The Origins of British Tea

So for Bootcamp this month our mini assignment is all about tea.  Yup, anything and everything and if you love tea like me then that equals quite a lot of fun.  Since I love history too I have been digging around and discovered that tea was actually bought to England in about 1662 by Queen Catherine of Braganza, the wife of Kind Charles II. It was initially extremely expensive and so only the elite classes could afford it but as time went by it became more affordable and therefore accessible to ordinary people.  The little poem around the top of the painting that I've written reads: 'Queen Catherine of Braganza was rather partial to her tea. She said it kept her calm and restored her sanity. The King did, the Queen did and then the Court did too. Until the whole of England enjoyed a daily brew'.


Ode to Virginia Woolf

Virginia Woolf the great lover of words and considered a prominent author in  modernist writing during the 20th Century.  She's attributed to being one of the pioneers in the narrative mode of writing known as 'Stream of Consciousness', a style we're quite used to reading in today but utterly groundbreaking at the turn of the 20th Century.

There is a nod in the background of my portrait to Bloomsbury, a group of intellectuals and artists of which Virginia was a key member.  I am just embarking upon reading the beautiful Penguin Clothbound edition of 'Orlando', written in 1928 and one of her lighter novels intended as a portrait of her enigmatic lover Vita Sackville West.  

Sadly, Woolf suffered with mental illness throughout her life and committed suicide in 1941 at the age of just 59.  But she lives on inspiring others through her brilliant works which have been translated into over 50 languages.