This is Gillian’s response to Lois’s recent post of ‘A nice cup of tea.

A NICE CUP OF TEA

Vi was of the opinion that a nice cup of tea was the answer to most troubles.    Sitting down for a start helped, sipping good hot tea dried tears, and sharing a cup of tea and ones troubles quite often put things to rights.

Vi lived on her own since her husband Fred had died, unlamented, it has to be said, serving his Queen and Country.    She kept an eye on her mother, Florrie, who lived down the road, and enjoyed being an Auntie to her sister’s two boys.

Florrie had had three girls.   Vi, who was christened Violet, Primrose (who hated her name and shortened it to Ros as soon as she left school) and Lily.   Lily was intended to be christened Cowslip (Florrie having a love of spring flowers) but the Vicar had a quiet word,  and Lily was chosen instead.

Ros was a bright girl, with no intention of staying in what she described as a town dead from the feet up.  She flew the nest in a flurry of hurt feathers and recriminations, met and married a Canadian and disappeared into the depths of Toronto.

Vi and Lily were close, so when she appeared in Vi’s kitchen, in floods of tears, Vi put the kettle on, sat her down with a box of tissues, and prepared to offer tea and sympathy.

“What’s up, then Lil?”

“Its George”, she sniffed, wrapping her hands round the mug of tea.   (George was her husband,  a rather florid man, who worked in the local paper mill)    “The Doctor said he’s diabetic, and he’s got to lose weight.   He’s given him a diet sheet, and its all these things he doesn’t like, and you know how he loves his beer, and he said he’d got to go back for another blood test in a month,  and he’s furious, stamping  around, says no-one’s telling him what to eat and that, and I don’t know what to do!”   And she burst into tears again.

Vi rapidly sorted the pronouns out in her head.    “Is that old Dr. Wright, or that new chap?”

“The new one.   George says he’s a pipsqueak, who doesn’t know what he’s talking about.  But he was lovely with me when I went about my bit of trouble. Is there another cup in that pot?”

Vi filled Lily’s mug again and passed her the tissues.

“He’s good, that new chap.   Found out what was really wrong with little Billy Hobson, and got him into hospital quickly.   And you can die from diabetes, you know.   That’s what that Len Pearson died of, him that used to deliver the fish.   Always munching sausage rolls, cheeseburgers, all that sort of thing”.

Lily looked gloomily into her mug.

“I know.   It’s persuading him to keep to this diet.   I don’t mind cooking the stuff like it says, it’ll be a change from him keep asking for chips and that.   I like cooking.   But he’s likely throw it in my face and march off to the pub”.

“Well, you have to tell him, Lily.   His health is his responsibility.   It’s not up to you.”

“I know, but you know what George’s like.”

“Now look here, Lily, you’ve got to get him to see the seriousness of this.   Tea time tonight, you make something that he can eat off his diet, make it look really good, you know.   Then sit down and ask him straight out ‘Have you made a will?’

“He hasn’t, I know that for a fact” said Lily

“Well, when he starts blustering and that, say, well, Diabetes is a killer, its all in the papers, and if you don’t do what the Doctor says, then you are in trouble.    And tell him you’ll do your part, but he’s got to look after his own health.   Then leave it.   If he starts being nasty, go in the kitchen and shut the door.   Do the washing up, or something.”

“You’re right”, sighed Lily.   “I’ll do what you say, but if he throws the plate at my head, then I’m coming round here”.

“Good for you!   Want another brew?”

“Why not?   Can’t beat a nice cup of tea for sorting out troubles, can you?”

© Gillian Peall 2017

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