This year, our familes scattered across the province, leaving us peacefully at home to housesit and tend to the ancient cat and the newest addition, a pair of lovebirds. As usual, since we were close to downtown, we did too much, ending up this afternoon at Dr. Sun Yat Sen Classical Chinese Garden, a serene, meditative series of gardens, pools, courtyards and galleries. Beautiful and calming; just what we needed.
There will be photos and a more complete report, later. For now, here's a thought from the Eight Treasures Gift Shop, found in the tea display (we bought three different flavours):
Text, in larger print:
From The Chinese Tea Reader Ch'a-SuSuitable Moments for Drinking TeaWhen we are interrupted while contemplatingDuring a good conversation deep into the nightWhen there is a light, soft drizzleWith agreeable friends and slim concubinesWhen the children are at schoolIn a bamboo grove on a spring eveningUnder unusual rocksUnsuitable Moments For Drinking TeaAt the theatreWhile opening lettersWhen the children are not at schoolTo Be Avoided When Drinking TeaSullen servantsBad watersMoney worriesLarge gatheringsTo Be Avoided At All CostsShrieking childrenSquabbling womenGarrulous peopleNoisy streets
A bit sexist (Squabbling women? Squabbling men are worse. And "slim concubines"? Is there not a male equivalent? Do we even want a male equivalent?) , but there it is.
Outrage is the fad of the day, it seems. In case that list left you deprived of it, here's another bit of wisdom from the tea display; it was one of the proverbs on the back of a description of various teas.
In vain would coffee boast an equal good,The crystal stream transcends the flowing mud ...
In Motteux's defense, I might say that maybe they didn't make decent coffee back in the seventeen hundreds.
And now, I'll have a good, strong cup of
flowing mud coffee, and head to bed. Goodnight, all!