Looking back on 2014

Memorable Tea moments

I arranged Hatsugama for three friends in my yojo-han. This was a nice gathering. My old teacher travelled in from a town about an hour away to participate. It was great to catch up with him again. Due to the distance between our homes, we meet all to seldom. But that in turn made this Tea ceremony all the more special.

I started in my new job February 3rd. I had been looking for a new job for a while, and was very excited to finally be able to start at the new place. To commemorate the event, I bought a special chawan. In the morning before going to the office for the very first time, my wife and I shared a bowl of koicha using this chawan. My wife was also considerate enough to buy me a specail Tea bowl for this occasion, but I didn’t bother to use it. (PS. In case you wondered, whenever the content is not too full of errors, it is because I have forced my wife to edit the text. Sometimes she also make some changes šŸ˜‰ )

I’m no fan of ValentineĀ“s day, mostly because it is an imported tradition, but any way I surprised my wife with an impromptu tea gathering in the morning. I had spread rose petals in tokonoma and chosen special sweets. Definitely the best ValentineĀ“s celebration I ever arranged.

In June, an old friend from Australia came to visit me. We shared a bowl of Tea – which happened to also be my 1024th (1K for computer geeks) temae. We had not met in several years, so we also found time toĀ reminisced about our old adventures together.

Later in the year, I did Tea outdoors in several mountain locations. All of them memorable for their own reasons. The most specialĀ one was at Dovre. We had excellent weather during our camping trip, and before heading home I wanted to record a Tea in unusable places video. I found a nice location and started making Tea. As I was scooping the Tea out of the natsume, all the Tea blew off the chashaku. Maybe I’ll make a bloopers version based on that event.

2014 in numbers

  • 354 temae during 2014
  • I did 170 temae in the 148 days from 24th of february untill 21st of July. During this time, I did at least one temae every day.
  • 5 temae under Ula-sensei
  • 3 temae under Aaron-sensei
  • 2 Trips to Poland
  • 26 days without Tea
  • Temae outside Norway
    • Lituainia 2
    • United Arab Emirates 6
    • Latvia 1
    • Denmark 5
    • United Kingdom 3
    • Poland 8

2014 in pictures

Tea in unusual places – Lindesnes

In this series of posts I will be making short movies of people, mostly yours truly, making Tea in unusual places. I hope you will enjoy these movies as an inspiration to do Tea outdoors. Please leave feedback using the comment field.

Tea in Unusual Places 1 – Lindesnes

Lindesnes is the southernmost point of Norway. The light house there has been important for sea travel to Norway for many, many years. During the second world war the lighthouse was fortified, and today you can wander the corridors of the old bunkers. I enjoyed Tea about 100m away from the lighthouse down by the sea.

Thanks to my wife for having the patient to film the temae, and thanks to Anne NormanĀ for letting me use her music in this series of movies.

Outdoor tea

The 17th of May Norwegian celebrate the constitution. This year was the 200th anniversary for the constitution. I was going to spend the night from the 16th to the 17th at my mam’s house. Unfortunately I had forgotten all my dogu at home. Next day my wife brought the dogu when we meet up at some friends for brunch. Because of this I ended up doing Tea in their garden all dressed for national celebration. As you can see my wife brought me the zogue chashaku and a brown chasen, not the most common dogu for Ryakubon. However, I should not complain since I got it specially delivered šŸ™‚

The grass was nice and fresh to. My friends finished putting it out the day before. Not bad to be able to do temae on brand “new” lawn.

The day after I decided to bring my dogu out into the forest. A friend and I walked about 10km, at the end of our trip we enjoyed some matcha at a wooden bridge.Ā I enjoyed doing tea in the forest a lot. A few people passed by while I was making tea, but beside them the air was filled by the sound of flowing water from the river below. I was able to fit the chawan, “natsume”, chashaku, chasen, chakin and fukusa all inside the kettle. This way it was easy to carry, and minimum risk of damaging the dogu. I usually bring the “furo” (aka primus) when I go for hikes so all I need to bring extra for tea is my kettle filled with dogu.

I decided against bringing a real natsume. I figured it would be difficult to transfer the tea to a natsumeĀ out in the forest. Therfore I settled for a koyama-en special “natsume” šŸ˜› There was a unforseen consequence of using this “natsume.” The lid had someĀ tea stuck to it. When I placed it down on the tray it all came of, making a nice Tea-circle.

