Tea #TwitteringTale

SecretGardenJPEG

In the time it had taken to break off the engagement the teapot had go cold. I wasn’t bothered, never be a fan of tea. I picked up a wedge of Victoria sponge cake and ate. Strangely, my mind was clear, it had been the right decision for us both.

(Inspired by; https://katmyrman.com/2018/08/07/twittering-tales-96-7-august-2018/ with thanks).

Out The Window

Cupcakes, Dessert, Frosting, Food, Cake

Finally, she was going to give in. She’d had enough of saying no to everyone. Standing at the counter, she looked down at the mouthwatering display. There was everything anyone could want here and it was going to be hard to pick. When it came to her turn, she paused before ordering. Was she really going to do this? She had tried hard all this year and now she was going to break.

‘A chocolate cupcake, please,’ she said before she could stop herself.

The teenage girl smiled and in flash, placed one of the cakes from the display on a plate before her.

Receiving her coffee, she paid and after a moment of hesitation, picked up the plate and went to an empty table.

It took her a good few minutes, but then she picked up the cupcake and bit into it. Chocolate, sugary goodness filled her mouth and she couldn’t hep but moan. How had she ever given up this?

Well, it’s too late now. Diet’s out the window, she thought and ate the rest of the cupcake.

Bad Day Cure

food, nuts, raspberries

After a bad day her only cure was to make cake. There was something she drew from the measuring and mixing of ingredients; a calming, homely sense that she could never put her fingers on. Afterwards when the cake was in oven, she curled on the sofa, licking the bowl and spoon. Memories of being little sat in her grandmother’s kitchen and eating the cake batter filled her. She had never known her grandmother not to be baking something. The timer went off and she hurried to take the cake out of the oven. The warm smell of vanilla of hugged her and she felt better already.

Coffee Overload

coffee-171653.jpg

Wiping the inside front windows of the coffee shop clean, Morgan wondered were she had gone wrong in life. She paused and glanced over her shoulder, whilst her hand still held the cloth to the window. She could see the long white counter stretching across the wall next to her and the army of chairs, tables and sofas that were arranged on the dark oak floorboards opposite.

Turning fully, she took in her in business. The counter held a large choice of cakes, biscuits and fruit in glass domed plates. Next to them sit two modern tills then there were the coffee and tea machines. Behind the counter was another work top to make cold drinks and food on. Above all that were three blackboard menu boards, divided by mosaic mirrors. The lighting wasn’t dim or too bright and the large windows at the front actually let a lot of sunlight in. The opposite wall was pale blue and held a few large photographs of the city at different times of the day and night.

Messing with the cloth in her hand, Morgan thought about how the place use to look. It had come so far since her grandparents nineteen-fifties restaurant. Instead of being divided into two spaces – kitchen and dining room, it was all one now. Everything was bright, clean and modern, a whole world away from her grandparents time. Yet, Morgan wished she could give it back to them.

Stepping back around, she finished cleaning the windows. Collecting her things, she put them into the back room then got out the books. Her thoughts were far away when a knocking on the door brought her back. Frowning, she checked the time and saw it was nearly half past six. Closing and sliding away the books, she went to the door and saw it was Colette, the supervisor.

‘Morning,’ Morgan said, letting her in.

‘Did you sleep here?’ Colette asked.

Morgan shook her head and let go of the door. She walked behind the counter and began switching things on and setting up.

‘You look like you need to,’ Colette picked up.

Morgan shot her sister-in-law a look, but did not voice her words.

Colette was tall, skinny, blonde and perfect looking. Everything Morgan was the opposite of and yet they had become friends, even though Colette belonged on some front cover of a glossy mag or big screen movie.

Morgan looked down at her scruffy pumps then across at Colette’s shinny black designer work shoes. Then she flicked her eyes up and looked at the pencil grey skirt and frilly cream blouse that Colette had on. Morgan was wearing jeans and a t-shirt.

‘Maybe I need a break,’ Morgan announced.

Colette give a single nod as she opened and peered into a small fridge.

‘I’m been thinking about for awhile actually…..I want to see the world.’

‘From your sofa?’ Colette asked, closing the fridge.

‘No! for real!’ Morgan snapped.

The bell above the door chimed and they both turned. A regular customer walked in, eyes glued to his phone, wearing a business suit and carrying a messenger bag.

