How did your morning start today? I’m guessing it was much the same way as every other good morning. Your sleepy head bent faithfully at the altar of the kettle, stove, espresso machine or plunger.
Our morning brew is the first of many drinking rituals to which we religiously tend. Whether you’re a coffee slugger or a tea drinker (Irish Breakfast, thanks for asking), doesn’t matter. The beauty lies in each careful step to get it just right.
At the risk of coming across all Goldilocks, ‘just right’ isn’t up for debate. When that first hot cuppa is good, you know. When it’s wrong, the entire day suddenly feels like a slog. Such is the power of a drinking ritual.
If the first of the day doesn’t quite go to plan, there’s always the follow up. Usually happening sometime later in the morning, the second cup of the day is even more important than the first. The mid-morning drink is often a shared experience. A chance to catch up with a mate, a lover, a colleague or your mum on the phone.
It’s summertime, so many of us will swap our second coffee for a smoothie. Right now I’m all about throwing frozen mango, banana, a scoop of LSA and milk into the Blendy and whizzing up a treat. Sucked down with one of those giant bamboo straws that delivers maximum drink for minimal effort, it’s absolute heaven.
By the time the mid-afternoon slump shrugs around, we realise just how much we rely on the pause that a drinking ritual brings. It’s a chance to down tools and focus on life’s quieter moments for a while. Sitting by a window, watching life drip by while you sip a chai, is truly golden.
Just now I paused to take a peppermint tea out onto the landing. I quietly stood watching the hustle of trains coming and going from the station, streams of people ebbing and flowing in their wake. I was instantly struck by the way holding a mug in my hand gave me permission to simply observe. A cup means you’re not to be disturbed; you’re already far too busy drinking, noticing, stopping. Not many of us would dare interrupt the busyness of a drinking ritual.
Over the afternoon hump we go and naturally, the day marches along, as days tend to do. Without those drinkable pauses, would we even have stopped at all?
It’s an important thing to ponder as we pour ourselves a sundowner. Whether it’s a favourite tipple or a tall glass of soda on ice with a squeeze of lime and a drop of honey (do try it), your late-afternoon bevvy tastes a lot like a sigh.
Ease yourself down, somewhere comfy, preferably with a view of the sunset-streaked sky. This particular drinking ritual is all about the surrender. All the she saids, he saids, dids and did nots can be sipped quietly away. It helps to share this drink with a friend, someone to add a giggle or two to punctuate your analysis.
Let the day slowly melt while you gently consider the evening. The ice tinkles growing quieter in your glass, a gentle song to wind down to. Slowly you’re ready to pick yourself up and begin whatever the night introduces you to.
At least until it’s time for your bedtime hot chocolate.
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