I am delighted to start a new column on something that’s close to my heart: slow living. After the very sad news of whitney houston’s passing and in view that it’s valentine’s day today, i thought it appropriate to mark this day in this way.
Personally i am not a great fan of valentine’s day, (except when combined with self nurture like shown here by Jennifer) for the same reason i am not in favour of new year’s resolutions. These seem to be stipulated by traditions and have very little to do with the reality of everyday living. I am more interested in finding sustainable ways to support my everyday life so that i can hopefully function at my best and achieve my potential. I know that when i’m ok, the people around me are ok and when i love myself i am more able to truly love another.
In this column i will talk about ways that I find help me with attempting to self love. They are personal to me. Maybe some of you will resonate, others won’t and that’s totally ok. Whichever way, i hope to inspire and stimulate discussions and to learn about your ways and methods to take care of ‘yourselves’. Hope some of you will join me on this ride.
Since i don’t drink coffee or tea and haven’t for 20 years, i’ve had to find other solutions to satisfy my need for hot drinks. Over the years, my choices of such beverages changed. Whereas before i was happy with a chamomile or peppermint teabag (that used to be about the extend of choice in cafes and restaurants), nowadays there is far more choices on the market and the non-traditional tea market has exploded over the past few years. What has equally exploded is my way of tea drinking. These days i make a point of having a tea ceremony even if time does not permit. Before you all shout at the screen: i haven’t got time, i’ve got work, husbands, b/f, g/f, kids, dogs, cats, crafts, blogging, cooking, socializing and so on, just stay with this. It takes no time, or the same time as gulping down a starbucks concoction.
The tea ceremony is there to stop me in my tracks from rushing around, going at 100 miles per hour and forgetting that i haven’t even taken a deep breath today. It’s there to help me gain some awareness in what’s otherwise a crazy and mad day. It also helps with dehydration, which is more important than people like to think. I do this whether i am at home or out. When out, i seek places that serve some of my favourite hot drinks, either fresh mint with hot water or sliced lemon and fresh ginger with hot water. One such place is the wonderful leon that’s saved me many times from starvation and thirst.
When home i have more choices and can indulge. Here you won’t find a teabag in sight. I prefer fresh leaves when it comes to camomile or green and japanese teas. I also use unbleached teabags that I fill with my favouirite tea leaves so i am prepared when travelling, especially on planes (yes, in 2012 they are still only serving tea and coffee unless you fly business or first class).
It goes without saying that my need for excellent product design, together with the search for beauty and aesthetics keeps me on my toes when acquiring new tea ceremony favourites. Well, i hope you enjoy some of my collection.
I first saw this teapot with lid and infuser at Tate Britain. I want every colour! It’s ingenious as it has beauty and functionality in equal measures.
There is something lovely about hot drinks in a glass. I love the simplicity of the felt. These were bought in one of my favourite cafés in berlin.
This korean crackle glazed teapot and cup is from east teas in borough market.
Another purchase from east teas. This time a korean teacup with its own strainer and lid. Ideal for steeping green tea. Ideal for taking to the office.
Ah, my special find. I found this in my favourite paul smith shop in borough market.
My beloved moomin mugs. I chose one here that might make the pro valentines brigade go awwww.
Smaller sized version found at paul smith. Btw, if you can’t find them any longer it’s because i bought the whole lot.
I love this. The tray is made out of bamboo and you put your leaves into the small teapot. Let it sit for a couple of minutes and then immediately pour into the glass pitcher. The idea is that the tea doesn’t get too strong and that you can re-use the leaves a couple of times. I bought this from jing tea. I just saw they don’t offer this anymore but have something similar here.
This teapot warmer is my latest addition, thanks to my friend michael in germany who introduced me to this ingenious method. It comes in two different sizes and lots of different colours.
For more beautiful tea wear hop over to Nicola’s site. Here is what it’s about: “tea and related ephemera to look at during afternoon tea break. Always added at 4 o’clock.” Isn’t that charming?