Colette intercepted him and took his order whilst Morgan turned back to the sink and washed her hands. The cold water somewhat calmed her and Morgan let everything go with some deep breaths. She shut her eyes and listened to Colette making coffee and chatting to the young man.

After he had gone, Morgan turned to her sister-in-law again. Collect was tutting over the plastic sticks and spoons. Morgan folded her arms then dropped them again. She smelt the fresh coffee and decided she needed some.

‘I’m going to make a drink. Want anything?’

Colette shook her head, too fixated on putting things back into place.

Morgan walked past her and into the staff area. In the tiny kitchen at the back, she made herself some coffee, which didn’t smell as good as the one before. Going into the small office, Morgan sat down and fell into wondering again.

As the coffee worked into her brain, she decided she would make the first steps tonight and get out of this place for awhile.

Day

Books, Read, Book Pages, Literature, Learn, Relax

All I want to do is curl up on the sofa and read. With the occasion break of staring out of the window and watching the birds playing in the back garden. Or counting the rain drops falling on the glass if the weather is on the turn again. Later on, I’ll make some coco and get some chocolate cake before going back to whatever book has fallen into my hands. Then the cat might come and curl into my lap, her purrs and my breathing all that can be heard. That’s how I want the day to pass in the mediation of reading.

Cake Makes It All Feel Better

Black Forest Cake, Cake, Gate, Cutting Of, Piece Of Pie

Stuffing her face full of cake wasn’t going to help. But right at this moment she didn’t give a damn.

Baker’s Remorse

Sweets, Cupcakes, Bun, The Cake, Cake, Chocolate

The smell of burning filled the kitchen. Sandy put her hands on her hips and looked down at the tray of blackened cupcakes. A small line of smoke was drifting upwards. Throwing down the oven gloves, she let out a loud growl and pulled her hair out of the bun. Shiny, slightly damp ginger locks tumbled down her shoulders and back.

The phone rang, breaking the muted stillness around Sandy.

She ignored it and turned off the oven. Popping open the kitchen window, a freezing gale force wind swept inside, stealing away all the heat and smoke. Grabbing the oven gloves, she picked up the tray and dumped the destroyed cupcakes in the bin. Then abandoning the tray and gloves, she walked into the hallway and snatched the phone up.

Listening, she heard a call centre’s beeping break off and a crackling voice asked to speak to her.

‘Depends what you want,’ Sandy mumbled into the phone.

‘We are doing a life style questionnaire and a price draw for a holiday,’ the clipped female Asian voice explained.

Sandy shook her head, ‘no thanks.’

Hanging up, she went upstairs and got changed for her very important meeting. There’s going to an uproar, she thought, and I don’t really have time to go to the shops now. Why did I agree to bring cakes anyway?

Sighing, she did the buttons on her blouse up and checked the time. If she left now, she could just make it to the supermarket. Mulling things over, she put on her high heels, gathered her things and got into the car. The dashboard clock, told her there was still time and Sandy decided it was better than no cake.

Starting the car, she drove to the supermarket and gathered a range of cupcakes, muffins, doughnuts and small cakes. Returning, she placed everything in the car, got in and drove off. Telling herself, she’d just say there’d been no time, she drove to her meeting and hoped the company heads and directors didn’t have sweet teeth.

Cooking Up A Storm (Part 5)

Monday morning dawned. My alarm rang in six am and feeling fully rested I got up and prepared for my day in the bakery. Leaving for work, Midnight followed me as he normally did. The cold crisp autumn air felt good on my face and I took in deep breaths. At the end of the street, we turned right and walked down into the high street. We passed the line of tall trees that marked the entrance to the woods. The wind shook loose the leaves and I felt myself being blown about too.

The town centre was empty and silent. A Halloween banner flutter above a pub doorway and the fountain splashed away to itself. I walked two minutes further down towards a one way road used only by buses and taxis, just before where my shop sat. The old three story white building did seem slightly out of place, but when you looked at the buildings – a bank, a pub, a chippy and a clothes shop- that where across the road, it did fit in as all the buildings in this section dated from the mid-twenties.

