KAIETEUR – The Wonder Of!

KAIETEUR FALLS ON THE POTARO RIVER GUYANA South America

JANUARY 2019

Kaieteur Falls, a cataract on the Potaro River in the interior of Guyana, South America, at 741 feet is the second highest in the world, behind Angel Falls in Brazil. Kaieteur is four times higher than Niagara Falls in Ontario and twice that of Victoria Falls on the border of Zambia and Zimbabwe in Africa. A series of steep cascades extend Kaieteur Falls to 822 feet.

By volume of water flowing over it, Kaieteur is the world’s largest single-drop water fall.

Video was taken in January 2019 on a first-time, long overdue visit to one of the few remaining non-commercialized natural wonders. Access is mainly by aircraft.

SOURCE WIKIPEDIA

UNFATHOMABLE AND OTHER POEMS. Collection by Ken Puddicombe

UNFATHOMABLE AND OTHER POEMS. Collection by Ken Puddicombe

https://kenpud.wordpress.com/2020/07/22/unfathomable-and-other-poems/
— Read on kenpud.wordpress.com/2020/07/22/unfathomable-and-other-poems/

Into poetry? An easy read for a first time reader written by a first time poet!



On the yacht Jackdaw. There’s a storm coming.

Extract from the novel WINDWARD LEGS. Copyright Dave Moores and Middleroad Publishers.

A flick of lightning lanced down in the middle distance. Oh, here we go, Alice said to herself. She felt a clutch in her stomach.  No use wishing they were safely tied to the dock. This thing was coming for them and would arrive long before they could make harbour.

“You all saw that, right?” she said. “We’re only a couple of minutes from the windward mark and then we’ll be heading back towards the shore anyway. I suggest we keep racing, but if anyone wants to turn around right now, just say, and we will. No discussion.” So strongly did she believe this that she didn’t even consider asking Mr O.

They turned to him anyway. He stared right back.

Photo by Darius Krause on Pexels.com

“Your skipper asked you a question, why are you looking at me?” 

Thanks Mr O, she thought, much appreciated.

“I’m good,” said Marcus.

“I’m good,” said Derek.

“Go for it, we’re good here,” called Joss, from the rail. Teenagers: immortal of course.

She had one last question. “If it gets crazy, which sail do we drop first on these boats?” 

“The jib for sure.” answered Mr O, as they arrived at the windward mark.

Once around it, Jackdaw was sailing downwind with the mainsail out to one side as far as it would go, the wind pushing them from behind. 

The storm swept in fast, really fast. Spooky-looking skeins of pale cloud rolled in beneath the darkening overcast. A draft of chilled air felt like somebody opening a freezer door. Lightning strobed in the clouds, making deep booms Alice could feel in her chest. So far the wind was manageable, gusts showing up to thirty knots on the display. You’d have to be crazy to even think about hoisting the spinnaker.

Back at the mark, Tomahawk rounded with Fang right behind. Tomahawk was trying to reef his mainsail, a tough go with the boom way out to the side. The crew were screaming at each other and the sail flapped like crazy. Then the wind exploded it with a crack like gunfire, leaving shards of sailcloth fluttering from the mast. 

“He should’a done it when we did, you were right!” shouted Derek over the roaring wind and rush of water past the hull. 

 The tiller was kicking and pulling in Alice’s hand as Jackdaw careered along, rolling from side to side and barely under control. It was hard work, like driving a car without power steering. 

“Chas, can you come down?” she called, “I need a hand on the helm here.” She wasn’t sure why she’d chosen him, could be the smiley face and the mop of straw-coloured curls. It was tight quarters in her little steerer’s cockpit and he had to squeeze in next to her. She noticed the heft and warmth of his hard young man’s body. 

“Follow my movements, okay?” He gave a nod and a thumbs up and in seconds they had it together. They were side-by-side, he had an arm around her waist to brace them, and the other hand on the tiller next to hers. They weren’t fighting each other for control and it felt as if he knew her movements before she made them. She turned to gaze into his earnest young face. “You’ve sailed with a tiller before, right? I can tell.”

