Life in Times Gone By

Many moons ago I had to commute to and from work by bus, changing buses midway. The second bus I needed to get home started from the terminus, so I often had to wait a while till the journey began. One crew was particularly entertaining. The driver and conductress (yes, it was some time ago) spread out a tablecloth on the back seat. They then produced cups, saucers, teaspoons and a teapot, dunking their teabags in hot water from a flask.

The first time I saw this I could hardly believe it, but over time I got used to this pair and their ritual. Never has the backseat of a bus come so close to a living room. All they lacked was one of those tiered cake stands, usually with three levels, savoury items such as triangles of sandwich on the lowest tray, rising through Danish pastries on the middle tray to French fancies on the top.

Times have changed. Conductresses have gone but, if you go to the right place, cake stands remain.

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