The water in the teasmaid boils; it is this rushing sound which brings me to consciousness. I switch it off, shuffle to the bathroom – when did waking up with a stiff back become the norm? – attend to biology, then shuffle (a little less stiffly) back.
I pull the blinds before I pour the tea. I like to open them just enough so that, from the bed, we can see the night become the day (it’s just after 5am.)
We greet one another. Almost formally; that is, we have a rhythm whose details I won’t share. Repeated process matters to me. It signifies permanence, as close as a human being can get. The sea washes the sandcastle away, and all our lives are sandcastles. But while there’s a new morning you can build another. Practice makes perfect.
We’ve got our tea now and he turns on the radio. Tea is such a gift. I think of its journey, from China to India to London, and – oh, I know, it was shameful, our imperial past, and I know India is the future and we should regret the Raj.