18 July, 2015

Purple Haze

Gentle Reader, I hope that you are easing pleasantly into the summer, in whichever way you ease best.  The end of the academic year  here feels like the climax to a bad movie: more, and more, and more pressure / examinations / socials... and then pop!  Sudden silence.  

All that remains is the high-pressured whine of the accumulated guilt of that huge pile of papers that needs to be written, and those grant proposals that need to be sent off for review.  As a consequence, it sometimes feels that this job is as much about talking about what you want to do in future (via grant proposals), as much as doing actual research.  Sadly, "I want to drink tons of tea" doesn't seem to cut the mustard, as far as talking about what I want to do in future.




The sun is shining (just about), and so let's make some hay.  I seem to have been added to Jalam's "tea club" mailing list: this is the second xiaobing that has made its way to me in as many months. I am not complaining!




The 2014 Nannuoshan "Ziye" [purple leaf] is packed with summertime sweetness, atop a base of true and surprising bitterness.  BOLD is the man that sends real tea to his tea-club, rather than nondescript crowd-pleasers!  I approve wholeheartedly. 

The "purple" flavour of ripe fruits is always welcome, and very well-suited to the character of Nannuoshan, which is likewise fruity. So good, in fact, is this tea that I have a second session with the same cake in the afternoon, using a new set of leaves in the pot.  This tea is ab-so-lutely perfect for low-intensity summertime quaffing.  Perhaps I'm just in a good mood, from the season.




There is vibrancy abound in this little number, and that satisfying sweetness is made interesting by the unsociably bitter base.  I can imagine tea-club members being terrified by this bitterness, and that makes me love it twice over.

The remainder lasts me several days in my lab, and I drink it as a priority, due to its haute deliciousness. It seems to last forever, and it stays unbroken in its sweetness as the infusions come and go.  Purple tea is so very good for the summer, and this cake is a friendly example of the genre.



Trinity Term, I - III





I

FORTISSIMO
is when everyone
sneezes at last




II

little fireworks
reflected in the eyes of
little boys




III

saying goodbye
to the old professor
at his funeral

3 comments:

Cwyn N said...

<3 the family "snaps."

Hobbes said...

Dear Cwyn,

The love of sketching on a tablet computer is a love shared!


Toodlepip,

Hobbes

Hobbes said...

I usually publish haiku that have "matured" for some time; that is, I come back to them after a minimum of one year and, if I still don't dislike them immensely, then they make the cut for publication. However, this little trio has been fast-tracked, as they capture the start of the summer. The images that make the haiga are from the same period: that intense end-of-the-year social carnage that makes you really appreciate the summer.

Part I is from Concert Night, which is a dinner-then-concert that takes place every other Sunday during term. There have been over 500 of these Sunday events, and the concert part of the evening is open to the public. One attendee in particular has been to every single one of the 500+ events. (This spans a substantial number of decades.) I was deeply relieved (in several ways) when the FORTISSIMO movement came during a piano/violin duet, at which time my, and the long-time attendee's, noses exploded in blissful unison. Money can't buy that kind of relief.

Part II follows Encaenia, which is a strange event at which everyone dresses in their scarlet gowns (rather than the everyday black ones). Some genius back in the dark ages decided it would be awesome to hold this event during the height of summer and, when our chilly country was at its hottest, to mandate that all the dons have to wear thick, heavy, insulated robes made of superdense red felt. With heavy silk over the top. Fortunately, the children are immune to the silliness of the dress-code, and I think that they enjoy the event more than any of the adults.

Part III is a personal tribute to an elderly professor who was very kind to your humble correspondent, and who gave him one of his first "breaks". The chapel choir sang all the professor's favourites. He was an Australian dude of this first order, and he will be missed.