“A few times, yeh.” 

Good boy, more than a few, she suspected.

READ MORE OF THIS IN Dave Moores’ BOOK WINDWARD LEGS

Michael Joll. AUTHOR PROFILE

Born in England during the Late Pleistocene Age, Michael Joll has called Canada home since shortly after Confederation. He has held many jobs, from selling Continental Delicatessen in Selfridges on Oxford Street in London, to temporary part time deck hand and purser on a car ferry plying the North Reach of the Bay of Quinte. In between he was gainfully employed for forty years too many. Retired since 2004 (“The hours are great, the pay not so much”) he has spent most of that time writing fiction. He has lived in Brampton, Ontario since the mid-1970s with a wife (his own) and the memories of the dogs with whom he has been privileged to share his life.

MJoll New Background for CS
Author Michael Joll

Touch and Go. Short Short by Dave Moores

by Dave Moores

Dave Moores is the author of Attitude and Windward Legs. Both published thorough MiddleRoad Publishers.

The grassy pathway before me descended into an empty valley. Pretty summer clouds graced the sky, the day was bright, and the air carried the scent of fresh-cut hay. I had no notion of my purpose here and strangely this did not concern me.

An odd little man appeared at my side. His face displayed the lines and papery pallor of advanced age. He was formally clad in black, a cloth jacket over a white shirt and black tie. On his head,  a bowler hat. He carried a walking cane and wore unexpected black shorts. The ensemble was completed by dress shoes and socks, black as well—hardly appropriate for a ramble in the countryside. When he spoke his voice was surprisingly clear, the accent and diction refined. “Come along, we have to get below right away.” He beckoned to me and set off down the path with a nimble gait. I felt compelled to follow.

Photo by Thgusstavo Santana on Pexels.com

A single-track railway line came into view. Strange again, that I had not observed it sooner. My guide pressed on and our path turned left beside the track. Around a bend we came upon a small structure having the appearance of a shed. I recognized it as what used to be called a halt, not exactly a station but a place where a local train might pause for passengers to alight or embark. We drew near and climbed weathered wooden steps to a sheltered platform.

The man consulted a timetable displayed in a glass-fronted case. He checked a pocket-watch and gave a satisfied nod. “You won’t have to wait long. Five minutes, it’s always on time.” For reasons I can’t explain, I still felt no curiosity, merely a sense of anticipation. I have always enjoyed train-rides. We seated ourselves on a bench. 

The hoot of a train-whistle was followed by the rumble of wheels. A small steam locomotive puffed into sight pulling a couple of carriages. The sight recalled childhood day trips to the seaside with my parents. The train pulled in with a hiss of steam and gentle grinding of brakes.

We got to our feet. The man reached for a door handle. “Farewell, the train will take you where you need to go.” He handed me a business card which I pocketed as I boarded. There were no other passengers.

As the train moved off, a nagging sense of unmet obligations replaced anticipation. Had I failed to make a payment, or missed a crucial appointment? I searched my memory in vain.

Miles went by and the day darkened. Landscape passing the windows turned to wild moorland and sombre woods. My unease deepened to fear, but fear of what, I still had no idea. Who was this person who’d put me here, anyway? I reached into my pocket and withdrew the business card. The name read “Sebastian Angelo D’Eath.”

Angel of . . ?  

I awoke to a beeping sound. Two paramedics stood over me. One held something against my chest. He let out a breath and gave me a smile. “Touch and go for a minute there. Thought we’d lost you.”

Windward Legs Review By Michael Joll

BY DAVE MOORES

REVIEWED BY MICHAEL JOLL

WINDWARD LEGS by Dave Moores

In her spare time, Alice Cooper (not THE Alice Cooper, but Alice Katrin Cooper, mid-thirties, divorced, former high school teacher turned IT office worker) is one of the crew on an expensive sailboat (a C&C 33, to be precise), Class Action, owned by two women lawyers, partners in more ways than one. The all-female crew forms a close-knit group and a formidable sailing team.

