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  • Writer's picture Natasha Castelijn

Tea Time

I am a self-confessed tea lover. I love a variety of herbal teas; camomile, rosehip, ginger, lemon and peppermint. I love ordinary black tea, either with milk or a weak black tea. I love the comfort of wrapping my hands around a warm cup, drinking the tea and having its warmth sip through me. But most of all I love the social aspect of drink tea with others.

In my house I have an electric kettle that whistles like the old stove top kettles. The kettle heralds loudly that it’s teatime. When all my daughters lived at home this was the cue to stop whatever they were doing to come down and have tea. In fact, having a quiet cup on my own was non-existent. It was our special time of catching up, talking about our hopes and dreams, solving the world’s problems and philosophising. It was (is and will always) be a special time. It was a time to laugh and be silly and a time to morn over loss. Not just with my girls but also with my mum and sister, with my mother in law and sister in laws. With my friends. All the special people in my life have shared a cup of tea with me.

Early March 2020 Australia officially went into lock down due to the COVID-19. That first Sunday of isolation was what hit me the hardest. The not knowing when I would see my three daughters who live interstate. Though I have one still at home I yearned to see them all together. Maybe we would not see them again this year? At that stage, the concept of being isolated was filled with fear and uncertainty. I did not know when I would be sipping tea with all my girls again.

The Teacups were birthed in this grief for loss of special times. They are all of a particular teacup I have. It had a photo shoot in my kitchen, taking numerous photos of it to get to the final six that you see now on my website. The first two painted were Earl Grey and Lady Grey. They were a bit too distinguished to reflect the teatime we had together which is when I decided to paint the herbal teas. I now have not just as original artworks but high quality 20 x 20cm prints available.

Here in Queensland we are no longer in isolation, yet the second wave of COVID-19 hangs over us as Victoria’s cases remain high. I have seen one of my daughters who lives interstate and am looking forward to seeing the other two, but who knows when.

Most of all my heart goes out to those who have lost family and friends, those who lost jobs and income and those who are now isolated and alone. I believe we can follow guidelines and have a cup of tea together - even if it’s over the fence, at the park, in the front yard, however, those cups of tea together do matter.

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