Tag Archives: Poetry workshops with Angela Topping

Hygge Feature #10: Tea

An important part of hygge is hot drinks. The Danes prefer coffee but tea is the UK favourite. It’s where we turn in times of trouble, visitors and happiness, for our comfort.


Where I was

It was one of
those days when it was good
to be indoors, when just

sipping black tea from a spotted
cup was enough.
The news was hushed.

He didn’t want to tell us;
once he’d said it
it would be real.

And afterwards, it snowed.
The whole window-frame
was filled with it. So soft,

each flake touched
the window, as if
it had never been.

Carole Bromley




As hot as I can stand it,
just like a builder would drink,
leaning at your counter top,
giving you a quote for your kitchen.
The colour of varnish.
Mahogany, it travels through my veins,
pockets in my stomach like a posset,
heats my extremities.
Warms the cockles.
It’s sweet, much too sweet –
but I find that I need the sugar,
crave the saccharine.
Warm and milky,
swirled and spooned –
my mouth is a cave,
flushed with a sea of it.

Jane Burn


Dad’s Tea

Gave up milk and sugar in the war, long before I was born,
came to prefer his dark bitter brew. Couldn’t abide it weak:
if he could see white china at the bottom, he’d send it back
to the pot for further steeping. In vain I tried to get the spoon
standing up for him. The last one poured was always his.

We knew how to drink tea in our house. Countless cups of it
punctuated the day, from the early morning bedside one
to his enquiry every evening at nine: would you like a cup of tea?
before mother went to bed and he clocked off tea-making.
Tea was the reaction to every crisis, arrival and departure.

One evening, I listened to Under Milk Wood on the radio
in my room, wrapped in a blanket. He brought me tea,
a bowl of milky porridge, glistening with brown sugar.
Tea was the last thing he drank before he died:
I had carried a cup to him, strong and hot, rattling on its saucer.

Tea was the way we loved each other, the way he treated me,
and gentled my mother, with scones just out of the oven,
new bread and blackberry jam, apple pie. Easier than words
which made him trip and stumble since his childhood stammer.
Our tea cosy was stained brown where it snugged the spout.

Angela Topping

from Hearth (Mother’s Milk Books 2015)



Filed under Hygge

Poems from the Roald Dahl workshop at Huddersfield Library #2

More poems produced by children during my workshop in Huddersfield Library. Caution: may include our own made up words – because anything Dahl can do, we can too!

Mrs Guillotine

The meanest teacher ever found
was from France, and lived a mile underground.
A language teacher originated,
saw the Queen be coronated.
At school she is a complete terror
and if you ever make an error
you’ll find out Mrs Guillotine
will lock you in the school store cupboard.
If you run down the corridor
she will scream at you, making you fall to the floor.
So beware! Do not bump into Mrs Guillotine
or you may end up executed.

by Mei Rivett (age 9)

Miss Lovelyhug

Miss Lovelyhug is a nice teacher.
She has long hair and she is tall.
She wears a butterfly teeshirt
and she moves like a butterfly.
Miss Lovelyhug has blue eyes.

Louanne (age 7)

Butterfuly t shirt


Miss Strawberry is very sweet
with strawberry blond hair and a lovely dress.
She usually says ‘good boy’, ‘good girl’.
She gives you double playtime when you’re good.
She lets you do what you want
and sometimes finish school early.

Mr Tuffnut has spiky hair and spiky nails.
He wears a waistcoat and a top hat.
He sounds like a roaring lion.
Most of the time he says DETENTION
even if you move.
He makes them do double work.

Evan Harris (age 8)

The Wizzle

Miss Littlepeach is nice.
She has brown eyes, chestnut hair
and a lovely pink dress.

Mrs Bignut is big and mean.
She has green eyes like a cat.
She always shouts even when you’re not being naughty.

Mr Light is kind to everybody.
He likes to have a lot of sweets
and he always shares them.

Evie Grace Morton (age 7)





Filed under Education, Poets in schools, Writing challenges