My favourite time of day

Do you know what my favourite time of day is?

What do you mean, ‘yes’? 🙂

*ahem*

I was pondering this very question the other day. There are several contenders for the title.

First, there’s the early morning.

No, stay with me here. I’m not talking stupidly early, but  I like to get up half an hour before everyone else in the house (on weekdays at least) so I can get ready, have breakfast and a shower and so on before I need to go wake everyone else up.

But the best bit? The very best bit?

tea

That cup of tea. The first cup of the day, nice and strong and absolutely piping hot. I like to sip and savour it whilst standing in the kitchen looking out of my window and contemplating the day ahead. The peace and quiet before I wake the horde above… It’s a moment to be savoured, and absolutely worth getting up slightly earlier for.

Next is lunchtime. Not only does it involve lunch (yay, food), but it’s a chance to get up and away from my desk, stretch my legs and go for a wander, and, quite possibly, a nice cup of something hot. Yes, there’s a trend emerging…

Just sitting and watching the world go by, or reading a good book.

The rest of the day is inevitably pretty busy with other assorted Real LifeTM stuff. The school run, tea, helping the kids with homework (mainly reminding them that they do *have* homework and can they get on with it please, it’s due in tomorrow!), playing games (once homework is done). All of which are good in their own ways.

But my favourite bit? My *absolute* favourite bit?

After everyone has gone to bed. Sometimes late at night I go outside and just revel in the peace and quiet. Just for a few minutes. The silence that the end of day brings. Cars have got to where they’re going to. The street is peaceful, apart from the occasional fox or even more occasional hedgehog bumbling past. On a clear night I like to take a breather and just look at the stars. Put the world in perspective.

On a slightly-related-but-not-really-but-I-like-it-so-here-it-is note, there’s a wonderful video over at TED, where Rives talks about 4am. It’s brilliant. As they put it

Poet Rives does 8 minutes of lyrical origami, folding history into a series of coincidences surrounding that most surreal of hours, 4 o’clock in the morning.

It’s one of my favourite of the TED talks, and well worth eight minutes of your time.

What’s your favourite time of day?

The Great Mug Incident of ’13

Tea or coffee?
I need a new mug.

I had a work mug, identical to the hundreds of others which everyone got recently. Most of these mugs ended up in the kitchens, but I’d managed to hold onto this one specific mug since I got it. So, it was with no small amount of sadness that today it got lost amongst all the other identical mugs in the dishwasher.

It wasn’t me who put it there, I hasten to add. Now, to the casual observer, it was just another mug. But this was my mug. I’d washed it every night and kept it safe on my desk. Could you not just take one of the other mugs, I was asked. The ‘exactly the same as the one you lost’ went unsaid.

No. That was my mug.

I know it sounds silly. I know, I know.

So now, I need to go mug shopping. I’ve had a number of mugs over the years, but there are some quite specific requirements when it comes to getting The Perfect Mug.

  • Size. Despite what they say, when it comes to mugs, size *is* important. Too small, and you’re into multiple tea rounds. Too large, and it’s cold by the time you get to the bottom of the cup.
  • Handle. You need a good handle on a mug, one which facilitates carrying multiple cups for the aforementioned tea round. I’ve had mugs with handles which are too small, making the multi-carry tricky, or with sides which slope, causing the tea to slosh.
  • Design. I’m not a huge fan of the gimmicky slogan mugs. I like them to be a little plainer and understated. That said, my favourite ‘at home’ mug is the Starbucks City Mug I got in Barcelona. Perfect size, good handle, straight sides. Trouble is, Barcelona is a long way to go to get a replacement. And getting one from here with ‘London’ on it just isn’t quite right.

So, dear reader, I’m in the market for The Perfect Mug. I’ve got my eye on a few potentials, but am open to suggestions…

* The mugs in the photo aren’t the identical ones I was referring to. Yes, they are identical. But the pendantic amongst you will note that they’re cups, not mugs. Well spotted, you.