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Crumbs from the table


Mike came to tea this week. Ostensibly, he was here to talk about the blurb and tagline for the debut novel Lottery Loveboat he’s written with Francesca, but from where I was sitting – right under the table and strategically placed with my nose under a gap in the slats for any crumbs to drop through – I think they just wanted an excuse for an indulgent cream tea in the sunshine!

Cream teas are a big deal down here in the West Country, with Devon and Cornwall having created a storm in the afternoon teacups over the great cream debate and whether it comes first on the scone or on top of the jam. The teatime tussle even made national headlines in 2010 but, frankly, I think it’s the tourist chiefs stirring it – if you’ll forgive the pun – to boost visitor numbers.

It’s was getting near my own tea-time and I quite fancied a nibble so I thought I’d pitch my best Spaniel impression at Mike with the whole big, brown, limpid eyes routine with my head resting on his knee at an appealing angle.

I got a pat on the head and he clearly enjoyed playing with my silky ears but continued to stuff his face with the other hand and ignore me, if you can believe it! I tried the old deep sigh trick, but I must have tried a bit too hard because the next minute Francesca was telling me to ‘Lie down and don’t be a pest, Whisper.”

I retired in a sulk under the table and, just at that moment, a good-sized crumb of scone – with jam AND cream on it – fell through the slat and straight down my throat!

Coming from Devon and living in Cornwall there’s one thing I can tell you for sure – cream teas taste delicious with jam and cream in whichever order they come!

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