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Wakei in the garden

This first of may, which is a holiday in Norway, I pitched my brand new tent in our garden.Ā The manufacturer deliver their tents with unsealed seams, and leave it to the new owner to seal it. The best way to do this, is to pitch the tent and apply the silicon while it is standing. Also I feel it is a good idea to have tried putting the tent up once before setting out on a overnight trip where I will depend on it for shelter.

Anyway, why am I writing about this here? Well, I bought a wood stove with the tent. The stove serves two purposes, heating the interior and supplying a source of heat for cooking. I figured it can also be used for chanoyu.Ā After adding two small pieces of wood, my little brother and myself sat down to wait for the water to heat.

I brought out my chabako and we enjoyed two bowls of cacao each. My brother is not a fan of usucha, which he has had only once before, but cacao, that he loves. We had a very enjoyable time. Next time is going to be somewhere in the Norwegian mountain, but I believe that I still have to use instant cacao powder if I want my brother to join. I figure that there is precedence for this in tea history, as Hideyoshi commanded everyone to attend his great tea gathering even if they did not have any tea and needed to use rice instead šŸ˜‰

it.

 

Denmark

Yuki temae at the hotel room
Yuki temae at the hotel room, with the new boiler

This has been a crazy few months, but I have mostly my self to blame. I have booked a bit too many things. I have already been to Latvia, Sweden, Poland, Germany and now Denmark.

As I arrived in Denmark I realized that I had forgotten to bring my waterboiler. So the first morning I was unable to make Tea, as there was no boiler at the hotel room.

However, I was determined not repeate the Swedish “mucha” expereince. So I went straight from the training session to a shopping mall to find a waterboiler. I found a nice red boiler, and they even had them in different sizes. So I got the smalest one figuring that it would make for a good one for future travels. It is about half the size of my previous boiler.

I had a enjoyable temae at the hotel. I did Yuki, before I headed out to have a meal at a Indian resturant in Copenhagen. I also happily made a note that my utensils seems to have taken no ill effect of beeing shipped as check-in luggage.

Warsaw 2014

Okeiko 22nd of March 2014
Okeiko 22nd of March 2014

I came to Warsaw fairly late Friday evening, so no practice then.

Saturday was a Tea day. We started quite early. Another student and I did temae, Daitenmoku and Wakin. Then we spent a litle while swapping out the electric ro for a propper charcoal one. They are planning to use sumi for next weeks Rikyu-ki, and wanted the charcoal ro in a bit in advance.

After lunch one student did Sumi. I haven’t seen or done charcol-temae in many many years. According to my records I last did Sumi in 2008. Truly, I had forgotten most of the temae. All the better to have the opportunity to watch it. As it was progressing parts of the temae came back to me, but still it felt like it was a brand new temae. I guess I have to go home and studdy sumi.

In the evening we wanted to go to a nice resturant for our evening meal, but with the teachers baby that proved difficult. However they were able to convince the resturant to let us buy take-out.

The charcol box after the temae
The charcol box after the temae

The resturant speciallized in traditional Polish cusine. Which was another nice expereince. Apparently both duck and rib are something they are very good at.

Sunday more people attended Okeiko. We started the day with kagetsu. Again a temae that I had not seen or done in a long while. Last time was june 2005, and it probably was not Sumi Tsuki Kagetsu either.

I did not do any temae after kagetsu, but I got to be guest for a few. I was very happy that the last temae of the day was Gyou-no-Gyou. This was my first time seeing it.

Thanks to the teachers and students at Sunshinkai for a wonderfull weekend.

Warsaw

Okeiko in Warsaw 17th of July 2010
Okeiko in Warsaw 17th of July 2010

This weekend I’m going to Warsaw in Poland. Last year I became a member of the Polish Tea association, so it is about time I went to participate in one of their Okeiko.

Ula, Aaron and I were all students at Midorikai at the same time. Ula and Aaron got married and settled down in Warsaw, Ula’s home town.Where they are teaching Tea.

I have visited them once before. At that time we had a good time and some nice lessons. According to my temae records I did Hakobi Koicha, Satsubako and Bondate under their supervision.

I’m excited to meet them again. I haven’t seen either of them since my last visit in 2010. In the mean time they have gotten a baby with I very much look forward to meet.