Friday, 12 May 2017

I Spill Some Oats

Earlier in the week I broke a Japanese teacup: part of a set of six my parents were given as a wedding present.  I broke it in the process of cleaning my living room windows to let the sun in more clearly.   I keep the cups on the window sill where their delicate-thin china is well-lit, their blue glaze offset against the white paint.

Making flapjacks this evening, I spilt some oats.  I did this as I was using a peg to close up the bag.  Before I could secure the opening, the bag slipped in my hands and some oats tumbled onto the kitchen floor.

And I have a scab on my shin from where I banged it climbing up the loft ladder to put my suitcase away after my trip to the Outer Hebrides.

Breaking the cup prompted the memory that my parents' wedding anniversary falls in May. I checked the date in my birthday book, and realised that on Sunday 14th it will be 60 years since they married in Salisbury Cathedral. 

Neither of them is alive to celebrate, and the date would have passed without me thinking of it had I not dropped a pane of double glazing Perspex onto the teacups.  As it is, for the past couple of days I've been imagining 1957: my mother just turned twenty, my father thirty-two; she so full of romantic dreams, he so full of his faith.  What an act of courage and innocence. 

What I've came to thinking is how extraordinary it is that those six cups survived as an intact set for so long.  And how amazing that only one of them broke.

As for the oats, before sweeping them up I took a picture of my kitchen floor.  It's a galaxy:

I've kept the pieces of teacup - I will glue them together, or I'll make something with them: take a leaf out of my cousin's book.  This is the cousin who's broken enough china to create a beautiful mosaic to frame his kitchen window.

And my shin?  It's nearly healed.


  1. Lovely writing, Liz. I can feel the warmth of the sun

  2. I remember that day in 1957 so well. I do miss them

  3. I remember that day in 1957 so well. I do miss them