Of Builders’ Tea

August 30, 2010

Having resolved last week to get various aspects of my life in some semblance of order I planned the bank holiday weekend on a three day schedule of garage, loft and study. In practice the garage alone has taken all three days and its not complete as I awaiting delivery of a rack to allow me to mount the bikes double-decker on one wall. It’s been three long days starting at around 0830 and finishing at dusk. About half way through I realised that I was drinking copious cups of tea, and I mean proper builders tea: English breakfast, strong brewed with milk in a large mug.   

Now I normally never drink this essentially British drink. , Americano (I regard my home expresso machine as more important than the Aga) or various types of chinese tea, or Rooibos are my normal fare. However there is something about working with tools that engenders a need, that and Radio 4 on the portable radio. I rewired two houses and installed central heating in one, all to tea and Radio 4 not to mention more bookshelves, cupboards and kitchen furniture than I care to think about over four houses. Its a ritual, and sharing tea breaks with the Thatcher just adds to that sense of comfort.   

Its not the only link of a particular tea to a particular context, I wrote my thesis to Green Tea and Wagner; my O and A levels were fueled by Vimto, Most articles end up with a late night marathon fueled by Penderyn. For a Rugby match there is no substitute for the greatest beer of all time, Brains Dark. Late night or for all round thirst quenching ability a quart of 1% milk. For reading in the garden in summer, Pimms with lots of fruit. Then of course for all plane journeys at whatever time of day if the flight is for two hours of more, a Gin and Tonic is unsurpassed.

Note – before and after pictures below, with the full sequence available here; the most important aspect is missing, that needs a post in its own right, its the story of my father’s workbench now installed.

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The Cynefin Company (formerly known as Cognitive Edge) was founded in 2005 by Dave Snowden. We believe in praxis and focus on building methods, tools and capability that apply the wisdom from Complex Adaptive Systems theory and other scientific disciplines in social systems. We are the world leader in developing management approaches (in society, government and industry) that empower organisations to absorb uncertainty, detect weak signals to enable sense-making in complex systems, act on the rich data, create resilience and, ultimately, thrive in a complex world.

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