You cannot underestimate how attached the English are to tea. In my experience they are second only to the Irish. Being from an Irish family living in London, I claim a little knowledge on this subject!
We have a very dear family friend who once told me how, whenever her dad used to take his first sip of a cup of tea, he would sigh and exclaim “Aah! Life saving liquid”. I thought it was such a good expression and stuck in my mind. For a long while I wanted to try and work this phrase into an embroidery.
Our friend’s dad, Ted, was a tall man with a shock of marvellous white hair. I often remember him and his wife, May, taking one of their regular brisk walks in our neighbourhood and thinking what a beautiful couple they were. Ted had a distinct turn for comedy and would always make me and my brother laugh. One particularly clear memory I have is when he told us all about battle he was waging against the slugs in the garden. I won’t go into detail, but suffice to say, he was showing them no mercy!
Starting my sabbatical last year gave me the opportunity to get some of my ideas out of my head and on to a hoop. “Life Saving Liquid” was the very first one I made and was also my first ever cross stitch design. Making that hoop gave me several ideas for other designs.
Sadly, Ted died whilst we have been away in Italy. So when we returned to London last week, it just seemed right to give our friend the original hoop I made of this design.
It is quite interesting for me to consider the first piece of work I started on when we arrived in Italy last summer. My sabbatical is shortly coming to an end so it is natural to look back over the last year. We have visited many wonderful places and have had lots of adventures but I love that I have lots of stitching memories too!
My husband and I have been making decisions about what we should do when my sabbatical year finishes. We think we have a plan….but maybe I will share that next time.