Sunday, 2 September 2012


Heads of offices from around the region are in town.  A crazy work week - reserve hotel rooms, book a restaurant, organize taxis, print maps, race between the office and the downstairs conference room, play fetch. Prep meeting room with bottled water and Coke. Deliver several rounds of coffee, then someone bleats, "Can I have Chinese tea?" The only beverage our in-house café doesn't serve is Chinese tea! Run upstairs to the office pantry to stick a Jasmine teabag into a cup, add boiling water, and dash back downstairs.

It's lunch time and raining cats and dogs outside.  We're ordering food from our in-house café. But then someone wants to stand out from her peers, "But I don't want café food," she wails.  "Can't you get me mee siam from the cafe next door!" (But it is raining cats and dogs, you fool!)

So many people think that everyone can be an executive assistant. I'm telling you now, not anyone can do the job. We're Girl Friday, manager, mother, disciplinarian, diplomat, babysitter. We’re a rare breed.

The best way to recuperate is to spend a lazy weekend, stretched out on the sofa with a good book (or, in my case, usually several books) - and a nice cup of tea!

I blame Holly Finn.  She started it.  All because I fell in love with something she wrote:

For those weary of coffee and couture and in real need of something soothing, the Salon de Thé recently opened at the legendary Fauchon food emporium in Paris, is worth a winter visit. There, on Place de la Madeleine, the emphasis is not on fast-forwarding, either one’s heart rate or one’s fashion status. It’s about stopping – taking a deep breath and a long sip. No matter how rudely random Parisians have treated you that morning you’ll soon feel better about the whole Franco-thing. A slice of Tarte au thé Darjeeling (a specialty of the house) restores confidence not just in your ability to translate, but in the civility of left-seat drivers, all sorts of things … A reminder of the bond between tea and sympathy.

And so I went out and bought some rather expensive Fauchon Darjeeling teabags.  For isn't Fauchon the company that "sold tea to royalty, pastry to politicians, and caviar to movie stars"?

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