Mono Brew.

The air feels like a water bed. Like a foam mattress that takes on the shape of your body when you’ve left it. And my body at the moment is cool. I don’t mean it in a narcissistic, vain kinda way, I mean it in a purely Celsius/Fahrenheit kinda way.
Today I drove to Deer Park to have lunch with a young German Fraulein. After my salad I texted her, realising that we had miscommunicated.
‘Let’s meet at 2.00 at our place’ she’d written.
I assumed that ‘our place’ was Deer Park. In fact it meant ‘her’ place, ‘our’ place referring to her home she shares with her German husband.
So I drove in the searing heat to her cool flat, and I mean that in all senses of the word. I parked the car in the shade and opened the wooden door. Up two and half flights of stairs into her fastidious hall.
The kitchen, granite and dark grey, with a wooden table, and a balcony, canopy tree high, was filled with freshly cut flowers, a musical box, and a cupboard full of delicious teas. We sat at a little wooden table, on the balcony, near the chattering birds. I chose Earl Grey. On a little plate sat a chewy Brownie, and an Apricot Custardy thingy. She had strawberries and cream and a juice.
My tea was made in a Mono tea pot. An elegant, decadent glass contraption that has a sieve for the leaves, and a metal base for a candle. They can cost as much as 179 pounds, I’m tempted.
Her flat is German, sparse, calm and deliciously minimal. The teapot suits her decor. My cottage is not sparse, rarely calm and deliciously maximal. I’m not sure the Mono tea pot would sit happily in my kitchen which has a dresser, cups, mugs, mirrors, bowls and not a grain of granite in sight.
She is quite the best company, conversation opening and closing in just the right order. When I left I gave her my new business card. YEEEES. it’s red, with my details on it and a green circle that says ‘TRYOOMPH’ the name of my next enterprise. Teaching presenting skills and giving of my 500-year-old work experience.
She put my little red card on her minimalist mantlepiece next to a photograph of Charlotte Rampling holding a dog.
“I went to school with her” I said casually. Of all the actresses in all the world eh?
Then I asked if she would wind up the musical box. A delightfully pastel painted boy and girl holding hands, and flowers, moved sedately round in a circle. It was made by a famous toy maker in Bavaria, a friend of her father who was also a maker of toys. The tinkly music played, an old German song.
Unexpectedly tears came.
It was the very song my mother used to sing, in German, about a rose, and thorns, in the hedgerow, and love…..and I thought of all the songs in all the world eh?
When I got home my phone pinged, and there was a little video of the musical box playing my mother’s tune.
The Jew and The Kraut, taking tea in the clouds, as harmoniously as you please.

3 thoughts on “Mono Brew.”

  1. I tuned in to radio Sussex on the BBC app to have the pleasure once again to hear your darling voice on the airwaves. It was a treat to listen to your usual banter and jovial style. It did indeed remind me of the days you were on LBC and BBC London on a daily basis. Nostalgia!
    Be well Jeni and all the best in all you do.
    Warm hugs,

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