Saturday, September 26, 2009

Such a high price, a cup of tea.

excerpt from: The Dog who Came in from the Cold

MI6 (images of 007 etc etc) ….. the sort of papers these people dealt with certainly could not be left lying about for the prying eyes of cleaners who might have been recruited by the other side. And it would be very easy, he reckoned, to recruit a cleaner; their weakness was tea, and they could doubtless be tempted by a large cup of Darjeeling …”DSC03047 

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

In the Mail

My UK mule’s schedule is a bit out of alignment with my desires, so a quick online purchase, and, these two books are in transit .. counting the days. I found them at Amazon.com. 

How you can you not want to read a book with this title (and pedigree) ?   9781408701034  “Traditionally Built” a polite euphemism describing the; Rubenesque, sonsie or zaftig amongst us.

The first book in this series; Corduroy Mansions. (web images)51oy-JO0TxL._SS500_cm1_1468323c cm2_1468331ccm3_1468332c   Book two is available as an audio cast by the: London Telegraph, The Dog who came in from the Cold Read by the inimitable Andrew Sachs, best-known for his performance as Manuel in Fawlty Towers. ASman ASnow  The Telegraph is an excellent on-line newspaper, and I enjoy these ventures into mixed / multi media offerings.

Thursday, September 17, 2009

places of solitude, visited but not forgotten

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west meets east meets far east

A few (5) months have slipped by, all too fast. This morning my colleague Anatoly (Russian,俄羅斯人 Éluósīrén) came by to ask about “Pu-erh tea” 普洱茶

During our conversation, I remembered I still had a small cake in my office, using this with the qualifier; “that it was not a good example (prior tasting) etc. etc.DSC00096 DSC00097 Much to my surprise and delight, that over this very moderate passage of time, I found the tea has changed / improved. “Ours is not to reason why, accept the facts and move on”

A couple of days have passed and Anatoly has added Pu-erh to list of: “I like this tea.” I can see I’ll have bring in more supplies, as we have made a significant impact on this small (180gm) cake. .. We’ve also breezed through 500gms of TGY in short order, mind you there are 4 regular little pig’s at the trough.DSC00377 

I caught this 6 min short on IFC (COX Cable), web link: Tokyo Jim … too funny .. synopsis: Jim’s an English lawyer in Tokyo finalising an important business deal. Unfortunately Jim’s not feeling that well and Mr Yakamoto hates him. Out of politeness Jim agrees to go for a quick post-deal drink – after he does just one thing.

This film was chosen to be part of the BBC Summer of British Film (shorts): Comedy season.

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

Back to University, (Monday morning)

Shorter days, cooler nights .. Sean left this morning (9/14) heading up to St Helena.  A fun packed weekend with friends and family preceded his trip.

Sunday a lazy day for the men folk (Robin, Sean, Trevor, Frank, Ben) and as if by magic a feast appeared and disappeared, followed by much napping, Robin out like a light.  The kids played in the pool / Jacuzzi all afternoon.. everyone (with little kids) needs an energy vampire.

Sunday, September 06, 2009

“It’s Déjà vu all over again” (Yogi Berra)

Sunday, Mid-point of a three day weekend.

GOOD MORNING Heather, (Sean was up but we left without him)  Corky’s has changed their decor, to say the least. This all encompassing mural (every inch of wall and ceiling)  is a bit hard on the eyes .. Mom and I were the first customers (7:00am) so I took the opportunity to take a few pictures. DSC00359 DSC00360 DSC00366 Then on to Borders, open at 9:00am, Mom had a 40% off coupon, Score!! I bought this book packaged with tea paraphernalia. .. $19 and change out the door, cheap at half the price.DSC00372 DSC00374 DSC00375

Wednesday, September 02, 2009

Drinking Vessels worthy of Cesar

飲茶聊天 yǐn​ chá ​liáo ​tiān​  “To talk over a cup of tea” (Chinese idiom) “Have you had a cup of tea, since teatime ?”.. jingle from an old British TV advertisement.
While YiXing teapots hold the highest interest for most collectors .. I also enjoy a large collection of  Tea Cups.  The cup enjoys the most personal interaction with the tea drinker.
Purchased in DongGuan from Mrs. Yang,  early 2005,  two sets of 4 cups that are simply Biblical in there ability to enhance a good “chin-wag”.
DSC00349 I’m not 100% sure of the cost, that is less important than their intrinsic value. Mr. Yang just returned from a buying trip to Jiang Xi. A large shipment was on its way, he hand carried these two boxes .. I bought both there and then.
Individually unique, hand painted, workmanship and quality are first rate.  More importantly each is beautiful and a pleasure to hold and behold.
DSC00354 The egg-shell thickness and translucency of these cups add to their imparted pleasure. 
DSC00357 景德鎮 Jǐng​ dé​ zhèn​ Famous ceramics city in Jiang Xi province. Thx Dr. Gou for your help with this style of calligraphy.
 DSC00355 Jing De Zhen, famous as "The Chinaware Capital". As long as 2000 years ago, in the Han Dynasty, some ancient kilns for pottery were built here. In the Tang Dynasty, people had been able to produce chinawares by heating. The wares are said to be: as white as a jade, as clear as a mirror, as thin as a sheet of paper and as sweet sounding as a Qing (a Buddhist percussion instrument). Owing to the manufacturing level was much improved during the reign of Song emperor Jing De, the town was named Jing De Zhen. It's said its former name was Chengnan, pronounced "china" by the Western people who used to export the porcelains from here to their countries. That's why the porcelain was called "chinaware". In the Ming and Qing Dynasties, the place was so flourishing that taken as one of the 4 biggest towns of China(3 web picts)
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These four are hand painted with slight variations on a common theme.
DSC00353 “In the style of” and marked: Emperor Yong Zheng. Qing dynasty 1722-1735.  Da Qing Yong Zheng Nian Zh.  These from the famous Blue Dragon pottery.
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