Murder on the High Teas

The fully loaded cake stand before the ravening hordes murdered it.
The fully loaded cake stand before the ravening hordes murdered it.

Monday again! Not only that but I have just become a year older! Oh cruel world that you should make my birthday on a Monday!

Only yesterday were we celebrating the coming of age of the most charming of young ladies in a little cottage that offered “High Teas” (champagne $2 extra) and the joy of scoffing down huge quantities of delicious sandwiches, scones, jams, cream and pastries (sweet and savory) only threw into greater contrast the sad fact that I was not in any stretch of the imagination “21 today!”

How delightful it was, ensconced in “Maddison’s Cottage”, the table loaded with petit viands and unlimited pots of tea all served in little floral teapots and vintage cups and saucers. Naturally the conversation was as genteel as the crockery and despite a near spillage when a pot of “goregeous geisha” strawberry and green tea infusion was too eagerly waved about over the strainer, the entire morning passed without incident. The suitably romaticized photograph of the three-tiered cake stand only hints at the wonders of the tea table that day.

Now for Monday, that vilest of days of the week…

I awoke to the foul thought that by the end of the day I would indeed be 45 and that I was yet another year beyond the maximum age limit for “The X Factor” and chances of everlasting fame.

Buoyed up by the ministrations of my kind family I left the house hoping for the best.

As the best consisted of going to the sleep specialist to be told that I had sleep apnea after spending 30 minutes in a hermetically sealed perspex chamber, breathing “Small panting little breathes please Mr Paris” into a plastic tube, I was not particularly filled with birthday cheer. The specialist then proceeded to tell me the cheery news that I stop breathing in my sleep on a regular basis and that the best way to prevent this in the future is to lose quantities of weight and wear a mouth guard-type device at night for the rest of my life that looks exactly like a fake pair of Dracula teeth.

So, by 10am on my birthday I had accumulated the following facts

  1. It was Monday
  2. I was getting old
  3. I snore
  4. I am too fat
  5. I must spend the rest of my life looking like a joke Dracula every evening if I don’t want to die of suffocation in the night.

I went therefore to work a little on the melancholic side.

I would of course love to go on, wallowing in self pity except “certain people” would insist on cheering me up by doing incredibly thoughtless things like bringing in delicious home-made birthday cakes and giving me lovely cards and gifts and then my selfish family threw all my plans for a good night of self pity completely out by doing exactly everything that I like,making it impossible for me to spend one minute of the evening dwelling on my grey hairs or the earlier outright cries of disbelief from my students who kindly said things like “there is no way you are 45 Mr P!” or “I thought you were 60!”.

So today I am older, but not wiser, and all in all, for a Monday and a 45th birthday, it was not so bad.

Now off to bed, “to sleep, perchance to snore/suffocate!”



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