Since OH makes the tea in the morning and not only doesn’t understand tea but has difficulty with half-measures, I never quite know what I’m going to get. Sometimes my morning cuppa is in the Goldilocks zone but more often there’s either too much water or too little, resulting in a watery mud-colour or else tea the shade of oak stained by decades of nicotine. I can usually tell just by lifting the pot whether it’s right or not, and thereafter approach the act of pouring either with glee or with a due sense of trepidation.
OH is tempted to wonder whether the British have evolved to detect a greater spectrum of brown in order to discern whether our tea is of the correct strength. It’s an appealing idea but as we’ve only been drinking tea for a couple of hundred years (and taking it black in the beginning) I think we wouldn’t have had time. But who knows? Maybe even as we speak I am part of that very process of evolution?
It’s been quite cold here in the mornings but by midday it’s warmed up to an unfeasible extent, resulting in a temperature hike of about fifteen degrees centigrade. I’ve been taking advantage of this to dig the garden, turning soil while the sun shines (and boy does it shine! Twenty degrees on Monday; I’m torn between enjoying it and being terrified by climate change) and so enhancing my ability to appreciate different shades of brown. Spike Milligan certainly could, drowning in mud in Italy:
There’ll be brown birds over
the brown cliffs of Dover…
So who knows? Maybe by a combination of gardening and tea-drinking we will have evolved to see fifty shades of brown by the end of the century. If we survive that long…