Casa Rosales

Casa Rosales

Saturday, 3 September 2011

A little {moment}

This is a today {moment} - one to which I would like to add a few words, so not in the {this moment} category.
Today, the weather is chillier and somewhat damp - a novelty after the months of hot, sunny, Andalucian Spanish summer.
Today, I wanted my coffee hot - not long, cool, iced and in a glass. (I never thought I'd drink coffee in a glass - having watched, with an element of near-disgust, my husband indulging in this act for many years - but here, it seems right.) But not today.

Today, I reached to the back of the cupboard to where I had stored one of my treasured possessions - out of reach of other hands - to withdraw the most perfect receptacle for a steamy, frothed mug of freshly-brewed coffee. A gift from a very dear, very funny, very possibly unique person who had the knack - nay, the talent - for buying the perfect present. And she bought lots of presents for lots of people. She loves to shop and has a wonderful eye for a bargain - and when we worked together, we would often compare purchases as I too knew the places to go to find special things at special prices. But I admit I wasn't in Susan's league because I don't think she ever really switched out of that 'ooh, so-and-so would love that' and inevitably, so-and-so really did love it when they received it on their birthday or at Christmas.

And one year, I opened a Christmas present from Susan and was immediately enchanted by a gorgeous square box - whose pattern was reflected in the mug contained inside - redolent of chocolate, coffee and cooking, my passions. And the mug was a wonderful weight - not too heavy but not a silly flimsy thing - and my Christmas was perfect. For the following three years or so, this mug was used every single day at work where I followed my one true ritual - I'm not usually a creature of habit - that of my morning coffee. I had a cafetiere into which I put a good heaping of quality coffee (and occasionally, my disorganisation showing through, I had to beg, borrow or steal some if I'd inadvertently allowed myself to run out of my own...) and as that steeped, I'd heat my milk. At first, I had a hand-frother, that required a bit of manual pumping to get a good froth but Hayley, a long-term work colleague and friend, who worked in the next office turned up one day with a little battery-operated machine that frothed silently and quickly - such altruism! And then the wonderful combination of the two steaming liquids - milk first, coffee through the middle - and a little sprinkling of chocolate on the top.

(And as I say that I'm not one for habitual practices, I remember another period in my working life, after I'd found a beautiful china cup and saucer in an antiques shop - pure white, with a fine gold rim and a perfect shape - and I only drank peppermint tea from it and it was my cup and no one else would have touched it. Perhaps I should check myself for other signs of obsession...However, the cup got chipped and hence discarded and since then, I only occasionally drink peppermint tea and hardly ever use a cup and saucer.)

Before I left my job, I moved offices; actually, as part of a big money-saving scheme restructure, I opted to have my home as my work-base though I had two other bases in the town centre. One of these was with my team, who had also been re-housed - in an old, externally rather grand, Victorian building - where they inhabited four rooms on the top floor. Lovely views from the drafty sash windows but unfortunately, the rather sickening smell of a MacDonalds, which was next door at street level. Now, where was I? Ah yes. My mug went to this office, along with my coffee-making paraphernalia. But once, I found Zah providing a guest a cup of tea in MY mug - I ask you - and I confess that I didn't behave very professionally. I insisted the tea was removed from my mug and then personally made the guest another drink in a different mug. Only Zahid could have got away with this sort of behaviour - I would and could forgive this lovely man absolutely anything. However, my mug came home with me the same day. And when we left England, it was safely packed away and only emerged from a box one year later when we went up to Leon to liberate more of our belongings.

Today is the day it came back into its own. And just in time. The damp, cool weather of the morning has dissipated as I have been writing and the sun is now shining as strongly as ever, just reaching my shoulder and urging me to change out of the trousers and jumper I put on first thing. But I have had the perfect start to my day - a delicious coffee in the perfect mug and a plethora of lovely memories.

Thank you Susan; thank you Hayley; sorry Zah!


  1. There are sacred things, aren't there?

  2. You are absolutely right! Axxx

  3. Welcome back to a cooler world Annie. Here in the North I need my wake-up coffee to warm me up: 12 degrees right now. Oh, and I am using a china mug that was bought for me by someone special and NOBODY else has ever used it - so I know just how you feel.


  4. I grinned at this one. I spent considerable years as an office cleaning lady so knew who owned what and was often asked if I knew where mugs/fruit bowls etc had disappeared to. I invariably knew because I would have spotted them on the "wrong" desks. I had to be the soul of discretion at times ;O)))))))))))

  5. i must have missed this post because of being en route home from France, Annie. Oh, the importance of one's own mug in the office setting. Some things really are sacrosanct, especially a mug as lovely as this. :-)


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