When Alice, clad only in a thong and T-shirt after a night of revelry at the Youngstown Regatta, falls into the frigid Niagara River early one July morning, it’s only the beginning of a bad month. About to go down for the third time in the swift current, seedy, weedy Roy dives in and rescues her. Alice considers Roy fishing her out of the water to be only a tiny step up from drowning. Thanks, however, are in order, and unattached-since-last-night Alice shows her appreciation before heading over to Class Action and the first race of the day.

Windward Legs, by David Moores, starts fast and quickly picks up speed. As Moores describes it, competitive sailboat racing is a knives-out, cutthroat venture requiring deep pockets, nerves of steel, and a don’t quit attitude. In addition to above-average looks and a decent body, Alice has two things going for her – her attitude and to-die-for legs. Alice’s legs are a source of envy to women, usually unrequited lust for men, and inspiration to their owner to whom they are firmly attached. They speak to her. She listens but doesn’t always do as they tell her, usually to her detriment. 

Moores knows his sailing, especially competitive sailing on one of the world’s most treacherous stretches of water – Lake Ontario – having sailed out of Oakville, Ontario, for years. Having navigated the waters of Lake Ontario (albeit as a deckhand and occasional helmsman on a 600-tonne car ferry – a far cry from a six-tonne sailboat), this reviewer can attest to the fickle and often violent nature of Lake Ontario weather and water. After years of competition, Moores retired from sailing while “still alive to tell the tale.” And tell a good tale in Windward Legs he undoubtedly does.

Alice likes her work but can’t stand her two-timing, brother-in-law boss who only gave her the job out of pity, hoping she would quit in a week. However, despite the odds, she becomes very good at what she does, including writing code for a program she develops on her own time. Unfortunately for Alice, things quickly go south at work and on the relationship front, not that, as she readily admits, she is even moderately proficient at the latter.

Alice’s “anything in an emergency” prowess as the stand-in helmsman of Class Action gets noticed by VERY IMPORTANT, VERY RICH PEOPLE. In this case, the VIVRP is a billionaire with an interest in buying the company Alice works for and in need of someone to skipper his priceless racing machine, a vintage, Eight Metre yacht, Jackdaw, in a race starting RIGHT NOW. His crew, a sullen and motley collection of egos and expensive educations, miffed at being passed over as helmsman, grudgingly accept Alice when she demonstrates her skill and nerve on the water. 

If treachery abounds on the water, it pales in comparison with the world of IT, where billionaires joust, real fortunes are up for grabs, and no one cares about the collateral damage, the little people, like Alice, who get in the way. A working lifetime spent in IT has given Moores a depth of insight into the amoral and often criminal dealings of the IT pros at the helm of cutting-edge start-up companies. That experience shines through in his writing.

Over the course of the novel, Alice becomes mixed up with the Toronto Blue Jays Puerto Rican centre fielder and his nutty, gun-toting wife from Chicago (and their questionable off-the-field exploits), Class Action’s crew members (excellent), Jackdaw’s crew (it has its ups and downs), a couple of Afghanistan veterans with a history, and assorted backstabbers, front stabbers, throat slitters, slimeballs and goofballs. And Roxanne.

Windward Legs combines edge-of-your-seat action on the water with high tension, razor-sharp tactics in the boardroom, where a memorable cast of one-off characters plays for keeps and takes no prisoners. The good guys all have issues. The bad guys just have more of them, which makes for gritty reading. Moores doesn’t give us black and white in Windward Legs: instead, dark grey meets light grey, as it should. 

An excellent read, a real page-turner from start to finish.

230 pages

Published by MiddleRoadPublishers

OLD, HELPLESS AND IN HOSPITAL by Ken Puddicombe

By Ken Puddicombe

First published Wednesday, December 30, 1992 

In The Globe And Mail, Toronto

“Why is it that people have to get old and sick and suffer in bed. Why couldn’t the sky just open up and take them away?”

