afternoon tea


3:45pm
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....