I am pleased to be back. So hello again, and my door is open again. I hope you missed me as much as I missed you! – SDM

NB: Read the other WCS posts here!

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#weekendcoffeeshare: A Morning with the Prime Minister

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I’m not actually having a morning with the Prime Minister of the UK, but I am currently enjoying my Queen Anne tea and watching the PMQs (Prime Minister’s Questions). For those of you that don’t think that I am obsessed with politics, know that I’m either watching the PMQs or the Daily Show with Trevor Noah most mornings.

It has been a busy month, and with my Zed post uploaded this morning, I have finished with the A to Zed Challenge for April! Though it was much better than last year’s, I am disappointed by the outcome. I’ll talk about it more in my wrap up post, but it seems like a lot for work for not a lot of gain. I still think it’s probably because of my topic. Next year, I think I’ll be concentrating on my travel blog.

There are only three weeks left of school, the last one being final exam week. I’m very glad of being so close to the end. My first year at a new school has been much better than my first year at any other school I’ve been at, surprisingly. The hardest thing has not having a permanent classroom, and floating about during the day. Next year, I’ve been promised a classroom, though it will be a portable.

For those of you who remember, I applied for a master’s degree in Sweden. I’m currently on the waiting list, but I am not optimistic about my chances. I’ll be applying to another programme in December.

I am seriously booked this weekend, and am lazing about as if I haven’t anything to do. Next week, then? – SDM

NB: Do check out the other #weekendcoffeeshare posts here!

 

 

#weekendcoffeeshare: Countdown

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I am exhausted this morning, and this tea has never been better. It’s Queen Anne, as always, but only because I’m very much looking forward to finishing my tin and moving on to Wedding Breakfast. I am a stickler for tradition, and on Saturday and Sunday I drink the tea at my tea station to completion. So if were were having coffee/tea, we’d be having Queen Anne and probably some French Roast that I hurriedly bought from Whole Foods.

There are 25 days left of school. My students all know this countdown, as do I. We are all breathless. The days are filled with state-mandated testing and final exams. My senior students are all ready for prom and graduation, and I am ready to explode. Soccer season ended on a win, however, and now I have whole wodges of time to myself. It’s wonderful. If we were having our beverages, I would ask you if you were counting down to anything, and what you are looking forward to?

We have a few more letters left of the A to Zed challenge, in which I am participating. I have been keeping up with quite a few blogs, and I have learnt many amazing things. I am not sure that my blog fits in very well with this challenge (it is not a writing or lifestyle blog) but I have gotten some comments and some interest, so there is that. I would ask if you were participating, and if you’re struggling or if you pre-wrote everything and are coasting easy.

Politically, my students and I enjoyed watching Prime Minister’s Questions from the 13th of April, which brought up so many questions about British culture, life and government. I find myself becoming homesick for a country that is not necessarily mine, but I’ve adopted. If we were having coffee (or tea, of course), we’d be talking about what life means for different cultures.

I hope you are doing well. Until next time! – SDM

NB: Check out the other posts here!

picture taken by author

 

#weekendcoffeeshare: Escape,

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Mum and I have just returned from a trip to the capital of Georgia, Atlanta. It was a lovely trip. We visited the Capitol building, which I truly enjoyed. We also used the public transportation system, which was, if not always timely, pretty damn convenient. If we were having coffee, we’d be talking about our latest travels and any future travel plans.

And if we’d be having coffee, I have to admit we’d be talking a lot about the so-called Freedom of Religion acts that have been going  around, especially around the South. My state’s governor recently vetoed the Freedom of Religion act, but that was after many businesses (including entertainment — The Walking Dead is filmed here in Georgia) threatened to take their wares elsewhere. It is a sad state of affairs that states care more about businesses than the actual lives of people.

Today is the Wisconsin caucus. Even though I am an enthusiastic campaign watcher, I am anxious about the outcome. It is so contentious already, and I am worried about where the chips may fall. If we were having coffee, we’d be talking about the future of American politics and how we got here in the first place. A heavy Saturday, to be sure. But there is tea and coffee and some delicious treats, so it  wouldn’t be too bad all told.

Until next week, then! – SDM

NB: Check out the other weekend coffee share posts here!

#weekendcoffeeshare: A Change of Pace

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I never planned on taking a personal picture for this site. Usually, I am downstairs on my sofa, stretched out in front of the television. But very heavy storms yesterday flooded my living room, causing me to seek refuge in the two rooms upstairs. So if we were having coffee or tea, I would drag my bedroom chair into my office for you so we could chat.

So here is my desk for now. It is barely big enough for my laptop. At least my chair is comfortable and my office is a pleasant refuge. And yes, the woman in the green shirt on the right is me, but a 20 year old me at a concert in France.

