I am not talking Oolang, peppermint, cranberry/orange, or even the end-all cure-all green tea. I am talking about a cup of plain old black tea. With milk.
If you perfect this skill, you will go far in your new home.
A good cup of tea works wonders with builders, decorators, electricians and any other British person that comes into your home. As the saying goes, they love their tea.
They may be wary of your ability to produce a proper cup of tea. But YOU HAVE IT IN YOU. You just need a little practise.
This is how you do it: get an electric kettle and fill with water. Boil and be fascinated by the lime build up suspended in the water. Put a tea bag (such as Tetley or PG Tips) into a worn, cracked mug and pour in the boiling water. Let it seep for about a minute. Then remove the tea bag, and give a big splash of full fat milk. Mix in roughly half of the sugar bowl. Serve with chocolate digestives. The builders will love it!
I learned this lesson years ago with Ken the Decorator. Ken was born in south London and has been painting houses for years. The local mums rave about him, yet it very hard to get anyone to actually give you his number. Once you get it, it is even harder to get him to return your calls.
After a few months of leaving messages, I finally got him to come around and give us a quote on painting the hall in our Edwardian home.
A week later, and I still had not received a quote.
“Did you make him a cup of tea?” my husband asked.
"Uummm. No. Was I supposed to?” Come to think of it, he didn't ask.
“Excellent,” hubby said with a smile.
A few days later the quote came in the mail.
This post was written by Susanna, an Expat Mums Blog founding contributor. You can read more at her blog, A Modern Mother.
Photo credit: Robot in Catford