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||Dear Nicey (and Wife of course!),|
I recently bought your book, having seen a copy in my son's shared student house and not having time to read it properly before it was time to go back home after delivering all his Stuff for him. I don't really do the web thing as access isn't easy but books ... well, I really love books! The students in his house are all tea freaks and have a wonderful collection of pots which they use for communal drinking sessions.
At home, the Man prefers Earl Grey and I like Darjeeling. Sometimes we drink the same and use a pot but it's just one of those standard steel ones - but it pours so well we keep using it. (We drink it the best way of course, ie black and not too strong, so you get the fragrance and flavour just right. *grin*)
Anyway, the point of this is to share with you something about pouring and spouts, which I learnt from my Dad only this morning. He's rather old and only drinks horrible instant coffee with lots of milk and sugar when he's at home, but a while ago he had to spend quite a lot of time in hospital and there he got used to drinking tea (also horrible with lots of milk and sugar!). The lady with the tea wagon used to pour out a whole trayful at once and Dad was at leisure to watch this activity and observe the results. He still has an enquiring mind and noticed that the giant teapot poured badly when it was full but better later on. The results of the study indicated that the angle of the spout is critical, and further occasional study by him at home involving watering cans and milk jugs supported this theory. If the liquid coming out of the spout is already pointing downwards when it leaves the spout (ie if you have a nice curvy tipped spout) then it pours tidily; however, if your spout points upwards so the liquid has to struggle to achieve downward motion then it invariably gives up and sneaks down the side of the pot/jug/watering can. This is where the end-of-the-pot bit works - when it's nearly empty the spout is pointing much more down than when it's full.
I haven't tested this for myself but it does sound like a good excuse for a few more cups of tea to be made ....
|Nicey replies: Thank you for passing your father's sage learning. I fear that entire sum of human knowledge and enquiry to date has failed to properly quantify and explain the forces and mechanisms at work when tea is poured from a pot. The design of such important things being left to the creative whimsey of artisans rather than the directed research of physicists and mathematicians.
Perhaps if we roped in Mr Dyson he could come up with something sure fire, given his successes in getting 'hoovers' to pick up fluff off of carpets.
As we crossed the Irish sea on our way back from this years tea tour I was treated to an unusual scene in the men's toilets. An elderly American chap, properly attired in comfortable chequered clothing was raving about the hand dryer. It was another one Mr Dyson's inventions.
The old fella was so impressed, his words were "that's the first goddamn one of those that I've used that's ever worked", and he promptly took a photo of it with his digital camera.
I rushed back and immediately told Nanny Nicey, who prides herself on taking offbeat and tedious holiday photos with which to stupefy her rambling circle. Her pictures of unusually shaped collecting containers at French recycling points were in danger of being eclipsed by this old boys pictures of maritime toilet fixtures.