I dug out my keys and unlocked the door shutter. Pulling it all the way up, I unlocked the double locks on the front door and went in, a small bell tinkling above me. Flicking on the lights, I closed the door and turned to see Midnight rubbing himself against the corner of the drinks fridge. Shaking my head, I looked around the bakery. To my left ran the glass counter with its many currently empty shelves for displaying all the cakes and other sweet things. A smooth curve started off another glass counter which was split between hot food and sandwiches. To my right were three large fridges; one for cold drinks, the other for prepared sandwiches and the last for reduce priced things. A half a meter further along that wall was a narrow staircase with a white notice above reading Café seating upstairs. Next to the stairs a door marked staff only, kitchen.

I walked over to the door, unlocked it and let myself in. The kitchen smelt faintly of sugar, spices and bread. Dumping my bag and coat on a side table, which wasn’t really used for anything, other than to hold the kitchen phone and notepad, I got to work. At my cooking station, I pulled out the plastic cover lists and began reading what I should be making today. Mostly it was cream filled cakes, fruit muffins, gingerbread men –now Halloween was over- and cookies.

I turned on the radio and gathered everything I needed. The bell jingled and I heard voices entering the shop. I looked through the glass counter and saw my business partner and bread maker arriving with her younger sister. I said hello and they hurried over and launched into asking about the party. I smiled and laughed most of it off, though they were pleased to hear about the coming boost in customers. They set to work soon after as the rest of our eight staff drifted in.

The morning passed quickly and we survived the lunchtime rush, though ran out of eclairs, strawberry tarts and pumpkin seed topped brown bread. I had my lunch at two o’clock on the third floor, which was divided into a staff break room, toilets and the office. Relaxing in the fake leather desk chair, I eat a ham sandwich and drink my coffee. For the rest of the afternoon I did some admin work.

A loud knocking called me out of my thoughts and the music I had been listening to via headphones. I slipped the buds out of my ears and with a glance over my shoulder at the door shouted out to the knocker.

‘Sorry to disturb you, Becks,’ Daisy said.

I smiled and waved her in. She made a quick attempted to get white icing powder off her blue apron and purple cord pants. She was my cake designer and decorator, though she only worked part-time and had often left at this time.

‘What is it?’ I asked.

‘There’s a man asking for you downstairs. He said his name’s Fred and you invited him to afternoon tea.’

I frowned and pursed my lips. The office phone rang, making us both jump.

‘Okay. I’ll be down in a few,’ I said.

Daisy nodded, took the blue net off her blonde going grey hair and left.

I picked up the phone and dealt with a customer checking on their order. When I hung up I went downstairs and saw Fred staring into the reduce price fridge.

‘Hello,’ I said.

‘Hi. Nice place you got here,’ he spoke back, ‘bigger than I thought.’

‘What do you want?’ I asked suddenly defensive.

He shrugged his broad shoulders and I noticed that he didn’t look that different out of his knight’s costume. He was wearing a black polo shirt with a company logo on it and dark blue trousers. He was ruggedly handsome with his blond hair and beard, but it was his blue eyes that held me.

‘Just to see you again,’ he said sheepishly, ‘I finished work early and thought I’d come and find this place. You did give me the address.’

‘I know…I’m really busy right now,’ I said softer.

‘It’s fine. I’ll come back later or maybe another day…’

‘Great. You do that,’ I said, ‘maybe try an apple turnover or a vanilla slice,’ I suggested.

He nodded and I went back upstairs. Sitting back down, I couldn’t get him out of my head. His let down face kept popping up and I wondered why I had been so mean. I pushed on and got the rest of the things I wanted to get done finished.

Going downstairs as the baby grandfather clock in the café chimed five o’clock, I found the last customers leaving and the staff starting to clean up. I give them a hand then after they had left, closed the shop. Locking the door shutter and taking in some deep breaths of the cold air, I heard my name.

Turning, I saw Fred jogging over to me.

‘You were right about the apple turnover. Really good,’ he said catching his breath.

I laughed, ‘you’re welcome. Sorry for being short with you before. I was in the middle of sorting out some last minute changes to an order for next week.’

‘It’s okay. I thought maybe it was me…’

‘You?’ I questioned.

He nodded, ‘yeah, you didn’t want to see me again or something…not that you said that…It’s just, at the party yesterday, I really wished I’d talked to you more.’

‘Oh, I see.’

‘I wanted to give you my number, but I had to leave in a hurry, remember?’ he rushed.

I nodded and smiled, ‘do you want to give it to me now?’

‘What? Oh, yeah sure. Give me a second.’

He pulled his phone out of trousers and I grabbed mine from my bag.

‘I’m afraid I’m not free till Sunday. That’s my only day off,’ I stated.

