It is late November and I have just come back from my daily constitutional along the beach and promenade. It hasn’t been a particularly good day, weather-wise, but it has been an intensely good day from a life-lesson’ point of view.
I had my cup of strong ‘builders’ tea in a thick white mug, purchased at small cost from the tea bar on the promenade. I enjoyed sitting with my spouse and barmy guest-dog Raffles (see last week’s blog), watching the waves and the progress of a few ships far out to see. We derived much pleasure from this non-activity.
But, on a scale of one to ten, our pleasure might only have ranked as three as compared with the family we spotted having their afternoon tea outside one of the beach huts. Theirs must have ranked at least ten and possibly off the scale altogether. No thick builders mugs for their tea, no hard wooden bench to sit on, legs chilled to blue by the cold wind.
No, this family had got it so right. The doors to the hut stood open, acting as windbreaks and in the doorway a fine table was laid with all the ingredient for a magnificent afternoon tea.
The best Royal Albert china - cups, saucers and tea plates, accompanied by silver knives and cake forks. A fine china teapot overlooked the rich spread of tea-time goodies laid out beneath it. On a three-tiered cake stand, nestling on crisp, lacy doilies, were all the delights of a proper afternoon tea; delicate cucumber sandwiches, fruit scones piled with jam and cream and a Victoria sandwich cake Mary Berry would have been proud to serve. In reserve on a table within the hut, stood a rich dark fruit cake, ready for those in for the long haul.
Our family were undeterred. Smiles and happiness radiated from them as they sat down for their November afternoon tea at the beach hut.
It’s the simple pleasures, isn’t it?......