LAURA CARTLEDGE Life’s like That...Simple things confuse, sorry...amuse simple minds this week

They say simple things amuse simple minds. And if this is the case... well, I like being simple.

I think we can be so busy keeping our nose to the grindstone that we can be guilty of not looking up or around us enough – meaning we take for granted some of the wonderful things around us.

Little things like cheese graters, I mean...who came up with that? And text messages bewilder me too; I just imagine loads of little words flying through the air. You name it, it intrigues me.

Take the humble cup of tea. Arguably a building block of English tradition and part of one of my favourite pastimes, especially if it’s served with scones, jam and cream.

But I digress. Builders’ tea, black tea, milky tea, with sugar, without – however you like it, it is estimated more than 165 million cups are drunk every day, making it the most popular drink in the land.

Big deal – you may think. But think a bit more. It’s not just something to fill your mug while you have a natter, read the newspaper or try to wake up.

In fact the teabag itself was made by accident in around 1908, by an American tea merchant called Thomas Sullivan, who started to send samples to his customers in small silken bags. However instead of emptying out the contents, some put the entire thing into the pot… and the rest is history.

Tea itself is rumoured to date back to China in 2737BC, where an emperor was sitting beneath a tree when some leaves from the tree blew into his water. But it wasn’t until 1664 the East India Company began to import into Britain, with its first order being just 100lbs.

That’s a lot of history to fit into a teacup. Which makes me wonder if anything is really simple, it just depends how deeply you look at it.

* Wear your tea cosy with pride – honest!

While brewing (sorry) this week’s column, I discovered today is National Wear Your Tea Cosy On Your Head Day.

Organised by White Stuff the event raised £26,000 last year for its foundation which works to make the world a little happier by helping disadvantaged children and young people in the local community. Great cause and it sounds like a lot of fun. To find out more visit