Friday, October 18, 2013

Queen of the Tea Cosy and her High Priest, and some radio treats

My sister is the Queen of the Cosy.  That is to say the tea cosy, or the coffee cosy, and perhaps others.  One particular example she had in her stock, a neutral linen edged with multicolour silk pompoms, caught my eye and I begged it off her. In fact we have more than one of her tea cosies in operation already, a couple of chickens and an elephant (in the shape of), so didn't see the need to contaminate this one with tannin stains.

Instead I used it to transform John-Pierre/ Josephine-Pierrette into the High Priest of the Cosy.  JP is my polystyrene head.  I ordered him/her at very little expense from Hongkong via E-bay (same as all my lovely bamboo knitting needles and crochet hooks which I bought in complete sets for about the price of a single pair), because I had a fancy for making knitted hats and felting them but didn't really fancy shaping the wet soggy fabric on my own head.  The head has the letters JP moulded into the back of his/her neck, hence the names, and is supposed to be a male since it is 23 inches in circumference, the female version being a couple of inches smaller which isn't big enough for me or many other westerners, and has been wearing the straw hat from Quessoy Straw Hat Sunday shown in the bottom right of the picture.

JP is also sporting a bow brooch also made by my sister, here she is making some more,

these ones shaped like birds which looks a bit like Nogbad's crows in Noggin the Nog, only more charming. I love Noggin the Nog, we paid a visit to the Isle of Lewis Chess Set in homage.


After a day of carpet cleaning and other such wholesome chores, and a morning of errands and cat feeding, and with no lessons to prepare for the boys for tomorrow as they are on holiday and doing Chinese courses, I indulged in a pleasant hour or two with radio, podcasts, dog and, guess what, knitting, which yielded this, a wonderful play about a block of London flats (apartments) and its inhabitants, and a man sent to fix the lift (elevator), who turns out to be something of an angel unawares, (but it's not one of those quasi-supernatural, oh-he-was-really-an-angel conceits, it purposefully subverts that several times). It's moving and uplifting and unsettling and well worth forty-five minutes if you have them, and it's available for a week from today.  Also a Food Programme about slow and pressure cookers.  Yes I really do get a buzz out of listening to such things. I learned that the pressure cooker was invented in the 17th century by an expat Frenchman in London using the lab of Boyle (he of Boyle's Law) out of hours, who cooked all kinds of things in it with a view to making rough and cheap food more edible to poor people.  His invention failed to take off and he died in poverty, but pressure cookers are now the preferred method of all kinds of food preparation all over the world, except, it seems, among the British, who were put off by scary big aluminium versions with dodgy regulation and a propensity to explode, and the rather horrid bland and soggy culinary matter they produced, which I can only confirm.  However, I shall now look with a little more favour on the next wave of autocuisseurs and cocottes minutes that appear to an enthusiastic reception here.

And that will do for today!


Zhoen said...

I don't even have a tea cozy, I feel a bit neglected.

Roderick Robinson said...

I am saddened by the gulf this post opens up. Some people instinctively understand interior decor (more specifically what will enhance the insides of their houses) but I am not among them. There's an imaginative leap - often several of them - that is beyond me and I'm left like a cartoon character, my legs flailing in thin air above the abyss before gravity takes over. My enhancing gesture fails.

You see how it is. The first part of this post didn't start with tea cosies but an impulse expressed on ebay. And then there were other steps, completely esoteric from my point of view. I get the feeling the process hasn't stopped yet. A pair of swimming goggles will appear over JP's vestigial eyes but - and here's the mega-point - they will seem in some way utterly appropriate. Were I to attempt such a gesture the goggles would look crass and - yes, I must confess - born out of a male mind.

Take tea cosies. Faced with one during my youth (in fact I haven't seen one since) I reacted male-ly. I put it on my head. And that was that. Aesthetic potential? Don't make me laugh. So the gulf is one of gender. No I wouldn't have it any other way but I reserve the right to be sad on certain occasions and in reaction to certain posts.

Beth said...

I've never had a tea cosy either but admit I'm quite enamored of those silk pompoms!

Lucy said...

Thanks chaps.

I really can't believe there is so little take up of tea cosies. They can get a bit scuzzy and disgusting it's true; we have one for upstairs and one for down, which avoids the spillage from the spout and consequent staining occasioned when one carries the tray upstairs. And of course if one only ever has one cup from a single brew, or even doesn't use a tea-pot at all, there is little reason for one, but if one likes to go back for a top-up, which to my mind often tastes better than the first pouring, there is much to be said for keeping the pot warm.

My sister sells a few, so there must be a some people who use them; when she does so at craft fairs, Christmas markets etc, there are always to be seen a number of males walking around with them on their heads. Billy Connolly has much to answer for.

Lucy said...

Oh yes, and I heard somewhere that the good anti-oxidant things in tea are greatly increased when it is left to infuse for longer, so pop a cosy on the pot now! Or even a mini-cosy on your tea mug, I'm sure my sister would make you one...

Francesca said...

The head resplendent with tea cosy hat reminds me of Nefertiti (don't know if that's spelling is correct).

And I heard the play, which was a delight! There is something wonderful about a radio play, so much better and more satisfying than a story told on tv.

zephyr said...

i wish i had time to listen to the play...but i should visit the land of nod asap and there are only 11 hours left.

Your sister makes fab cosies!