My wife had asked me this after my first visit, and it was not too difficult to understand her question over the next few days.

I hesitated before entering the ward. Would I see the old lady, Mrs. Black, who was in the bed across from my wife? I didn’t relish sitting there, noticing her again with her head propped on the pillow. She always seemed to look pale, the skin wrapped taut around her cheek bones, tubes in her nostrils from bottles hanging at her side. My wife hadn’t slept much in the past two nights and I could see why. Mrs. Black breathed heavily through her mouth, a consumptive, laboured, hacking motion; I could her the air wheezing, like a pump oscillating rhythmically.

Photo by Andrea Piacquadio on Pexels.com

As I entered the room, Mrs. Black’s daughter was sitting in the chair next to her mother. The daughter appeared hardly to have moved from the spot she had been in the last time I visited. Her insistent, plaintive cry still rang in my ears: “Mum, can you hear me; I love you.” She had said this so many times that I knew the tone and pitch, could feel the sorrow deep down as she seemed to pull the words from the inner recesses of her heart.

Mrs. Johnson, the woman in the adjacent bed, was in her seventies but with her grey thinning hair and frail body I thought she surely must have felt a lot older. Her hands were swollen and puffy; through the tightly wrapped bandage I could see her severely distorted knuckles as she tried to hold the newspaper she was reading. The papers kept slipping from her grasp and she ponderously picked the pages up again and again; I thought it was like trying to hold a piece of paper when gloves in the middle of winter. There was little emotion in her pale, apathetic face, but her deep blue eyes scanned the newspaper relentless. Every now and then she twisted her head to the side so her daughter could put Jell-O into her mouth, the green, transparent mass wiggling on the large spoon every time it was raised.

There was Mrs. Carter, who was motionless, except for her head rotating from side to side, watching everyone in the room through thick large-rimmed glasses. Mrs. Carter kept trying to adjust the bed even though it had reached its highest point. When she pressed the button to operate it a whirring, squealing, screeching sound came out.

The nurse rushed in shortly after and asked if she was trying to break the bed. Mrs. Carter said: “I just want a pee, just a little pee. Can’t you give me a bedpan?”

The nurse responded by pulling the electric plug. She said: “You will have to use the toilet. We don’t have time to babysit you all day.” Then she stomped out of the room, leaving Mrs. Carter to return to her button.

Both Mrs. Carter and Mrs. Black were in diapers, but the changes were few and far between. And because of this the smell was overpowering, like passing through a cemetery and encountering a partly decayed body not buried deep enough. I thought of the irony of how fragile the human body is: about how we are “once a man and twice a child.”

A friend had commented too long before about how little care is given to the aged and the helpless in hospital. He felt that his mother had practically been abandoned once she was diagnosed as terminally ill. I wondered if it were any different for those on the brink, for here was ample evidence of the indignity they could be subjected to. It is almost as if the unwritten rule is: “Abandon hope all ye who enter here.”

The final day—checkout time. I entered the ward and the first thing I saw was the bed, a white sheet pulled tightly over the mattress, a grey blanket halfway up, with the top folded back in several layers. My wife noticed the way I stared at the empty bed. She told me that Mrs. Black had passed away; the nurses had come during the night and taken her away. Her daughter was not there when it happened.

Mrs. Carter was banging on the bed rail with a spoon as my wife waved goodbye and there were two people waiting in wheelchairs outside—the fourth and fifth transients in a ward for four people. We headed down the corridor, relief evident in my wife’s face. Her mood was buoyant: she was at last returning to her own home, her own bed. Her tests had turned out favourably and this perhaps compensated for not having a semi-private room in a hospital filled to overcrowding.

I don’t think my wife was as happy as I was, though—happy that I would not have to visit her again. But I couldn’t help wondering what conditions would be like in 20 years. In a system already stretched to the limit, how will it be when our turn comes?

