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 The Scent That Captures That "1930s Moment"!

All material copyrighted to © 2014

or to the various credited sources © 2014



If anything restores the wilting spirits of shrinking violets

Into early evening, apart from a warm reviver –the ambrosial

Chalice of a cup of browny, O to put one’s feet up with

A cup of cha, customary tipple of the violet hour, the spirit’s

Eternal elevenses, sempiternal tea-time, perpetual six

‘O’ clock after that March Hare’s row with Chronos, which

Crowds out Alice in a riot of echoing crockery –With a cup

Of tea in your hand, anything is possible… especially if

Infused with the Vedic spices and clairvoyant vibrations

Of Violet-Scented Tea –favourite of Madame Blavatzsky,

Perfect complement to her “inextinguishable cigarettes”,

Thick Black Russians, for they do say caffeine heightens

One’s psychic receptiveness, nothing like the warm and

Wet stuff to arouse the synapses, put frontal lobes on backburners,

Let the Unconscious trickle up to the surface, tap the vestigial

Pituary gland back into focus, then swill around the tea-leaves

For a spot of fortune-telling at the end, once you’ve sipped up

The last dregs of nectar –nothing quite like a spot of tea and

Clairvoyancy, and a nice bicameral block of Battenburg,

Some pink and yellow checkered sponge to absorb the psychic sap,

All wrapped up in floury yellow marzipan, pinched into

The dip between cup and saucer, going soggy against piping-

Hot porcelain, balanced on the lap –indeed, who was it said,

“There is no trouble so great or grave that cannot be much

Diminished by a nice cup of tea”…? Ah! Bernard-Paul Heroux,

Whose name used to materialise mysteriously through porous

Paper sachets of Tregothnan, the only English-grown tea…


I like a nice cup of tea in the morning,

For to start the day you see –

And when it's time for bed, there's a lot to be said


And about this time of night

When everything's alright

I like a nice cup of Teeeeeeeeaaaaaaaaa!

And around half past eleven my idea of heaven


I like a nice cup of tea with my dinner,

and a nice cup of tea with my tea,

and about this time of night

what goes down a treat, you're right,

Is a nice cup of tea

and round about seven,

well my idea of heaven

is a nice cup of tea...




If anything restores the fading roses of the dying day,

The sighing roses of the the dying day, the rose and pinking

Dusky sky, the sunken hour up to purple twilight, violet

Twilight, the violet hour, which since ancient times has marked

Our lowest ebbs, our low-swinging pendulous spirits,

Our tiredness, our death-sense, but also our ends of labours

For the day, the time of clocking-off when circadian

Rhythms slow down to a steady rock until lullabying

Bedtime, rock-a-bying bedtime; that hour of home-time,

Of returning to our nests, our warm or empty nests, our

Fire-lit wholesome hearths, our wives’ or husbands’ pain-

Absorbing arms, or to the shadow-flickered caves of cold

Lonely rooms, unnourishing studios or temporary bedsits,

Dim-lit digs of grim dimensions extemporised by partitions

And screens only half-attentive to our anxieties and

Confessional needs as close twilit relatives, isolated

Fathers, widowed mothers, spinster aunts –but where,

For a kitchenette’s greasy propinquity, there is no separation,

Olfactorily speaking, from the mouldering smells of perishable

Food and violet odours of slumber’s soul-food; this is

The purgatorial quarantine that impersonates ‘Home’ for

The unattached, untouched or chronically reclusive;

The rental Coventry for the out-of-work, or unacknowledged

Community volunteer, the unrecognised shadow-

Philanthropist, the temporary person –alone, the only soul

Who hears the throb of the permanent office as the hubbub

Of Time’s rushing stream that their toes alone know they

Cannot step into twice –who, like some stranded Crusoe,

Or a Polynesian oyster-catcher, prises rusty shells of tins

Open with penknife or spoon-end, then peels off the lids,

Ritualistically, to gouge out soggy globules for supper…


At the violet hour, when the eyes and back

Turn upward from the desk…

I Tiresias, though blind, throbbing between two lives,                                                                                                                                                        

                                                                             …can see

At the violet hour, the evening hour that strives

Homeward, and brings…

The typist home at tea-time, clears her breakfast, lights

Her stove, and lays out food in tins…



                                             [III. The Fire Sermon, The Waste Land, T.S. Eliot]

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