I am in Sweden staying with friends - house with the forest on one side and a lake on the other, lots of talking and eating around a big wooden table. If it wasn't for the X-box in the corner I could be in a Carl Larsson painting. Lovely. Well it is now. Days one and two were completely clouded by the absence of tea. I mean real tea, not peppermint, chamomile, green or Earl Grey but proper builder's tea, known in better circles English Breakfast blend. It was pretty horrific. Those of you who know me well have witnessed the rapid descent into grumpiness that is prompted by my not having regular doses of tannin pumped into me. I am an addict I make no bones about it. You would think therefore that I would lap up the Earl Grey purchased for me by my thoughtful coffee-drinking friends. But I can't. Its too fragrant. Its just not a proper cuppa. And yet it is ubiquitous. At cafes and restaurants here the response to an order for tea is to bring a cup of hot water and an Earl Grey teabag on the side (I know, as in America and France, the general populous in Sweden remains oblivious to the correct method of making a brew). And waiters and hosts alike are perplexed by my lack of enthusiasm for the delicate blend. They have fallen for the Earl Grey spin that it is the blend of choice amongst the great British tea-drinking public! As if. On day two, with anxiety levels rising I ventured to a supermarket where I purchased an horrifically-priced-even-for-Sweden packet of breakfast teabags. I shall not be taking any risks next week when I go to the south of France with an ample supply of the good stuff in my bag.