Saturday 20th May was the Melbourne Tea Festival, which, on Facebook, comes under the auspices of Tea Festivals.
Went last year, drank lots, bought lots, still drinking some of that. Very crowded, many stalls, T2 taking up the most space. Odd, because they are in many shopping centres.
Anyway, they weren't there this year, and it was more artisan teas, and small businesses.
Last year, it was all about green tea. This year, it was chai.
A sign of the trendy hipster influence?
Certainly the amount of turmeric chai tea on offer indicates a strong trendy café influence.
It's $20 to get in, and then, small porcelain tea cup in hand, I wandered the aisles. Every stall had a crowd of people, so I utilised the elbows, patience, and long arms of PizzaBoy to get in for me.
"Go PizzaBoy, fetch me some slurps!"
And he did.
I drank my way through green teas, rooibos teas, chai's, turmeric chai's, fruit tisanes. Most were good, a few foul beyond belief.
I managed to book a tea leaf reading with Tea With Annie, and scored a reading with the very pregnant Annie herself. A lovely lady, full of light, and delight. I arrived early for my reading, naturally, being a Capricorn who frets about lateness, so I urged her to stuff her face with food while she had the chance. To my motherly mind, she didn't eat enough for lunch, but likely, in her late stage of pregnancy, can't fit much in at any one time.
I drank my herbal tea, straining the herbs through my teeth, and, upon her instruction, tipped my cup upside down on the saucer and let it sit.
When she picked it up, she waited for further drops to drip out, and said: "When the tea cup cries like this, it's an indication to drink more tea, you're dehydrated". Well, I dunno about drink more tea. I'd just siphoned about 3 litres into the toilet. But she was likely right about being dehydrated. I needed more water.
To me, the herbs just looked like a big clump, but, armed with a metal skewer, Annie pulled images and meaning.
Now, all she knew about me was my first name, and my mobile phone number, which I'd rather scrawled down. We'd not met before.
First up, she remarked on the heart shape of the clump of herbs, pointing out aorta and other valves. She said that if I was to look after any aspect of my health, heart needed to come first.
As I'd spent a day the prior week with a Halta heart monitor on, because I've been having palpitations, and occasional skipped beats(my heart has always skipped beats on occasion, but it's recent that it's become painful when it does so). Heart is fine, according to the 12 hour scan done. Sure, my heart totally behaved itself. Not a palp or skip in sight. Half an hour after ripping the ruddy, rash-inducing pads off, palpitations. Go figure. (Like the magic that happens in a doctor's office, you start feeling better while sitting there.)
I have taken note of Annie's remarks, and am slowing my life down again, as I think the heart stuff is anxiety.
Annie pointed out a giraffe shape made of calendula and rooibos leaves.
"Are you a writer?"
She said that giraffes usually come up in the cups of writers. I am so very happy to have had a giraffe in my cup. (Title of writing memoir)
She said that something to do with the writing, an opportunity, or success, will come up in about four months. So there's some impetus to get a memoir finished to first draft through edit stage, and send it somewhere. Likely to be the spiritual memoir, as that's the one I'm closest to atm.
Gosh, what else did she say?....
She saw a wedding in the family (yes, TwentiesGirl, November), and.... Annie is not the first intuitive to think that TG and CarMan will add a fourth child to their household in a few years, another girl, and a girly girl this time. So far, two other psychics have picked that up, and me.
No pressure, TG, just carry on with raising your three brood right now.
Annie picked up my own intuitive gifts and talents. We chatted about tarot being my forte, and not hers, and tea leaf reading being hers, and not mine. She put me on to a transparent tarot that can build up images when pulled cards are placed on top of each other.
We then had a wee bitch-fest about a certain coffee cup reader who has been unpleasant to both of us.
I can't remember what else she said now. I'm still rather full of myself that the giraffe was in my cup. Yes, I'm a writer. Even the gods, and the tea gods, and the tea leaves think so. Not that I was in any doubt, but in times past, readers have picked up 'musician' over and over, and I have all the musical skill of an avocado.
After the reading, I continued my merry slurping way, although my palate was rather jaded, and so was my nose. I couldn't tell a green rose tea from a jasmine tea. Besides, there's only so much tea I can drink before my tongue feels furry and dry, and my stomach says 'for pity's sakes, woman, eat something'.
A few food trucks were selling stuff, but the Vietnamese tofu bowl PB bought me was far too spicy for this unadventurous eater. I fancied it was upsetting my vata dosha (I've been a bit keen on Ayurvedic stuff since my last Byron Bay trip).
I did a quick trip through the 'blend your own tea' section, where I made a warming and calming tea, with a chamomile base, plenty of rose and calendula, some ginger, clove, and some blue mallow flowers. It tastes...okay.
And I was done. I couldn't face any more tea, didn't want the macarons on offer, or the fancy red bean tea cakes, so we choofed off.
A walk along Southbank in the sunshine, and onto the train for home.
Pleasant day out, but the body and brain were telling me it was a step too far in a busy week. I had the shakes, and the brain addles.
Still, I'd go again next year, provided I drink up all my tea in the meantime...