1 Aug 2013

afternoon tea

it is 17 degrees celsius,
the sun is dappled
through the trees
a gentle wind
sways and whistles leaves-

to my right
a sight of regeneration
a healing song
of our beloved magnolia
(who was painfully cut to a stump by neighbours)
and is now years later, covered in buds,
new branches reaching tall -

to my left
a happy toddler mess
of wooden blocks, washing basket trampoline,
wind up cars and animal cards -

beside me a vase of wild flowers
hand-pluked and ageing -
beautiful glimmer of spring,

in front I see the washing drying
woollens and cotton yards and hemp clothing
something about a wash of lovely garments
and promising fabric,

the sound of birds screeching,
cars moving, voices chattering
in arabic, english, macedonian -

a ritual at this time of afternoon
when babe and dadda play in the park
and I am left to my solitude for an hour or two,
for recollection, chore, craft,
book illustration,
prayerful, tea-drunk pause.

a generous square of slice is welcome too -
(flaked almonds, raisins, rolled oats,
coconut, golden honey,
buttery goodness)
in short:
a very pleasant
august afternoon indeed.

 ~ afternoon tea slice ~

1 cup plain wholewheat flour
1/2 cup rolled oats
1/2 cup desiccated coconut
1/2 cup brown sugar
1 tablespoon honey
1/2 cup raisins or other dried fruit
1/2 cup flaked almonds
pinch ground cinnamon
100g butter, melted
1 egg, lightly beaten

Melt butter in a saucepan and cool for a few minutes. Stir in all ingredients - add some extra flour if the mixture seems too runny (it should be on a thick and lumpy side). Spoon mixture onto a paper-lined square or rectangle tin - pressing flat with your fingertips or the back of a fork dipped in water so it doesn't stick to the mixture. Bake for 25-30 minutes in a moderate oven about 180'c (350'F). Cut into squares when cool....


  1. Your little afternoon solitude sounds lovely. I have been enjoying one morning a week to go to a coffee shop and read in the sun while my boy plays with his cousin at my sister's house close by.

    I am also so pleased to hear of the resurrected magnolia. We lived with a giant thorny patch in Vancouver for many months, then, to my horror, just as the flowers were beginning to grow in to beautiful blackberries, the landlord hacked them right back.

  2. Sigh. How beautiful. I'll definitely be trying your recipe, sounds just perfect for these warmer Winter days.

    ps just read your 'about' page so excited and a little sad to hear about your country move. We'll no longer be neighbours (not that we've ever met!) But, wow, what a wonderful, brave thing to do.

  3. Oh how I miss afternoon tea-- I need to start the tradition in America!

  4. those afternoon tea slices look so delicious!


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