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Tuesday, June 10, 2008

Radio Days

October 7, 1946 in England was the start of something big - it was the first broadcast of a radio program designed to celebrate, entertain and inform women. Woman's Hour now attracts an audience of some 2.7 million people.

When I lived in London, I tried to listen to Woman's Hour daily on BBC Radio 4 . Upon my return to the States, I was elated to discover that I could still listen - via the internet.

I invite you to visit the Woman's Hour website to search through their current (and past) programming. In the meantime, here is a lovely interview from 2006 with Jane Pettigrew on the subject of none other than ..... Afternoon Tea.

Tea at Sea

I work for a law firm that specializes in, among other things, Maritime Law. Our offices are located only blocks from Charleston Harbor and a seafaring spirit is evident here thanks to dozens of vintage maritime prints scattered throughout the building.

One of our conference rooms is named the Montague Dawson room. Montague Dawson was a British painter known for his paintings of sailing ships - in particular, clipper ships. Around the walls of the Montague Dawson room are signed prints of some of his most famous works, including one called Thermopylae Leaving Foochow (above).

Thermopylae was a clipper ship built in 1868 in Scotland. She was designed for the China tea trade, and set many speed records. In 1872, Thermopylae left Shanghai, in company with the Cutty Sark, with a cargo of tea for London. After racing each other for two weeks, the Cutty Sark lost her rudder. Thermopylae eventually arrived in London - seven days ahead of her rival. Though the Cutty Sark made some good performances, she never managed to outrun the Thermopylae.

I Want To Work Here!!!

The Tea Building is in East London and part of a group of warehouses on the edge of the City that have been lovingly refurbished. This former Lipton Tea warehouse dates back to the nineteenth century and was purchased by a company called Derwent for £22m in 2000, then given a £6m makeover. It's now worth more than £50m.

The design strategy was to create high-style and high-quality public spaces, then do as little as necessary - allowing creative tenants to take advantage of the possibilities which the tough industrial spaces offer.

I love the big "TEA" sign atop the building!
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