Sunday, June 03, 2012

Tea and Cakes

There's a party going on at the moment, all over the country actually but I'm trying to ignore it. I'm keeping my sensible hat on and trying to concentrate on getting essentials done whilst we have our days off. Otherwise I might just end up pinching myself for not getting things done and it's already time to go back to work!

It doesn't stop me from watching TV though in between tasks, at least I'm with everyone else in spirit (thanks Queen for our extra long days off!).

Yesterday we decided to get stuck in sorting out the interior of the koi house. Usually on a  Saturday we slack off a bit and often have a mini day out before we do any gardening in the afternoon. But in anticipation of a wet Sunday we decided to do as much as we can that day so we have other options in case Sunday does indeed become a very wet day (update: it IS a very wet day!).

I was given the task of applying fillers on the joints of the ceiling, suffice to say I wasn't good at it when it took me half an hour to patch up a foot of joint. So I just said to Gaz, "I'm not really good at this. It would have taken you five minutes to do this whilst it's taken me ages. I think it would be more time efficient if you do this whilst I carry on doing something else even if it's only indirectly helpful."

Now which way now, Devon or Cornwall??
And so I did. I may not be good at patching up ceilings but at least I can carry and bring other materials around, mix up solutions, cook lunch, and serve lots of tea and cake. Doing it that way, things moved much quicker than if I stayed on, forcing myself doing something I'm still not used to (or rather not good at) which just ends up eating precious time.

Which also reminded me of when I used to organise events and projects in university where we would work as team of core people able to do the main task, and others who may not be good at doing the main work but are happy enough to help by running around gathering materials, and by serving lots of drinks, cakes, and making sure that we are well fed during the entire process.

And those who helped by serving us lots of 'tea and cake' (to make the term more appropriately British) were just as essential in getting the task accomplished in time as is anyone else. Equal credits to all! 

I know in principle that sounds simplistic, the reality is far more complex especially in a working environment but in domestic situations and little projects it's best to let someone help by letting them do what they do best rather than force them to do something they're not good at. As long as it's complemental of course, you'll find that things are likely to get done quicker and more efficiently if done that way.

And that includes 'just serving tea and cakes'. It's amazing how revitalising such an act is to the senses, how it instantly relaxes you and recharges your battery, able to carry doing what you're doing and in a better mood too! Do not underestimate the power of 'tea and cake' and the one who serves it!
Now looking back out of the window again, it looks so wet and miserable. We might just take it easy and join in on the celebrations after all, one way or the other. And whatever you get up to this long weekend, have a lovely one!

And now I raise my cup of tea and piece of cake as I say 'Happy Diamond Jubilee!!' to the Queen!

Mark :-)


  1. So Happy Celebration, and i love a piece of that snack, looks very delicious. It is lovely when complimentation in work is always available, but when the other half is lazy, it is something else!

  2. It's still early here and now you've gone and made me hungry. :) Those look great.

    Cher Sunray Gardens

  3. Mark, your 'tea and cake' looks super yummy! Your photos are such a pleasant reminder of our vacation in England. Unfortunately we had to leave yesterday morning and missed out on the Coronation Jubilee Celebration. But at least we enjoyed all the preparations, have seen seen the flags, tall and little ones, coming up and whole small villages getting dressed up for it.

  4. What a great article! I agree with you wholeheartedly. That's why I have an accountant do my taxes or an electrician fix a faulty outlet. I'm good at my work, they're good at theirs. That doesn't mean I don't try new things. Quite the opposite. After all, I need to first find out whether I'm good at something.

    But I know there is one thing I'm a master at: eating cake :-).

  5. Wow! That all looks so yummy! Happy Celebrations to all and to your country! There will be other days for work, but this rare event happens probably once in a lifetime.

  6. Very patriotic and it look yummy too.

  7. Sorry to hear about the Sunday weather, at least you have those cakes and they sure look good. What kind are they? Is that clotted cream? Happy Diamond Jubilee to QEII!

  8. Hi Andrea, Cher, the scones, cream, and jam is so yummy! I didn't make any of them, just happy enough to eat them :)

    Christina, glad to hear you're back home now. Hope you had a wonderful stay here. The atmosphere here is festive despite the dull weather. Then there's the Olympics to look forward to as well.

    Gerhard, glad you enjoyed the post! And same here, very good at eating cakes!

    Thanks David! I enjoy seeing how enthused people are with the occasion as much as the events itself. It's a lovely long weekend so far :)

    Mark, yes it is yummy!

    Hi Bom, yes it's scones, jam, and clotted cream :)


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