I know what you are thinking, how can an innocent, frankly relatively boring cup of tea ever be described as illicit? No, I am not trying to 'sex up' the humble teabag! The sad truth of the matter is that with five children consuming anything whilst it is still hot can be quite a challenge. I am well known for forgetting I've even put the kettle on to boil, if I actually get past this point there is a high likelihood I will only drink half my cuppa possibly even forgetting about it altogether as I answer the requests of my various offspring.
'Mum, can you put the wii on?'
'Mum, I can't find my book/DS/pen/jumper/trainers' delete as applicable
'Mum, Kerrie is pulling the wallpaper off........'
'Mum can I have something to eat/drink'
I am sure you get the idea and you probably recognise the pattern. My cooling mug abandoned as I see to their ever changing needs. But, I am Welsh, I need my cup of tea. Coffee will not do, coffee belongs in cakes, in my world coffee is reserved for the tongue tingling crunchy iced topping of Cafe Noir biscuits, I am still bemoaning the demise of coffee flavoured iced gems - anyway I digress as I often do.
I need my cup of tea, I am addicted. I admit it, I need a cuppa when I wake, breakfast I can postpone but a cup of tea is an essential. I don't do mornings, I am a night owl at heart, I often stay up way too late so this simple act helps my poor brain cells adjust to the shock of waking up and prepares me for the challenges of the day ahead. Equilibrium restored.
It must be a family trait because if my parents or siblings phone me or arrive on our doorstep early-ish in the morning to be greeted by my scatty or befuddled state my simple explanation of 'I haven't had my brew yet' is enough, they understand.
We are all from the same stable, tea flows through our veins like water through The Thames. Two of my siblings even have their own mugs here. We all have our individual preferences but it is tea all the same. Just for the record in case you are ever making it mine is milk, no sugar and if I really get to be fussy it is Co-op 99 teabags unless I'm having a posh day then Earl Grey, yes I have my odd delusions of grandeur. Then we get to the most important bit, you must only allow the teabag and water to greet each other ' cup teabag- teabag cup' then out, no further conversation necessary. Perfect!
So we have established that my cuppa is important to me, if I ever go off tea I am ill, or pregnant.
Moving swiftly on, at the weekend I awoke bright and early, very odd for me but occasionally it has been known to happen. Lucy was asleep beside me so I popped her back into her crib and crept downstairs and put the kettle on.
There is something deliciously naughty about sneaking downstairs in the early hours, before they all awake to have a sneaky cup of tea. Not a hasty brew whilst getting on with cooking a meal or doing the washing up, but a blissful solo encounter with a cup of that divine amber liquid consumed in peace and quiet before the days activity begins. The hustle and bustle of family life forgotten for just a moment as I enjoy the luxury of drinking my cuppa whilst it is still hot.
Illicit encounters, I have five kids this is as good as it is going to get but this is bliss.