Tea Time Thursday – Salisbury Tea


​What stands out most vividly in our brief visit to Salisbury was the wacky tea shoppe that Kathy and I wandered into. There were so many things on the wall, it was hard to miss the tiny flowery wallpaper. There were small round table with two or three chairs. I think they were metal, like patio furniture rather than wood, and they were all white. I feel as though a doily factory exploded in this shoppe. People were there, chatting quietly, sipping tea, adding milk, dabbing creme onto scones, the click of the spoon hitting the tea cup unmistakable and nearly constant.

At the back of the shop was a counter where you got your order and behind the counter were three old women. Ancient would be more apt. They were all quite deaf or extraordinarily hard of hearing. Although they didn’t have one, it would not have surprised me one whit if they had one of those ear trumpets that you would put into your ear and had someone scream into.

They were shouting orders back and forth and repeating as necessary because of the hearing. It was very much like the Where’s the Beef commercials.

As Americans, we were already loud, but not quite loud enough for this place.

I’d like a tea with milk please.


Tea. With milk, said a little louder.


One more time.

She turned to the lady behind her, in the more kitcheny area and repeated my order.

What? came the reply from the back.

The first woman repeated it.


A third woman back there repeated it even louder and was met with a silent nod as tea kettles were poured and prepared and given to us on a tray. We must have paid but I don’t actually remember paying. I also don’t recall if we got anything to eat with our tea.

We sat and sipped and listened in astonishment as our conversation was repeated with the customers who came after us. We grinned occasionally at the absurdity of it all.

It was so perfectly, stereotypically British that I would not have been surprised had Mrs. Slocum come out of the back complaining about her day.

I don’t remember what was upstairs – there was a little shop, but I do remember going up the narrow stairs and then coming back down relatively quickly. We slid past other customers coming in, back onto the narrow cobbled walkway, under the stone arch that had been there since before America was a nascent thought and back to the hostel; or more likely to the hostel for the first time after our very British sustenance. Tea cures all ills, and with its special powers we were able to walk the rest of the way to the hostel where we would stay the night and then continue west by train through the lush green countryside bordered by grey sky.

January in England. We made our own sunshine.

Mental Health Monday – I AM THE CHANGE


Chester Bennington was the lead singer for Linkin Park. After his suicide in 2018, his wife and sister made this video for Now This while at the same time coordinating an awareness campaign: 320 Changes in Direction. The video can be seen in full here.

5 Signa to Look For:

1. Change in personality

2. Agitation

3. Withdrawal

4. Hopelessness

5. Decline in personal care


We are all the change. Go to their page at 320 Changes in Direction and see what other resources are available for you or family/friends.

If you are feelling suicidal, please call the Suicide Prevention Hotline at


This Week (And Last)


New year, new you, resolutions, goals, intentions, and then I started. I was getting up every morning, eating breakfast, staying at the table and writing. It was wonderful.

And then my car sounded funny.

And then I sneezed.

And then the phone call came, that my 2003 mini-van was done. It ran the good race, but it was over. We still need to go empty it out so the mechanic can get rid of it for us. 

So, now we are carless. I’m not sure how long we will be without a car. We can’t afford a payment, we can’t afford a used car with our non-savings. I briefly considered a go-fund-me, but with the government shutdown, I’m not sure how I feel about adding to the donation burden when people are going without medicine to feed their kids.

Went to make dinner last night, and our oven didn’t work. It’s been temperamental since the fall, and my husband can probably cajole it to work (hopefully tonight), but instead of a gorgeous roast chicken we had spaghetti, not that there’s anything wrong with spaghetti, we eat it often, and we love it, but I really, really wanted chicken.

Then I got sick. It’s a cold, but it’s a really bad cold. My throat just closed up a bit; I’m having trouble swallowing, so I think it’s swollen and it hurts a little. I’m drinking tea. Plus the nose running and the coughing, and the headaches.

Then, a very close acquaintance passed away. He was young, under forty with a family, and he was just a great, lovely, fun-loving, kind man who as little as I saw on Facebook and on my Gishwhes team, I will truly miss him for a long time. What a wonderful human being he was.

Sometime today, I will get back on the horse, and I will post Mental Health Monday, and the two tea posts will appear later this week. I was also writing a Martin Luther King reflection, and I still may.

I have wonderful friends who are helping out where they can, and I still feel blessed if a little depressed.

Thank you for sticking with me. As something I can “give” you in return, I will offer you a recommendation – Google John Mulaney, grab your tissues and weep with laughter.