‘That’s fine, maybe we could go out for lunch?’ he suggested.

‘I’d really like that.’

‘Here’s my number.’

I smiled and we swapped numbers.

************

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Sunday Bake Day

She was alone and had the afternoon all to herself. She could have done a million things as there was always stuff to do with a new baby in the house. However, after putting her feet up, watching some general TV shows and drinking two cups of tea, she was bored. Glancing around, she pulled a magazine out of the rack and flipped through it.

The house was too quiet, she decided, which she also thought odd since the house must have been this way before the baby. Sighing, she put the magazine back and got up. She swayed a little on her legs, the result of too much gym and yoga throughout the week. Going into the kitchen, she put her mug in the dishwasher and thought about making something for tea.

Her and her husband hadn’t done much cooking later and maybe the baby would finally sleep through the night when they came back. She pulled some books from a small shelf and flipped through them. The gloss photos showed a heavenly delight of things, but nothing drew her. At the end, she reached the deserts and saw a whole range of cakes.

Finally, she settled on making a Victoria sponge and some banana muffins. Putting the rest of the books away and keeping that one on the work top, she rummaged for all the ingredients. Luckily, she found enough of everything and lined it all up. Then, sticking closely to the steps in the book, she made the cake mix and put it into the oven. Feeling proud of herself, she moved on to the banana muffins. It had been an age since she had last made anything, which was easily blamed on the pregnancy. She had lived off jam doughnuts, apples with toffee sauce, some other fruit and veg, nuts, toast and plain pasta.

Now, with the warm smell of sponge rising in the kitchen, she wondered how she had never done it. Smiling and feeling content, she finished off the muffin mix and waited for the timer to ping. When it did, she took the cake out and put the muffins in. She stood over the cake, breathing in the scent of vanilla and sugar.

She placed the cake to the side and imaged that in the future she would teach her daughter how to bake and all the fun they would have.

Banana Bread

She sniffed and wondered what that smell was. Pausing for the first time in hours, she half turned her head to glance at the attic door. A thin paint brush was glued to her dry lips and three more brushes stilled their ball juggling like movements in her hands. The large canvas before her demanded her attention back.

She looked at the overall painting and not just the small bottom sections she had been working on. It was a dark under the ocean scene with just a hint of rolling waves on top. She put down the paint brushes, gently removed the one from her mouth and stood up. Her body ached and protested, but still her bones clicked back and her muscles moved.

She walked away stiffly, like an hundred year old woman then turned once she had reached the bookcase. The painting filled her vision and the sweet banana smell lingered around her. What is that? She wondered and smelt the air again. It was a warm and rich aroma that hummed of homemade baking. It sang to her like a child with a sugary voice.

She shook her head and zoned back into the painting. The wreckages of ships both wooden and metal loomed out of the dark and eerie water. Sea weed and other salt water plants floated next to them whilst sea creatures of all kinds filled the rest of the space. It was good, life like yet with a handful of dark fantasy.

She took a note of different things, for example; the Kraken wrapped around the first wooden ship needed finishing. The hammerhead shark in the porthole faded too much into the background and she needed luminous paint for the jellyfishes. She hobbled back to her stool and sat down again. The two tables on both sides of the canvas and easel where packed with paints, brushes, jars of water, mixing trays, paper sketches and printed coloured photographs. She shuffled through everything and found an image of the hammerhead shark.

The colour is too dark, she realised as she compared things. Gathering a selection of grey paints, she began to figure out which one was accurate. The heavy whiffs of banana hugged around her and tugged her stomach away. Putting down the paints were a sigh, she got up and undid the apron covering her. Abandoning the paint encrusted fabric on the stool, she went to the attic door.

Opening it, she went down the steep staircase with bubbling regret. She stopped at the bottom and looked back up, knowing the painting wouldn’t be finished in time if she did this. She breathed deeply and the cake smell reassured her. She’d feel better it seemed to add. She went across the landing and down the two flights of main stairs to the kitchen.

She stopped at the half opened door and looked in. All she could see was the side of the fridge-freezer, some cupboards and to the other side, the edge of the kitchen table. The smell was at its peak but mingling with the hot oven and lemon cleaner. She opened the door, unable to stop herself and walked in.

From the table, her husband looked up guilty. Wordlessly, he slid an already full bowl over to her. The sight of banana bread in custard brought her almost to tears.

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