Tuesday 18 April 2023

If the Queen Had Come to Tea by Hannah Retallick, loose-leaf tea

If the Queen had come to tea, I’d have used my teapot. I’d have filled it with scorching water and held my hand against its porcelain hip, waiting for the heat to come through. I’d have thrown the expendable water into my clean, cold sink; a mushroom of steam would’ve risen and condensed on the window overlooking the vegetable garden, which I might have had, if.

                 I’d have sprinkled loose-leaf tea into the hot vessel and flicked the switch of the kettle, bringing it up to one hundred before pouring. Quick, trap it! Bundle it up with a knitted blue cosy. Wait for five minutes, brew don’t stew, and ta-da the buttery homemade scones. Bring out the red paper napkins, without a finger lick to separate them. No, crimson silk napkins purchased from Harrods. If the Queen had come to tea, I’d have served it through a strainer into warmed cups with saucers, the gold-rimmed floral ones I might have had, if.

                 I wouldn’t have poured the boiling water straight from the kettle onto PG Tips in a chunky cold mug, squished the bag for seconds and chucked it into the black liner next to the overflowing kitchen bin, or pushed a custard cream’s head under, rescuing it just in time and letting it melt in my mouth, or stood there, Silent Steve, not brave enough to ask or say. She wouldn’t have liked that at all. Not if she had. If my Queen. If.

About the author  

Hannah Retallick is from Anglesey, North Wales. She was home educated and then studied with the Open University, graduating with a first-class BA (Honours) Arts and Humanities (Creative Writing and Music) degree, before passing her creative writing MA with distinction. Her work has been placed and shortlisted in several international competitions. https://www.hannahretallick.co.uk/about 

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