– Appointment with perfection –
“We sit down, and we begin to chat. I already imagine the gossip: these afternoons relax me in an incredible way.”
I reorganize the ornaments for the umpteenth time. They are perfect, I know, but I want more. I want that every detail is impeccable. I move my precious vases a few millimetres, I take two steps back and sigh. Yes, I am satisfied. I love my friends, but regarding style they are a little crazy. Like me, for that matter.
This Wednesday we have tea at my place; next one we will go to Claire’s home. I remember that once we were hanging out with an extravagant girl, a certain Jane. One day, she welcomed us to her home with orange enamel painted nails. Drooling. It was the first Wednesday we were taking tea at her place, and of course it was also the last one: details are the key.
Our personality, of course, but also in the environment where we live. Each house shouts about those who live there. The furniture in my apartment in Sydney is fantastic. I still remember my friends’ faces when they saw it for the first time: they were amazed. “Wow, Mary! It is really fantastic.”
“Details are the key.”
Jennifer said it and, I can assure you that she sees any small imperfection. She is a stylist, just like me. But we work for different fashion houses.
Today I am wearing a white lace dress and red heeled shoes. High, but not too high. The only accessory I am wearing is a thin silver bracelet on my left wrist. Simple, basic and elegant. Like a man should be. For this reason, I have not yet found one.
Tea, pastries and cups are already on the table in the centre of the living room. My friends arrive at five, punctual. They are fantastic. Jennifer looks snug in a pair of ripped jeans, with a black top that lets you see her navel. Claire has an unusual dress with blue and white stripes, very short. Anna, instead has opted for a long green skirt, paired with a silk blouse. We sit down, and we begin to chat. I already imagine the gossip: these afternoons relax me in an incredible way.
Jennifer stirs the tea and then places the spoon down. “Girls, I have crazy news. You’ll never guess, and I mean never, who is going to move near to my house.” “Prince Charming?” asks Anna. “No, much better. The motorcycle champion… the famous one.” “Don’t you remember his name? He can’t be famous, then” Claire laughs. Jennifer proudly raises her hand. “I am a stylist, I do not follow such sports. However, I shall seduce him, you can bet on it.”
“Each house shouts about those who live there.”
“Try coming out in a swim suit to collect your newspaper” I suggest. “She doesn’t need these tricks. She can seduce him even fully dressed” Claire teases her. “There is nothing to laugh at. If I don’t seduce him, it will be one of you, when you come to have a cup of tea at my place. You have to admit that, all together, we definitely cause a scene.“
“But I do not want to hook a motorcycle champion. And then, who is he? The Italian one? Valentino Rossi?” Says Anna. “No no. I can’t remember his name. However, we must add him to our list” said Jennifer. We laugh. Yes, it is true, together we definitely cause a scene.
I look at our reflection in the two round mirrors of my living room: we are beautiful, single and flawless. And even though it does not seem true, I know that in our hearts there is enough room to accommodate someone. We are a bit like our homes: perfect, amazing and very trim. Great, maybe even too much for one person.
“Tea, pastries and cups are already on the table in the center of the living room.”
The history of tea
Tea fully claims the privilege of being one of the oldest and most consumed beverages on earth, second only to water, which is used as a base for its preparation. Its history dates back 5,000 years ago, although its origins are shrouded in mystery.
According to a Chinese legend, the emperor Chen Nung (Shen Nung), called the “Divine Reaper” for the impetus he gave to agriculture, was so strict regarding the hygiene conditions that he didn’t drink anything but boiled water and he ordered his subjects to follow the same rule.
One day, in the year 2737 BC, while the emperor was sitting in the shade of a wild tea tree, and due to a light breeze some tealeaves dropped into the boiled water giving it an inviting gold colour.
Curiosity prevailed and the great emperor tasted, for the first time, the delicious drink, which, later on, would be called tea. After drinking it, he felt taken by an unspeakable feeling and wanted to learn more about the tree that had produced that wonderful and beneficial leaf, thus allowing its use and cultivation. Here it was that tea was born.