History of High Tea and Tea Etiquette

I found this on an abandoned/ deleted blog. It had been a site for a tea shop and restaurant in Australia. I like the information, so I have saved it.

History of High Tea

Lady Fredericks, the 7th Duchess of Bedford is widely credited as the first to establish the ritual of afternoon tea in the 17th Century to entertain her female guests while the gentlemen attended to the issues of politics and business.

The Duchess recorded details of hosting delightful tea parties to allow women an elegant social opportunity to meet and discuss issues that were usually unsuitable to discuss in the company of gentlemen.

Since this time, the practice of afternoon tea, or high tea as it came to be know in Britain, become a well loved tradition.

For the ladies of the English ‘leisure class’ high tea served a practical purpose of allowing ladies the pleasure of enjoying a delicate meal before attending the theatre or a club.

Today the practice of high tea continues with the modern ‘Lady of  Leisure’ enjoying high tea at bridal and baby showers, gathering with best friends to celebrate hens and birthday parties and sampling delicious cakes, pastries and gourmet sandwiches wash down with finest teas at an elegant surrounding.

Tea Etiquette

Pick up your cup and saucer together – holding the saucer in one hand and cup in the other. The best way to hold a tea cup is to slip your index finger through the handle, up to almost the first knuckle, then balance and secure the cup by placing your thumb on the top of the handle and allowing the bottom of the handle to rest on your middle finger. Hold the cup lightly, by the handle – your pinky doesn’t have to be extended (Contrary to popular belief, the ring and pinkie fingers should not be extended, but should rest by curving gently back toward your wrist). Hold the saucer under your cup while you sip your tea (lest you should spill or dribble).

When stirring your tea, don’t make noises by clinking the sides of the cup while stirring. Gently swish the tea back and forth being careful no to touch the sides of your cup if possible. Never leave your spoon in the cup and be sure not to sip your tea from the spoon either. After stirring, place your spoon quietly on the saucer, behind the cup, on the right hand side under the handle.

Milk is served with tea, not cream. Cream is too heavy and masks the taste of the tea. Although some pour their milk in the cup first, it is probably better to pour the milk in the tea after it is in the cup in order to get the correct amount.

When serving lemon with tea, use lemon slices, not wedges. Either provide a small fork or lemon fork for your guests, or have the tea server neatly place a slice in the tea cup after the tea has been poured. Be sure never to add lemon with milk since the lemon’s citric acid will cause the proteins in the milk to curdle.

All the Abandoned, Forgotten Pornography

How many scantily clad women have been abandoned this way? I found this photo via Flickr (the urban exploration group I moderate). Here are these women, posing in bikinis for their photo to appear on the cover of a publication. Is it something relevant to women in bikinis? Not so likely. But there it is… thrown out, discarded and forgotten about. Does it make you feel at least a bit sad?

Urban (and rural) explorers find old pornography magazines at abandoned houses (and not just houses). Most of it is deteriorated due to weathering, animals, time, etc. I don’t know if anyone saves any of it. Not so likely.
Photo from Flickr: Julien Lefebvre

Documenting the Decline of the Bingo Hall

Documenting the Decline of the Bingo Hall
From thriving social clubs to piles of rubble.

abandoned bingo
(Image credit: Forsaken Fotos via Flickr)

The rough-hewn simplicity and rustic charm of traditional land-based bingo halls have captivated the imagination of thousands of people throughout the decades. Indeed, brick-and-mortar bingo halls are teeming with vibrant characters and interesting personalities that bring life to a time-honored establishment. So it’s not too surprising to learn that a few talented photographers have devoted their time and energies to document the humanity inside these old-school bingo halls. Washington resident Andrew Miksys was exposed to bingo at an early age. His father published the daily Bingo Today newspaper, which Miksys then delivered to bingo halls and convenience stores across Seattle. Miksys eventually toured America’s bingo halls to present a respectful look into the communal spirit that’s part of a bingo hall’s character.

There’s even more proof that the time-honored game is a veritable treasure trove of expressive portraits. German photographer Michael Hess is a structural engineer by training and a self-taught photographer by choice. Currently residing in London, Hess lived near a bingo hall in Southampton in 2005 and always wondered what happened inside. One fateful game in that same bingo hall was all it took to motivate Hess to travel to almost 70 bingo halls in the UK for the next four years. The result was Bingo and Social Club, a good-natured and graciously rare peek into the enigmatic society of bingo halls.

However, bingo halls are believed to be not long for this world, with many different bingo halls now closing all over the world. The classic game has found its new home online, where various companies have begun to launch online bingo portals which are much more convenient and easy to play. The Virtue Fusion software that runs the games on Betfair Bingo also allow for a variety of themed games to be held simultaneously, and land-based bingo halls just cannot keep up. As such, many bingo halls have shut down, their doors closing as though to keep their memories nestled within.

While they’re no longer visited by the average bingo player, these abandoned bingo halls have made for some truly evocative images, inspiring wayward photographers with the stories they seem to tell. Web Urbanist has even come out with a collection of haunting photographs of abandoned bingo halls called “Punched Cards”. The selection of photos has everything from dilapidated signage to the remains of old bingo cards and the remains of old structures that have now been reduced to rubble, and they make one think about all the history and memories that have been made in these places. Where people once crowded and fought to shout, “BINGO!”, there lies nothing but shambles and old signs. But often, these are exactly what the urban photographer is looking for.

Why I Like the Old Houses

I was asked to write why I like documenting the old, abandoned houses. I had different ideas in mind right away but none really fit. Since then other elements have come along and I’ve tried to build the full picture. Part of it the loneliness of the old place and yet their strength in standing, enduring.

Today, while watching a documentary about the geography under the Great Lakes I had another idea:

I like the old houses because they show our own history, the impact we have had on the land and at the same time the old places erode and become part of the physical geography, just another bump on the land of rocks, earth and water.

Foraging 2.0: Grafting Fruit-Bearing Branches To Neutered City Trees

Foraging 2.0: Grafting Fruit-Bearing Branches To Neutered City Trees: SFist.

This is interesting to me because we gathered apples from abandoned farms and along the roadside from trees which were pretty forgotten. These apples would be heritage seeds and possibly types of apples no longer grown commercially. Yet they were often a stronger or better type of apple, resistant to bugs and disease. But unpopular for some other reason.

The idea grafting branches never occurred to me. It would give you the chance to have apples much sooner than growing a new tree from seed. Also, a lot of trees grown from seed just don’t make it. Grafting would have a better chance for success, though need more time to keep the tree from going back to it’s roots, literally.

Naked People in Abandoned Places

Flickr: Nude in Ruins, Factories, Decay Buildings and Empty Places
Flickr: Urbex Models
Flickr: Urbex and Rural Decay

I don’t understand the allure, other than the idea of putting your damsel in distress. That I can understand, only my damsel would not be a woman. Most of these are women, nude in urban and rural ruins.

Abandoning Landlines

13% of Canadian households have abandoned landline phone service : Hugh Thompson’s Digital Home.

Wireless phones continue to grow in popularity in Canada. According to Statistic Canada’s Residential telephone service survey, more than three-quarters (78%) of Canadian households had a wireless phone in 2010, up from 74% in 2008.

The December 2010 survey of about 19,000 Canadian households also found that an increasing number of Canadians were abandoning traditional home landline telephone service.

In 2010, 13% of Canadian households reported they used a wireless phone exclusively, up from 8% in 2008.