POSTSCRIPT: this is now 2020/21. A Covid Pandemic is upon us, and Canada has suffered many casualties, the major portion (over 70% based on a recent Globe And Mail article) occurring in nursing homes. We are of course, older, my wife and I. Back in 1992 I wondered what conditions would be like 20 years later. Twenty-eight years after the article was written and published, nothing much seems to have changed in our health care system.

The White Tiger by Aravind Adiga Review by Ken Puddicombe

BOOK REVIEW

THE WHITE TIGER

By Aravind Adiga

 Copyright 2008 By Aravind Adiga.

Book Review by Ken Puddicombe

Two observations quickly spring to the mind of the reader as he starts and continues his journey through the 276 page novel.

First: the book is written in First Person—certainly not unusual for a novel, but the survivability of the narrator is obvious, based on this.

Second: And this becomes even more startling as one soon realizes that the hero of the piece, Balram eventually evolves into an anti-hero, and like most literary anti-heroes, his life has taken a wrong turn along the way, but he still survives to fight another day.

The White Tiger is described as “the rarest of animals—the creature that comes along only once in a generation”—early in the book, and our protagonist Balram Halwai is likened to that animal by the school inspector who recognizes the boy’s intelligence and talent, something Balram himself comes to believe and uses to his advantage in his determination to get to the top, regardless.

Aravind Adiga uses the device, not unknown, of letters written by Balram to Chinese Trade Delegation leader, Wen Jiabao who is visiting Bangalore in the industrial heartland of India, and the author uses this to tell the story of our hero’s rise to fame and fortune, from his own perspective, and the devious means he has used to arrive there. The letters are all written with frank disclosures, and no apology for his arrival in the big time and the means he’s used. The irony here, though, is Balram’s use of the rooster coop to refer to India’s masses, when China’s population is even greater than India. One country still in the grip of a quasi-feudal arrangement and the other held in the throes of a communist system.

The author’s use of symbolism is extensive, in addition to his reference to the White Tiger. Balram’s village of Laxmangarh is referred to as The Darkness. Balram’s boss is Ashok, recently arrived from America with his wife Pinky Madam (two of the characters not evidently worth representing by an animal). Ashok’s father is The Stork (good luck and prosperity), his brother The Mongoose (representing riches). The Rooster and its coop are India’s masses trying to break out from their life of servitude. The head of the ruling party is the Great Socialist (used with all the sarcasm and irony that can be mustered about politics in India). Balram is the mouse nibbling on discarded potatoes the Mongoose doesn’t want.

Adiga uses actual locations in India to take the reader on Balram’s wild ride as a chauffeur to the wealthy family. While Delhi is where most of the action is centered, reference is often made to other places. Laxmangarh, where Balram comes from is an actual town in the Sikar district in the state of Rajasthan and the ruins of the old fort by the same name is featured prominently in the book. Gurgaon, known as a financial and technology hub, is a suburb just south-west of Delhi, and is the apartment building where Balram’s boss lives.  

But, faced with his many challenges in his rise to the top, our hero Balram slowly descends into a state of paranoia. In Old Delhi a buffalo tells him about the untimely death of his relatives. Balram has imaginary conversations with people who can predict his maniacal intentions, as he plots his way out of his upcoming sacking, which is a reality he’s accepted. And he’s constantly hearing voices and looking over his shoulder.

The book delves deeply into the steamy, spicy atmosphere of Delhi, both the new and the Old, and is filled with irony, also, like a book seller who is illiterate but knows the title of every book he sells.

In the end though, there is no symbolism for Balram’s crime of murder—the author/Balram comes right out early in the book and declares what he’s done.

The White Tiger is a cynical, often-times, brutal and unapologetic portrayal of the underbelly of India, exposing all its warts and failings and shortcomings. Behind it all is the Caste system with its inequities and injustice that surface all the time. There is no redemption for any of the principal characters in this well-written novel that was the winner of the 2008 Man Booker Prize.