I am on Spring holidays now, and if not for the living room flooding, I would be overjoyed. I have whole wodges of time to do nothing, except the little things that are on my to-do list, like get through my massive collection of New Yorker magazines and my backlog of podcasts.

I’m also writing my a to z challenge posts. I am already getting a lot more feedback than I did last year, but it is slow going once more. I am enjoying reading other peoples’ challenge posts, and I am getting into the habit of commenting.

So that is where I am currently. Let’s enjoy our time together. – SDM

NB: Check out the other weekend coffee posts here!

#weekendcoffeeshare: Abridged

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Come, sit. Are you brave enough to try my batch of Lapsang Souchong, which tastes of fire and smoke? No? Well, I’ll enjoy it for you. Drinking it reminds me a bit of Germany actually, but I’m not sure why.  Were we having our Saturday beverage, I would tell you that I had entirely too much sun yesterday and am very glad for our overcast skies.

I am one of the coaches for the Boys’ varsity soccer team (I am also the head coach of the junior varsity team); we won a match in tournament play during penalty kicks, and it was breathtakingly stressful. We have another match today; I hope we do well. One can never tell. It is exhausting, being a coach, but thankfully I have a short season. If you’re not interested in sports talk, I understand. I only know about soccer and tennis, and I am about as un-athletic as it gets. But if this were England, we would definitely be chatting about Euro League and any plans we might have to go to France to watch some matches. I am tempted to go after my trip to Iceland.

There are two more very long weeks until the spring holidays. I don’t have much planned except a small trip with my mother, but I shall be very glad for the time off. After that, it is a straight slide to the end of the year. One gets used to the scholastic rhythm, and if I get a career in anything else, I will definitely have to try for that same rhythm.

Until next time, then. – SDM

picture by condesign

NB: Check out the other posts here!

#weekendcoffeeshare: Of Rituals

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When I visited my best friend in Cleveland in 2014, I found a tea shop in the 5th Street Arcades on Euclid Avenue. It was a tiny shop in the arcade, and I bought a few ounces of tea. I kept them in tight containers and nursed them carefully, but I was running very, very low. So I left a message on their Facebook page and the admin answered a few minutes later, giving me a number to call to place a phone order. I immediately called them the next day, and yesterday (Friday), I received my package of teas. Four ounces (113g) each French Breakfast,  Rooibos and Wild Cherry and two ounces (56g) of Lapsang Souchong. I am in absolute heaven. The French breakfast smells like all the mornings I spent in France, all three years of them, and instantly sends me back there. I have never had Lapsang Souchong, but it smells like a smoky barbecue pit and I am excited to try it. Wild Cherry has actual dried cherries in it; it smells like a summer’s day. Rooibos is something I first tried in London at a tea shop in Islington, and it has been a favourite of mine ever since. So if were having tea, I would be offering you one of my new teas (well…perhaps not the French Breakfast).

I tend to do the same things at the weekend during the school year: wake up lateish, do some chores and basically be a lazy bum. I have a cleaner (a small luxury), but I do my own laundry and occupy myself with my own bedroom. However, I think often of rituals; not the religious ones, but the ones that we do daily, the habits that make up our life. As a tea drinker, I realise the history of the tea ritual, though my tea routine is very far removed from the Chinese ritual of centuries past. There are small things I do every morning when I get ready for work, like slid a pen into my bun, or take things to my car as my tea is brewing so I don’t have too much to carry. And when I return home, my keys go into the bucket next to the door so I never forget where they are. It’s soccer season so lately I’ve been getting home very late…just enough time to drop the keys where they belong and head to bed. Were we having tea I would ask you about your daily rituals and perhaps what they tell you about your life.

Were we having tea, we’d probably discuss a little about the Donald Trump rally that was cancelled and exploded in Chicago. The word ‘rally’ has always made me nervous: it is not a press conference, it’s not a town hall meeting; hell, it’s not even an interview. It’s a concentrated group of fervent supporters and a speech meant to warm the blood and get you inspired. Trump’s speeches are always full of hateful, mean-spirited rhetoric that make his supporters see red. He makes me so, so anxious, and I wonder why and how he has gotten so far.

On a final note, I downloaded the Chrome extension from a recent episode of John Oliver’s Last Week Tonight that changes any mention of Donald Trump’s name to Donald Drumpf, the original spelling of his last name. It startles me sometimes and then it makes me smile. It’s a little satirical flourish that reminds me that, for now, this sort of speech is well-protected. Were we having tea, I’d love to hear about your favourite bits of satire, or even if we just chat about civil rights, I’m sure it would be a good conversation.

Until next week, then? – SDM

NB: Read the other #weekendcoffeeshare links here!

Photo by Stefan Schweihofer