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Coronation Tea

We sat out again, twice in fact, now that my articles are done. He wittered and I listened, my face turned like a bloom to the sun. He told me about the Coronation Tea that a neighbour held in their garage (the only space large enough to hold everyone and in case of rain). It’s funny that people had garages when there were so few privately-owned cars. I think of them in that dark space, the door or doors open to the daylight, standing around with mugs of tea (or did they sit at the table on deckchairs) eating cake and talking about the Queen. It would’ve been decorated with bunting and perhaps there were Coronation napkins (I’d say serviettes but he says that’s common). He did say that there were Coronation mugs. He’s lived almost 2 centuries more than me and has memories, as you can see, that I find hard to conceive of – such as the rationing, the roads free of cars, horses and carts still being used (he told me that there was a smithy) and no central heating with ice on the insides of the windows in winter. I think he was happy though for all the comparative discomfort.

The bluebells are out in the gardens along Llanbadarn Road, and those huge, fat red poppies in the old bakery. I tell him of my sightings from my walk – the benches on the Prom being newly painted. And he tells me his.

I love him, do you know that?

By Ellen Bell

Artist and writer currently living in Aberystwyth.