In Ireland, you go to someone’s house, and she asks you if you want a cup of tea. You say no, thank you, you’re really just fine. She asks if you’re sure. You say of course you’re sure, really, you don’t need a thing. Except they pronounce it ting. You don’t need a ting. Well, she says then, I was going to get myself some anyway, so it would be no trouble. Ah, you say, well, if you were going to get yourself some, I wouldn’t mind a spot of tea, at that, so long as it’s no trouble and I can give you a hand in the kitchen. Then you go through the whole thing all over again until you both end up in the kitchen drinking tea and chatting. In America, someone asks you if you want a cup of tea, you say no, and then you don’t get any damned tea. I liked the Irish way better.C.E. Murphy
We’re up early, getting ready for a big weekend. Moving house for us isn’t just packing up the cottage. We’re divesting twenty-five years of farming equipment and building materials that won’t be needed by the new owners. This weekend I have people coming almost hourly to inspect machinery, or furniture and household things, or lengths of steel and hardware.
We’ve got neighbours from up at our old farm, three hours away, coming to pick up firefighting gear and an irrigator. Our accountant and his family are popping down from Brisbane for lunch so they can finally see the place just before we leave. The old guy Ben used to cut firewood with is coming out for a last cuppa on the verandah. The guy who did excavator work for us is swinging buy to grab some equipment and to have a chat. And Sunday is even more busy than today.
So, I’m drinking tea and making lists. Who is coming when, what they are picking up, and if they need to pay. I’m making lists of who will be needing tea or lunch. Then there’s the extra stuff. Johnny is diabetic but loves my coconut biscuits. I need to whip up some of those with natvia instead of sugar. Les loves my date and ginger cake, the accountant and his family will be chocolate slice all the way. I have pizza dough proofing, a pasta bake nearly made, and a quiche done. All things I’ve rustled up from what was left in the pantry and the fridge. That should keep us going all weekend. That will make it easy to grab a moment to sit and have a cup of tea, and to connect.
And who knows who else will end up on the verandah today, or up under the big tree in the back yard, having some refreshments after a long trip, or before a long trip home. It’s the country. Everyone is on for a chat. Everyone has stories to tell.
Note to self, clean bathroom. Note to self, put water in the fridge because it’s going to be a hot day.
Okay, I’d better get back to it. Lots to do, and the timer is about to go off for my choccy (Australian slang for chocolate) slice.
Big hugs and endless mugs of Melbourne Breakfast teas, a too-busy-to-be-sad-but-also-feeling-it-a-bit-even-though-excited-for-a-new-adventure, Nicole xx