CHERRY NARULA: WRITER, PROFILE

Born in India, Cherry lived in several towns all over India, ranging from the foothills of Darjeeling to the Western Ghats and towns of the Thar Desert to the Himachal hills where she explored the many small towns and villages.

She pursued studies in English and French literature, followed by ten years based in New Delhi, in an airline career that took flight to France for several professional training programs.

CHERRY NARULA

Cherry moved to Brampton, Canada, 25 years ago and it has been home ever since. Fortunate to continue with her field of work in aviation for the next two decades, until a mass layoff took her back to school to pursue a paralegal program.

Her urge to write was rekindled while researching legal cases. She published her first book in December 2020, titled Nona and Daniel – Taming the Monkey, which is dedicated to all grandparents.

Cherry believes that one thing constant in life is ‘learning’, and life can be continuously enriched, without a single dull moment, by taking a flight to read and learn. CHERRY

A Cup Of Chai by Cherry Narula

Cherry Narula’s work has appeared in the Brampton Writers Guild 2020 Anthology.


Chai, Hindi word for tea, has been crucial for connecting people for centuries and it comes as no surprise that this unifying brew has helped tea drinkers cope during lockdowns. 

In our latest Covid Pandemic, people have continued to connect over tea, even though it is being done over Zoom or Google Meet. Tea traditions to connect with friends and family, were only waiting to be tweaked with the help of these innovative ideas and technology. Two friends in Scotland even made it in the news by sharing tea when they brought their folding chairs and flasks of tea to the border between their two councils. They set themselves up four meters apart beneath their council boundary signs. This news about two dear friends enjoying tea together, yet following strict council rules, brought smiles to many faces. 

Tea Plantation South India. Photo: Ken Puddicombe

A simple cup of tea has a universal appeal to soothe and calm. After water, tea is the second most popular drink worldwide. Anyone who has travelled on trains in India, can never forget the cheerful calls for Chai at railway stations by the Chaiwallas (tea vendors). The bliss of drinking that hot, spiced tea in red clay cups with an earthy hue, lingers for years. At the peak of a hot Indian summer, it is popular to hear, “Have a cup of tea, it will cool you.” In winter months, the same magical brew “will warm you.” This amazing brew is recommended for almost every situation. Versatile to the hilt, it can be sweet, salty, sour, spicy or a blend of various tones. Thus, in a country of more than 1.3 billion, Chai is not simply a drink of tea, it is an integral part of life. 

The United Nations has recognised that tea has medicinal properties and is beneficial for health.  

Many have their memories of tea as a concoction of various spices and herbs used as a remedy for a sore throat. This is an Indian Ayurvedic concoction, traditionally called Kaadha, that is popularly used to soothe a cough or cold. Also known as mom’s or grandma’s special formula, Kaadha is recommended for throat infections, as well building immunity. Kaadha, sweetened with honey or jaggery has soothed many a kid during a cold or fever. Commonly, Kaadha is made from spices such as: ginger, fennel, star anise, turmeric, giloy, mint, liquorice, cloves, black pepper, basil, carom seeds, cardamom, and cinnamon boiled together. Some add salt in addition to a sweetener such as honey or jaggery. This can be consumed either with or without milk or lemon. The recipe is flexible to adapt to different climates, seasons and availability of ingredients. This Kaadha is a versatile herbal immunity concoction that has been embraced by many as a part of their daily lifestyle. 

India is the second largest exporter of tea in the world and consumes over 70% of the tea it produces. Tea stalls can be found in all cities on almost every street. From the hidden nooks of Himalayan villages to the off-beaten path in the salt desert, tea stalls are everywhere. The Chaiwallas and tea stalls play a vital role in the rhythm of daily life that transcends boundaries. Friendly chit chat, gossip or intense political discussions take place over this small cup of chai, even among strangers. Moreover, India is also home to more than 14,000 tea estates. Many of these are of historical significance and are great places to visit for nature lovers. One such plantation, the Kolukkumalai tea estate, is situated at a height of 7,900 ft above sea level. This tea estate has a small tea factory where leaves are still hand-picked and hand-packaged for distribution. 

