Challenge: Day One

Dear Dazai, (and to everyone else who’s been so encouraging about this, you’re all awesome!)

Here’s a small update on where I am on Day One, as promised:

Regarding organising drawers and shelves, I got into a bit of a rhythm with it, and while talking to Eliza this evening, I organised a draw and two shelves. One shelf is now all my comics and manga, and the other is now dedicated to all my Dazai books, and other Japanese authors that I’m in the middle of discovering. I’ve made sure that Dazai and Oda sit next to each other, because I feel like that’s very important. I’ve also discovered that I possess two copies of some books, so I’ll have to see about making sure some of them get good homes.

As for writing, it’s been such a long time since I started a new project, created new characters, so I started with the most important elements when I start a new project, I made myself a playlist to capture the essence of the work, and I named all my characters, and started asking them the questions I need to know. My main character was the hardest because I feel like we don’t know each other well enough yet, but I did two other characters that I’m feeling really confident with, so I’m happy with that. I’m also ecstatic that I set myself an alarm for two hours and I went over that without even noticing. There’s something so refreshing to be engaged in your work.

In regards to Beatrice, I’ve only done a couple of pages, and I’ll definitely have to pick up the pace if I want a whole chapter done by the end of the week, but it’s a start and I’m considering that a positive thing. I’ll try and make some more time for it tomorrow.

Now for the bits that most people seemed most eager for, books and tea, and honestly, you all have fabulous taste to be most interested in these two.

First books, I cheated a bit last night and read ‘Schoolgirl’ by Dazai, and honestly, we’re going to have to some words about his representation of a girl but it’s something I’ve been putting off reading and even though I was a bit disappointed by it, I was glad I sat down to read it. I’m not going to count it as one of the seven, but I haven’t yet had the time to sit down to read today, so I’m going to do that once I’ve finished my tea. So there’ll be an update on that tomorrow, I promise.

Secondly tea, I’m not sure what it was regarding the tea today, but apparently I was in the mood for blue tea. Even when I didn’t think I was. I should explain, that over time my tea has ended up in cannisters that are not where it started off and often I can’t rely on what’s on the tin to inform me as to what’s inside.

So the first tea I had today was a blue tea from Darjeeling, it’s a lighter blue tea than some you’d get from China, but I think that’s because it’s from Darjeeling. Teas from Darjeeling are quite often lighter and smoother than Chinese ones, and don’t have quite the same sharp tannic edge to them. This was reflected in the tea, that when brewed had a very pale golden colour to it and a fresh balanced palate. It might also be this way because it’s one of the older teas in my collection and I’ve noticed that tea loses that harsher edge as it ages.

The second tea is a milky oolong (oolong and blue are the same, just depends on the people making it as to how they describe it) and it came from a small tea shop in Carcassonne in France. Milky oolongs are some of my favourite teas because they’ve got a lovely, almost caramel note to them, and to describe their palate as having the milk already added is a good way to imagine it. The colour of this is a rich golden colour and it slips down as though there’s no tannin at all. It’s the perfect tea to end the day on because it’s so comforting.

Also if anyone is interested, both teas were brewed at 80 degrees for four minutes. I don’t ever let the leaves stew in the pot because that increases the tannic quality and I try to avoid that when making tea.

I choose my little lidded, blue and white fish cup for both teas and my deep blue stoneware teapot to make them in and I’m really glad I took the time to do this. I was feeling a little overwhelmed this afternoon when I started to do these things, but I’m glad I did.

See you tomorrow for Day 2!




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