They never do

It wasn’t as if she’d done anything wrong. She’d followed the recipe word-for-word but her effort looked nothing like Pauletta’s.

“They never do, Merys,” Tom said as he walked past, as if reading her mind.

She stared at him as he disappeared into the lounge, then heard the click of the standby and the football burst into life.

“They never do,” she repeated inside her head, unsure whether to take it as a compliment.

Having tipped the contents of the dish into the composting bin, she measured out the ingredients and started again from the top of the page.

Whisking to the second, beating in the correct directions: left twenty times, the right for the same number. She’d thought Pauletta was supposed to make it simple but try as she might, version number two turned out just as badly.

Grabbing the dish in both hands she tapped the bin’s pedal with her slippered right foot and was about to tip the ingredients in after its predecessor when she stopped, and let go of the pedal which made the lid drop with a resounding clunk.

“Shh,” Tom yelled from the other room but Merys was on a mission.

Putting the dish back on the counter, she picked up ‘Pauletta’s Parisian Puddings’ and, foot back on pedal, grinned as the book tipped into the bin, sending up a cloud of flour from the cavernous gloom.

Letting go the pedal with a secondary thud, which produced loud tutting from the lounge, Merys walked to her bookshelf, removed another book and said, “Welcome home, Jamie, welcome home.”

***

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