The innumerable varieties of tea have a flavour to suit each palate: Kangra Tea with hints of earthiness, the fragrant Darjeeling Tea, the mellow Assam Chai, the popular Masala Chai, Mumbai’s Cutting Chai, the roasted aroma of Lopchu Tea, floral tones of Nilgiri Tea and so on. The Himalayan white tea from Darjeeling and the second flush Darjeeling Oolong,

Camellia Sinensis and Camellia Assamica are exclusive varieties. Apart from these, there is the unique preparation of butter tea and the Kashmiri Pink Chai also known as Gulabi Chai, Noon Chai or Shir Chai. Butter tea is ideal for high altitude Himalayan regions. Thick, buttery tea is made by soaking crushed brick tea overnight in water, followed by churning it with salt, goat’s milk, and yak butter. Kashmiri Chai is perfect for cold weather and is topped with crushed nuts, infused with spices, salt and baking soda as key ingredients. Baking soda gives it the rosy hue and salt prevents dehydration at high altitudes. 

The first International Tea Day was celebrated in New Delhi in 2005. Sri Lanka also started observing it in 2006 and more countries followed to celebrate December 15 as International Tea Day. In 2015, India proposed a global recognition of ‘International Tea Day’ to the United Nations Food and Agriculture Organisation. This led to the International Day of Tea being celebrated worldwide on May 21 chosen to coincide with the season of tea production in most tea producing countries. The International Tea Day is significant for public events, seminars and celebration of tea culture. Challenges faced by tea plantations and its workers are discussed, remedies are presented and steps to implement changes are approved. This day is also popular for creative tea recipe posts on social media, accompanied by amusing and nostalgic tea related memories. 

The different types of tea enjoyed in various ways also highlight cultural diversity worldwide. In the east, in China, green tea is vital for health benefits, hospitality traditions and ancestral ceremonies. In Japan, the Tea Ceremony is historic and an important part of Japanese culture. The tea ceremony includes the tradition of how it is prepared as well as the manner in which it is consumed. This ceremony is representative of harmony, tranquility, purity and respect. In Taiwan, the popular Pearl Milk Tea with tapioca balls comes in various innovative varieties. These can be in the form of fruity iced tea or milk tea similar to a milkshake. This bubble tea has become very popular with the younger generation all over the world. 

In Britain, High Tea and Afternoon Tea have been a tradition with popular black tea blends like English Breakfast and Earl Grey. It comes as no surprise that Britain has some of the most delightful tea rooms in the world. Even a city like Paris, well known for its café culture, has a history of remarkable Salons de Thé’. The oldest, Mariage Freres, first opened its tearoom in 1854. Experts are present in the salon to help choose the perfect tea. An ancient tea museum can be visited on the first floor. Another renowned Salon de Thé, Carette, opened in Place du Trocadéro in 1927. 

In North America, protests over high taxes on imported tea in 1773, led to the well-known history of the Boston Tea Party. Three shiploads of tea were dumped into the harbour by protestors. 

Tea has been consumed as both a hot and cold beverage in the United States and Iced tea gained widespread popularity as a thirst-quenching drink a century ago. Since then, innovative iced tea recipes made their way into recipe books and menus and now, tea plantations can be found in the United States primarily in Alabama, California, Georgia, Florida and Hawaii. Canada’s only tea farm is located in British Columbia where Westholme Tea Company in the Cowichan Valley has a tea shop, gallery of imported teas and an 11-acre organic tea farm. 

Thousands of years of the history of tea spans across the world along with a treasure trove of stories. These are accompanied by an inheritance of traditions bringing friends and family together. In any single get-together, it is not uncommon to find everyone relishing a distinct brew. The flavours and aromas of tea continue to evolve tremendously to include infusions of diverse roots, flower petals and herbs. A stress buster for many, the unique charm of each blend brings nature into our lives with each new cup of chai.