Sheri Silver Unsplash afternoon tea
Not the author's actual petit-fours. Image credit: Sheri Silver/Unsplash

The world, as we know, is largely down the lav. I may often remind you of this state in print, but I am wont to forget it regularly in life. I urge you to do this as well. We must not gaze too long into the neoliberal sewer of the present. Before it gazes back, we must practise what a youngster might call “self-care”, or what I call “disavowal of the devastating truth”. You may choose your delusion as a craft, novel or physical exercise. I prefer mine served on china.

Afternoon tea is my most direct route to denial. When I sense that our very public problems — wealth inequality, nativism, sexism, climate change, etc — will never be resolved, I make a scone in private. When the world looks especially bleak, I find a tea room. A tea room that serves afternoon tea. Afternoon tea. This is more difficult than those with limited interest in pinwheel sandwiches suppose.