Hello everyone on yet another Friday morning.
This being the case I offer, as usual, the opportunity to post off-topic if you would like, keeping your posts within our Community Guidelines.
I also extend a warm welcome to any of you who have newly joined us this week.
Please feel at home here. We want it to be a safe and useful space for all and for you to feel happy to make contributions and ask questions.
My chosen topic for today is the good old cup of tea, or cuppa. Those of us in UK or Ireland know that a good strong cup of tea is the panacea for all of life's ills. It's even served up in hospitals and the last time I was lying on a hospital trolley in A&E, the most welcome medication I got was a big mug of steaming tea. One time, after a rear end shunt to my car, a lady appeared from a nearby house with a cup of tea for me in a lovely bone china cup on a tray with some biscuits. It made everything feel better instantly. And on another occasion when our car had broken down in Ireland a farmer's wife invited us into her kitchen and gave us boiled eggs, toast and yes, you've guessed it, a pot of tea.
But even I was a bit astounded to read one claim for tea this week. It was mentioned in an online article because some research had apparently shown that tea can lessen the risk of stroke and dementia. Here's an excerpt from the article which appeared in 'Lifted', an online magazine for dementia sufferers and their carers.
'In the research, 365,000 people aged between 50 and 74 were followed for more than a decade. At the start the participants, who were involved in the UK Biobank study, self-reported how much coffee and tea they drank. Over the research period, 5,079 of them developed dementia and 10,053 went on to have at least one stroke.
Researchers found that people who drank two to three cups of coffee or three to five cups of tea a day, or a combination of four to six cups of coffee and tea, had the lowest risk of stroke or dementia.'
That's quite a big study! Often I read studies which have published results based on less that 50 people, and I was expecting that here. But even so I think it would be safest to treat this very speculatively!
The reason tea is on my mind this week? I took delivery of the tea kettle pictured above, an awful extravagance I had sent to me from US as an early Christmas present from me, to me. I like lots of different tea, from a Yorkshire brew to any of the more delicate herbal teas and tisanes and I have no idea why, but I love the ritual of tea making and ridiculously, a lovely kettle to boil the water adds to the whole thing. (Maybe I was Japanese in an earlier life!)
Anyway, whatever you've done this week, I hope it had its moments of pleasure and I wish you all a similarly pleasant weekend and hope that all of you will be able to find some moments of rest and relaxation.