At 3:30 pm I turn off my microfilm reader or shut down the archival database and I put on the kettle. I suppose I don't need to actually shut down to have tea, but it feels more like a real break that way. I'm not the only one who does this. I've quickly learned I need to fill the kettle all the way and start a line of mugs if I want to get my turn. The coffeepot is strangely lonesome at this time, the bustle of 10:30am being long over. I like to look at everyone's mugs. People usually only bring one mug to work, and it's usually one they like very much as they use it everyday. A lot of people have handmade mugs, which is oddly reassuring, although I know that a museum probably has a higher percentage of artsy types than other government offices. Boss J. has kittens on her mug. C in public relations has a travel mug, even when she has no appointments. R's is huge and bright yellow. E has a mug with our logo that she bought on her first day of the job. Mine is one of the handmade ones. A gift from Boyfriend on his recent trip to Labrador. The potter's name and the year are engraved on the bottom.
While the kettle boils I find out what the weather is like. The Museum is composed largely of windows that are several stories high and wrap around the building to provide panoramic views of the city. However, I'm in a little beige cubicle and can't see out. So people tell me what's happening. Apparently it's snowing.
With my tea I have a cookie. This is a shocking admission, because I take my tea in my office and food in offices is strictly forbidden. But the other part of this ritual is looking at kittens at icanhascheezburger.com or checking on my favourite blogs (see below) and I'm not giving up on it. The cookie has become such an important part of my day that it keeps me baking on a regular basis, even when nothing else does.
This is also the time of day that Tom Allen, DJ on CBC radio 2 shifts from classical music to contemporary. Today as I snuggled into my chair with my tea and my chewy cocoa chocolate chip cookie (see Orangette) Tom was playing some Joni Mitchell and kittens were being adorable. I thought to myself that this was a moment of perfect happiness. Perfect. I couldn't be happier if I was on a yacht in the Mediterranean. And I get this moment every single day.
I'm really very lucky.