Home is where the heart is – and home is also where you will find the best cup of tea.
I make the best cup of tea in New Zealand. Never mind that only a small number of people know I make the best cup of tea in New Zealand, I do make the best cup of tea in New Zealand. People, for whom I make tea, often remark, “Mmmmm”, they say, “That’s a nice cup of tea”. Usually by the third sip. Then they drain their cup and ask for more. What can I say? I’m gifted!
The trouble with tea is, and tea drinkers world-wide express the same or similar, the trouble with tea is the best cup is the one you make yourself in your own home with your own teapot and poured into your very own chipped mug or cup. That is the best cup of tea in the world. I’m talking about the kind of tea a man or woman can survey their estate by, the tea that says: You have arrived. You’ve been there, done that. What’s next?
A tress of amber vine hangs over our boundary fence and a plastic bag, blown by the wind, is lodged in the Steven’s Island Kowhai – it is a scruffy shrub even without the bag.
Home is also where the weeds grow and where the roses need pruning. It’s not all sweet all of the time. Home is where our stuff is. Our books, teacups and the circular saw, and the stuff in boxes we don’t know what to do with. Home is where the dust falls and the bills collect and the neighbours cat leaves smelly poops under the clothesline. It is our home though and I’m glad I have a home of my very own I can return to after a great holiday. Some people, for one reason or another, do not have a home. And some people who do have a home struggle to pay the mortgage or the rent. Those land prices keep going up …
I was dismayed by some things I saw in the South Island. Like a huge gated, fortressed estate with heavy-duty security cameras and ten metre high bronze statues – lions guarding either side of a long driveway. We didn’t take a photo in the end. Something about the look of the place didn’t scream ‘please talk about me’. The design was reminiscent of headquarters rather than office block. It was a disturbing scene because the estate, or whatever it was, looked so unfriendly and New Zealand is supposed to be a friendly place. I couldn’t help wondering what the owners might be like. Frightened?