‘…How beautiful they were! The Shoemaker said…’
I look up from the page of my book at the flowery smile of the waitress whose shadow has been cast over my table, and whose eyes seemed to shine with the knowledge that something exceptional is about to happen.
“Have you ever had tea with us before?” she chirps.
A moment passes as I decide whether to say “yes” or “no” knowing the latter would lead to exactly what it did, but almost helpless to stop it. During this moment her rosy cheeks drop a millimeter.
They rise an inch.
“We-elll you seee, we use loose-leaf tea and so…”
At this point I am allowed to peer with her into the depths of the pot.
“When it gets to jaaaaast the right strennngth…you can whip the strainer out and place it in this ramekin!” Which she produces from God knows where, probably a pocket of her shiny white apron, who knows?
“Oh, OK thanks, that’s great.”
“Aaaaand….” I look up. “The tea comes with a lovely homemade biscuit, now isn’t that nice?”
“homemade this morning, along with the bread that we bake ourselves!”
“OK, that sounds great…”
“Yes! Well, enjoy your tea!”
‘…How beautiful they…’
Eurgh! the tea’s stewed.