Monday 28 March 2011


By Charlotte Dicey

Instant tea

He wasn’t going to have them, not the nice teaspoons with the shiny handles; she’d hide them under the dessert spoons where he wouldn’t find them. He’d only use them for stirring his tea. Two seconds, and they’d need washing again. No, she’d save them for those little luxuries she allowed herself: the creamy profiteroles and the individual strawberry trifles. It was a pity she couldn’t eat the raspberry ones, but the pips got under her plate until she had no choice but to take it out.

He could use the old spoons for his tea. They stained easily, and were no use for things like the low-fat yoghurts his doctor had suggested. She grimaced: tea, that was another thing. It was a relatively recent development; well, when they were first married, they’d used proper tea, so it hadn’t been a problem. Now, it came in little perforated bags which changed shape according to the whims of some overpaid graduate still wet behind the ears. Personally, she’d never found that tea from pyramid bags tasted any better than tea from square or round ones. Anyway, the shape was irrelevant; it was what he did with the tea-bags once he’d removed them from his mug. Sensible people would have put them in the bin, but that obviously involved too much effort. No, he left them on the little round plate marked ‘spoons’. At first she’d made allowances, but, even when she left empty peach tins nearby, it made no difference; he continued to leave them on the spoon rest. She knew it was deliberate; no one could be that stupid. She liked the little dish. It was from Marks and Spencer’s Harvest range, and had been bought fifteen years earlier. She’d had plans to replace all her old tea set, but then they’d discontinued the line, so she’d had to make do with the odd cup and saucer she’d managed to pick up.

Today, as usual, the little plate was piled high with tea-bags and yoghurt lids; there was no room for the spoons for which it was intended. They lay in twos and threes on the work surface.

Well, she wasn’t washing them up. If he couldn’t put them where they were supposed to go, she certainly wasn’t going to; they could stay where they were.

Her eyes gleaming with determination, she tipped the water out of the bowl, then took off her bright yellow gloves.

All done!

The End

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