Mr B and I are on Tea Duty at the Bowls Club this afternoon. Let’s hope we don’t let our sense of importance go to our heads.
It’s the first time I have ever been Tea Monitor at the Bowls Club. I remember that the Eldest of the Darling Daughters still believes that being Milk Monitor in the Lower Juniors was the highlight of her early school career. Will it be the same
for me today, I wonder? Mr B has been on Tea Duty lots of times when I was a Working Gal and therefore not free to join him in his Endeavours on the Tea Front. In the car on the way down to the club, he gives me a brief run through of what is expected
of us. I am not listening as intently as I should, but this is because I know there is a detailed “What To Do” list, fastened with Sellotape on the front of the crockery cupboard. I imagine this will tell me all I need to know.
When we arrive at the clubhouse, we find that someone has already helpfully laid out all the tea cups and saucers and turned on the urn which is heating up nicely. I consult
the list of instructions on the cupboard door and realise that we have escaped lightly. If this had been other than a club drive we would have had to butter currant bread, make sandwiches, set the tables with tablecloths. As it is, we simply have to arrange
biscuits on plates and prepare the tea.
The instructions are very precise. We must put four tea bags in each tea pot and fill it to within two inches of the top.
We must be ready to serve tea once the bowlers have completed nine of the eighteen ends they are to play this afternoon. As the first team completes its ninth end, we are to ring the bell which hangs on the wall outside the clubhouse.
I really, REALLY wanted to ring that bell. But Mr B got there before me. He rang the bell three times, with great authority. It’s probably as well he rang
the bell. I would probably have approached it with a certain timidity. Timidity is out of place in bell-ringing.
Everyone files in for their tea and I pour
cup after cup, hardly spilling a drop. Everyone seems to appreciate the fact that we have put out so many chocolate biscuits – in fact, so appreciative are they that I start to wonder if we have been too generous with the Jaffa Cakes and chocolate digestives.
The Captain thanks us for our efforts in providing tea and everyone applauds. I take a bow, trying to remember the last time anyone gave me a round of applause. The Captain
draws the raffle and we win a bottle of Cotes de Rhone. Things are just getting better and better.
We start to wash up. There are an awful lot of cups and
saucers. I consider suggesting that the club purchases mugs which would render the saucers redundant and cut down significantly on the washing up. Mr B reminds me that, had this been a Cake And Sandwich Tea, we would have had plates to wash up too.
Years ago, before we were married, Mr B used to play cricket for a local team and I used to make the teas. The Cricket Wives used to send their children along with their
fathers knowing that, in between buttering bread and brewing tea, I would keep an eye on their littl’uns.
Come the evening and the Cricket Wives would turn
up at the clubhouse, all glammed up and beautiful. I, on the other hand, weary from an afternoon on Tea Duty, would look a right sight. Fortunately Mr B never seemed to notice.
Love is blind.