After the midsummer fun and games I was press-ganged in a benign kind of a way into a building project I’d been hoping to dodge.
It was fun work, but darned hard, as well as terribly hot. Thirty degrees C might not melt some folks’ candles, but in Scandinavia those kind of temperatures might as well be the sunny side of Mercury.
At the close of play on day 1, I wound down with a session with some Haiwan Sweet Aroma, and looked forward to another day’s fun and games with power tools.
Unfortunately, one of the family had ridden into camp with some germ or other, and at some point during that first day of hard graft it had jumped ship and attached itself to me. The next day I woke up feeling far from refreshed and raring to go. It felt as though the entire right hand side of my face needed a 20,000 miles service. My right eye, ear, and the teeth on that side of my jaw seemed determined not to behave at all.
Still, never underestimate the restorative powers of tea. A pot of Bai Mu Dan saw me able to begin another day’s sawing and drilling, and regular cups of strong Ceylon (I have some Kooh-I-Noor broken orange pekoe squirrelled away there) managed to keep the worst of the heat and fever at bay. By now it was obvious that the project wouldn’t be finished inside it’s tight timescale if I tapped out, so I kept knocking back the good stuff and soldiered on.
Thankfully by early afternoon on the third day I was done building, and after hitting the shower I teased about 8 grams off of my sheng cake, and started a a mammoth session in a darkened room, the curtains drawn to give cool relief from the inferno outside.
Well, that session was as good as a course of antibiotics, acupuncture, massage, a blood transfusion, and aromatherapy all rolled into one. After a quick snooze I felt as good as new, aches and fever free.
After leaving the family summer house two days later, we faced a 4 hour drive North, to a small resort on the shore of lake Vättern, where Mrs. Teaist had booked us a cabin for a couple of nights so that she and Teaist Junior could indulge in a spot of beachy stuff. Once we were finally through the door of our temporary home I sprinted to the kitchen, and was relieved to find a kettle there. Approximately 6 minutes later I was lounging on the veranda with a Kamjove of sheng on the go.
When my womenfolk will be running through sand and splashing around in bracing waters, I’ll be content to take it very easy, filling my time with nothing more taxing than staring at trees and the lake beyond, reading Joe Hill’s novel “NOS4A2“, and drinking a lot of tea.
Tomorrow we’ll take off again, to our own wee slice of paradise balanced between a forest and a cliff. Early the next morning I’ll pull out my old Trangia, fire her up, and when the water’s boiled I’ll make a brew. I’ll sip my tea and listen patiently while the ants, gulls, and dragonflies tell me what they’ve been up to since we last met.
The pines will whisper and the beeches sigh, and maybe old Brock will pop by to say hello on his way home after his night shift, as he sometimes does.
Eventually I’ll finish my tea, and the magic will fade as quickly as the aroma in my cup. Then, when the first motorboat of the day skids past, the spell will be well and truly broken.
Until the next morning, that is. I’ll sit there out on that cliff and cast a new incantation. I’ll do the same the day after that, and yet again the day after that, each and every day until I run out of summer.