“The Midwich Cuckoos” by John Wyndham is a 1957 classic. It’s a little tricky to get hold of, but well worth the effort. It’s one of my personal favorites, written at a time when science fiction writers were coming into their own. I once found Irish Breakfast tea to be a little tricky to get hold of, too (and well worth the effort), but the English Tea Store has, thankfully, made it easy to find this perfect companion to the novel.
In the story, a sleepy village in rural England loses contact with the world for an entire day. Strange and mysterious, yes, but alarming? Not so much, at least not for a bunch of proper British folks who simply wake up and go about their day. However, a few weeks later, all the females of childbearing age find themselves pregnant — married or otherwise. And the babies all share the same feature: golden eyes. As time goes on, the village discovers that’s not all the children share.
Irish Breakfast tea has its own delayed surprise in its taste. It’s a black tea, strong like English Breakfast, but with a malt under-taste that comes along after the initial sip to really deepen the experience.
Wyndham is also a little ahead of his time with “The Midwich Cuckoos”. He writes of moral implications and cultural effects with a style that is straight-forward and charming. He spends little narrative on the science of what’s happening, and more on the results in the lives of people caught up in the mystifying experience.
Isn’t that what a great cup of tea is all about, as well? With Irish Breakfast, each sip is straight-forward and charming, leaving one to focus on the taste and the results of being caught up in the experience. With a little cream and sweetener, the tea becomes downright dessert, smoothing the way to being captured by Wyndham’s intriguing tale.
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