Posts Tagged ‘blogging’

Tea is the new coffee?

April 24, 2009

22 April was the first anniversary of my blog.  I missed it!  We were in Shanghai and Hong Kong from 8-18 April, I’m still dealing with laundry/putting things away, and I have had a bad headache since we got back.  I thought it was a migraine but now think it’s a virus.  I am slowly feeling more “normal”.  Whatever that is.  From time to time my pc refuses to recognise my camera when I try to upload photos and this involves reloading drivers.  Which is a palaver.  It took me nearly 2 hours yesterday and 4 installs.  But I now have about 850 photos I took in China which I can use.  I didn’t want to blog before I could use some China photos.  Yes, I am a bit of a perfectionist. I have no idea how many photos C and MissN took – not quite as many as I did.  They have better cameras (C has a digital SLR) so they get better shots.  I take more to compensate for my blurry ones or the “dreaded black spot” which appears on my shots from time to time.  Yes, C, I SHOULD have let you buy me a new camera.

Anyway, I began my blog a year ago with a post about coffee and chocolate, so it seems appropriate to celebrate this blogaversary with a new header photo.  Tea.  The new coffee.  My overseas shopping indulgence was tea. I won’t tell you how much I spent (but assure you it was much less than a camera would have cost).

We spent a lovely day in the Old Town of Shanghai on the Friday we were there.  Late morning after battling the crowds at the Yuyuan Gardens we had a 40 minute very relaxing tea tasting (ie sales talk) at a shop in Old Street (Central Fangbang Road) and bought 100g of new season green tea – our new morning drink  (other green tea tastes dusty by comparison now), 50g of fruit tea, 50g of ginseng powder,  250g of Tie Guan Yin oolong tea and 6 tea flowers.  You can see an opened tea flower in the glass in the centre of the header photo.  These are amazing – balls of tea which open to reveal a flower and they can be used up to 10 times each.


I bought myself a terracotta tea pot (for oolong tea – one uses different types of pots for different types of tea!) from the Dongtai Road Antique Market.  It’s probably not antique but I like it.  It is just big enough for one cup.    MissN got herself a gorgeous noodle bowl.

I’m sipping oolong tea as I type (just one I bought at an Asian supermarket here in Sydney).  And loving the exotic calmness it provides.  I loved tea before we went to China.  But I will remember Shanghai and our wonderful time there every time I drink Chinese tea for the rest of my life.


MissN drinking dragon well tea (tea of longing) in Tongli last Monday (but “tea in Tongli” is another post…)

Five ways in which blogging has changed my life

September 11, 2008

and I am flattered and pleased to be tagged by John Dobbs.  John is blog king, but to me a mentor, a friend, an inspiration (and a great chat host).  At least half the blogs in my Google Reader I clicked on to from his blog or from one of his blogging friends.

The rules for this meme are below.  L.L. Barkat created this meme, “Five Ways Blogging Has Changed My Life.”  Read to the end to see if you have been tagged!

Here are five ways blogging has changed my life:

1.  I have tapped into a supportive and affirming online blogging community, have made new friends, expanded and enhanced friendships I already had and had opportunities to touch, albeit very fleetingly, and connect with people through my words, music I love and photographs.  I am able to access the world you live in.  I can read and share your thoughts. musings, scholarly conclusions, jokes, trials, embarrassments (can I mention Trey here?), recipes, menu plans, poems, see your photos, children, gardens, quilts, stitcheries.  I can laugh with you (snort on occasion!), muse, ponder, cry, praise, pray, give thanks, be inspired, hurt, feel, learn, care…

2. I have changed the focus of my online “writing” from the argumentative discursive based writing I mostly did in the Yahoo and other discussion lists I am in to a more creative one.  Instead of being reactive, my writing is now proactive.  Instead of being focussed inward, I am more outwardly focussed.

3. I have focussed on my passions: faith, family, cooking, health – especially healthy eating, travel, reading, music, birds, quilting, friends.  I have been doing a course at my church called Significant Woman and our last session was – significantly –  “Uncover your passions” (no, not THAT kind…)  In discussion with the ladies there, I realised that I had become quite passionate about my blog (I became quite animated telling them about it) and the possibilities – for connecting with people, educating, preaching (about organic chocolate and healthy eating…), sharing my faith, sharing my life with my family and friends.   Conversely, writing about my passions has meant that I have “lived” them more.  I’m more focussed on cooking.  I am more mindful of what birds I see.  I make notes of books recommended on blogs I enjoy.

4.  Blogging has become something I do, an identity I have assumed, a part of who I am.  The writer in me has reappeared.  I wrote regularly in my teens – mostly poetry, and even had a poem published.  Studying literature at university made me critical and analytical and and I lost the incentive to write.  Teaching English reinforced that.  Some years of emailing and discussion lists did give me some confidence that I could express myself – on occasion, and blogging has been the next step.

5.  My mood has been much more positive (and this has been noted quite a fewtimes by C.)  I’m excited about blogging. I’m proud of how my blog looks (for those of you yet to venture into blogging – just do it – you don’t have to be technical or artistic or whatever – wordpress – or typepad, blogspot or livejournal- make it really easy ONCE you have fiddled with setting it all up.)

Here are the rules (L.L. Barkat)

1. Write about 5 specific ways blogging has affected you, either positively or negatively.
2. link back to the person who tagged you
3. link back to this parent post (I’m not so much interested in generating links, but rather in tracking the meme so I can perhaps do a summary post later on that looks at patterns and interesting discoveries.)
4. tag a few friends or five, or none at all
5. post these rules— or just have fun breaking them

Here are my five six TAGS:

Steve Tucker






If you are reading this, Nev, I hope you have a wonderful birthday.  My Cape Town brother is 47 today!