Grandpa said that he had ended up, he didn’t know how
in the army as a cook, though he had no cooking experience.
He soon learned. So he taught me how to make a stew ‘forces style’
and how to cut carrots into the required regimented shapes.
And he told me about the most ordinary looking, wonderful tea pot.
This tea pot made the best cuppa a bloke could wish for
he said, and this pot was brown and heavy. He sighed. One day between ‘a’ and ‘b’ some nincompoop dropped it –
he said, so it broke into many pieces. Crunch. So many pieces
it could not be put back together again.
He built this up: how sad everyone was, how the troops
were so disappointed, that no brew would ever
be the same. The mess it made, all over the floor. No tea bags then he said. Do you know what we found?
A glint in his eye. What made that tea pot really special?
He waited a moment, at this point, teasing a little
before revealing the mystery of the perfect pick-me-up. Caught in the spout of the stout tea pot, he said lay a long-dead grasshopper, no longer green, but brown which had been a tea leaf strainer – for who knows how long?
Tea, he told me, has never ever tasted the same after that.