Time for a brew?

It’s the end of the half term and for many of us; including some of our year 10s, all of our y11s, some of our year 12s and all of our year 13s; it won’t feel much like a break. But we all might just get a few days to lift our heads and breath again. Take whatever time you can get to rest and relax and if you are working or supporting those who are revising, try to manage that alongside some time for you.

And there’s been exciting things happening this week. You might have missed important events, in the blizzard of news about International Tea Day and Numeracy Day, that there’s been a general election called. Or is it the other way around? There’ll be no comments about politics or elections, except to say that we won’t be going into a period of purdah, we’ll still be taking decisions, building curricula, establishing high quality learning and teaching strategies, planning for next year and beyond. That’s just how it is and as it should be.

Back to the important stuff… International Tea Day. It was Tuesday. Did you miss it? Those who love their tea may have missed the celebration but will have consumed that beverage by the gallon – as tea drinkers seem to do. ITD (as it will now be referenced) is celebrated every year on 21st May. ITD recognises the history, health benefits and global impact of the UKs most popular drink. It’s a chance to appreciate a good ‘cuppa’. You may be interested in a few bits that came out of some research:

  • Tea has more caffeine than coffee.
  • Tea stains your teeth more than coffee.
  • Drinking tea may protect you from Covid.

OK then, the big question: Are you a tea drinker or a coffee drinker? In the days of PG Tips versus Mellow Birds you could be both. It might be more about the time of day, or if you’d just turned the hostess trolley on (look that things up – youngsters). In our more binary times you are either one or the other. For me it’s decent coffee every time – no Mellow Birds for me. I will very very rarely drink tea. It’s always been like that. You’ll know that your friends, family and colleagues will be equally split, with few floaters, those who might go one way or the other, and a few who don’t do either and prefer a fruity hot drink.

I could ask a similar binary question. Cat or Dog? These days it can’t be both or neither; it’s one or the other and your preference will give (cod)psychologists fuel for their analysis of your personality – what does it say about who you are?

I won’t ask United or City? – especially this weekend. Or even United or Wednesday. What about red or blue?

We seem to be driven down a simple route where we have to take a ‘position’ these days. Possibly it’s driven by the simplicity of the algorithms used in social media? Things are rarely black or white. Life isn’t that simple, there’s always more to it than that. Many of us will see the grey, and pitch ourselves somewhere in the middle. We might even shift and change our view or position on something. That’s ok. That’s reasonable and might even be sensible. We do not need to be entrenched and stick to one view, though, position, whatever the evidence or a change in circumstance. We should have beliefs. We should hold true to those things which we all believe to be true. But as the facts change, it’s OK to change your view. As circumstances change, there’s not a problem in seeing it from the other side. And it really doesn’t have to be tea or coffee, cat or dog, it really can be both, neither, either, sometimes, occasionally, when I feel like it.

We’d all be a little richer, a little less ‘wound-up’, a little less anxious, maybe even happier and relaxed if we accepted that there are differences in taste, in approach, in understanding.

Time for a brew -and you can read that anyway you like.

‘You can’t get a cup of tea big enough or a book long enough to suit me’. C. S. Lewis

‘Coffee is a language in itself’. Jackie Chan