“When you’re drinking tea you must always be polite to people, you don’t say anything disturbing, or discourteous, that goes with coffee.”
-Alexander McCall Smith, Episode 25 of The Food Podcast
This is Alexander McCall Smith, but he says you can call him Sandy. He’s our guest on episode 25.
Sandy is a Scottish writer and Emeritus Professor of Medical Law at the University of Edinburgh. I invited him on the podcast to discuss his use of tea in his novels. But our conversation quickly diverted towards tea etiquette, kindness and the importance of ritual. Of course the No. 1 Ladies’ Detective Agency is discussed; tea breaks are at the heart of detection, I’m sure Mma Ramotswe would say. Meditation is also woven in, along with the importance of packing tea (and a tea pot) when traveling. So put the kettle on, curl up, and have a listen. And remember to be polite, unless, of course, you’re drinking coffee.
We also talk about:
- Nigel Slater’s The Christmas Chronicles
- Julia Turshen’s Small Victories
- The Iliad and the Oddessy
- The Wind in the Willows
- Andrew Johnson’s Holistrio via the podcast Hashtag Authentic
- Wallace and Grommit
- Stieg Larsson’s Girl with the Dragon Tattoo
- Teasmade – the tea-making alarm clock (you’ll find Mr. Bean’s skit in there too)
- Mozart’s Cosi fan tutte, Soave sia il vento “May the breeze that takes you off on your journey be a gentle one, and may all your desires be met.”
- The House of Unexpected Sisters – the latest in the No.1 Ladies’ Detective Agency series