Tea Among The Ruins

Why Hitler lost: You can bomb our houses, destroy our streets, but you’ll never take away our tea.

Download: Who Do You Think You’re Kidding, Mr Hitler? – Bud Flanagan (mp3)

A good cuppa

I’m currently reading “Nobody’s Perfect”, a collection of reviews by The New Yorker film critic (and Englishman) Anthony Lane and I came across this great bit about Hugh Grant being interviewed on the Larry King show during that hooker scandal he was involved in a while ago:

Prodded by King toward self-examination, he scorned the need for psychotherapy—a source of vast bemusement to his host, who failed to realize that Englishmen have devised a cheap alternative to shrinks. The technical term for this is “a cup of tea.”

I told you so, didn’t I?

Download: Afternoon Tea – The Kinks (mp3)

Hallelujah, Rosie Lea

Have you noticed that when a character in an American movie or TV show is having an emotionally difficult time someone gives them a hug, while in English ones they put the kettle on? That’s because, for us, a nice cuppa is the beverage equivalent of a hug, it wraps itself around our English hearts like a warm and wet comfort blanket. More than that, it’s a drink for good times too – in fact, there isn’t a situation in the world that isn’t improved by someone putting the kettle on.

The other great thing about tea is it’s egalitarian qualities, it’s a drink for all people, from the Queen…

…down to the East End gangster.

It’s the glue that holds the nation together.

Much as I like coffee – and I mean coffee, not a skinny mocha latte or some other ridiculous thing – you’d have a hard time giving tea some poncey designer name and charging over three quid for a cup. Sure, there are your fancy teas with exotic flavours but there’s something about it which resists being turned into a hip and sexy lifestyle choice. So, in the immortal words of Ray Davies: “For Christ sake have a cuppa tea” and don’t forget the chocolate biscuits.

Download: Have A Cuppa Tea – The Kinks (mp3)
Buy: “Muswell Hillbillies” (album)

What’s it all about?

The sentimental musings of an ageing expat in words, music, and pictures. Mp3 files are up for a limited time so drink them while they're hot. Contact me: lee at londonlee dot com