On Friday afternoon I was part of a group of COPs (Community Oriented Policing) who lay in ambush for a merry fellow who has been lurking in a forest in order to prey on women walking home singly with pay up a long, steep flight of steps adjoining said forest. Unfortunately, very few potential victims risked it – they went a very long way round – and our little fly didn’t come into the parlour.

 Afterwards, at the home of one of the members, a friend of theirs rode up on a motorbike, leapt off in a spritely fashion, took an amazingly large pile of books from under his saddle the delivery of which was the purpose of his visit, and then zoomed off again. I was invited to guess his age, and certainly wouldn’t have even considered suggesting the 89 which was the answer. A while later, over coffee, I was told that he regularly goes for long walks, including up some of the long flights of steps on the hillside like the one we had been lurking at, and that he still very much has all his faculties. And yet, twenty years ago, he had been starting to lift his legs by hand in order to get into a car.

 Then he discovered a substance which he has imbibed ever since and claims rejuvenated him, and which my hosts have now also started with. I was invited to sample some. It was lovely: rather like Lemon Ice Tea, but better. Then I was shown what it had been distilled from, and went ‘Urk!’  There was this glass container of liquid with some yukky, mushroom-like fungus floating on it. I was told it is a Chinese fungus tea, made by adding the culture to a fresh mixture of ordinary tea with sugar according to taste. I was asked if I wanted to start a culture, and after seeing the proof of that pudding I overcame my aversion and said an enthusiastic, ‘Yes, please!’  So if you see me joining the next Everest expedition, you’ll know the reason why …

Our dear friend Google gives the name of the stuff as ‘Kombucha’ and there are some long and rambling articles about whether it works or not, or is harmful or not, or what makes it work if it does work, or why it shouldn’t work. Personally, I am quite satisfied at the sight of a frisky 89-year-old who was anything but frisky when he started it. If it’s killing him, it’s taking long enough about it! I wonder if it is also effective with Bush Tea – the best of both worlds?

 Talk was interrupted by some strident calls from Hadeda ibises (Bostrychia hagedash) and this led to a story being related about the sudden mysterious appearance in their garden, a while back, of unmarked ibis corpses from time to time. One day, the Jack Russel was observed going into stalking mode. Suddenly the dog did an efficient dash at a feeding Hadeda, hit it smartly across the neck with a forepaw, and then trotted casually back from the broken-necked corpse with the satisfied air that comes from a job well done. Needless to say, he underwent a certain amount of corrective education …

 © Colonialist February 2011 (Letterdash/Wordpress)

About colonialist

Active septic geranium who plays with words writing fantasy novels and professionally editing, with notes writing classical music, and with riding a mountain bike, horses and dinghies. Recently Indie Publishing has been added to this list.
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  1. adeeyoyo says:

    Where can I get a plant? I am not a tea person at all, but could become one for the benefits you describe, Col.

    I love the story of the Jack Russell.


  2. Tokeloshe says:

    My Mother in law came to visit us once and brought a tea plant along, which kept dividing, had to be looked after and looked awful.
    It turned out that it was a Kombucha 😉


  3. Artswebshow says:

    There are some incredible herbal teas out there.
    Personally i’m more of a coffee man but a nice cuppa every now and again.
    Very nice.
    Tea is supposedly very strong in anti oxidants.
    Which is apparently very good for you


  4. The proof is in the pudding. Try it and let us know.


  5. Cindy says:

    I love Kombucha, but find it frightfully expensive.
    Poor hadeda, we had one commit suicide in our garden a while back, wasn’t nice at all.


  6. Mmmm. Kombucha. Must check it out…
    Or maybe not.


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