"Cup of tea with three, please."
Did you just wrinkle your nose up at that? Yeah, that's the expression I am usually met with when someone ask me if I want a brew.
"What's the problem?" I ask. "It's me that's drinking it!"
The brew maker usually eyes me suspiciously and tries to counterbalance their shock with the fact that they are using extra sugar for me.
"Not really," I reply and continue with the explanation that my husband has no sugar in his brew (he's a coffee drinker - let's just park that there for now) but could have two sugars in it like he used to. If I had two and he had two that would be four spoons of sugar so, in actual fact, by me having three sugars, I'm saving you some. Reverse logic or just an answer for everything?
Truthfully, there is nothing better that a good strong cup of tea though although I am quite specific with my brew making. I'm not one for newfangled flavours (although I am partial to the occasional fruit tea) and I don't like weak teabags; in fact, if you have those, please use two teabags instead of one for me. You have to leave the teabag in for a bit longer than you think it should be in there, squeeze it well, add the milk and then the sugar. Give it a good stir and serve.
I've written this short story to introduce you to a great little writing opportunity. Tetley is 175 years old this year and they have joined forces with CLIC Sargent to create a book entitled, "You, Me and a Cup of Tea" which will be launched on 1st October 2012 The limited edition book is a collaboration of short stories from celebrities, journalists, tea drinkers extraordinaire and people who have been supported by CLIC Sargent.
To be considered for inclusion in the book you need to write a personal story of no more than 250 words and it must be about a special moment shared over a cup of tea. Maybe write about the time you told your dad he was going to be a grandfather or when you asked your best mate to be your bridesmaid.
Send your stories into firstname.lastname@example.org or post them to My Tea Story, PO Box 68930, London, E1W 9HP. The closing date for entries is Friday 17th August 2012 and successful entries will be notified by Friday 24th August 2012. If you can, include a picture of yourself and the person you're writing about.
I would love to hear if you are going to enter. Let me know in the comments.
UPDATE: YOU CAN READ ABOUT THE PUBLISHED BOOK HERE
NB: Please do not send any entries to me.
I have no affiliation with the competition but support fund raising for CLIC Sargent.