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Pickle Me This

July 13, 2011

The world was upside down

“‘I don’t know why you’re laughing,’ said Aunt Irene. ‘I don’t see anything to laugh about. Everything strikes me as rather worrying.’

‘I’ll make a cuppa tea,’ said Mrs. O’Connor. She made terrible tea, very slimy, strong and tooth-stripping, but there was no denying its restorative powers.

‘If it does this to one’s cups,’ said Aunt Irene when Mrs. O’Connor had gone home to make tea for her boys, ‘what must it be doing to the lining of one’s stomach?’ She rubbed at the stained inside of the porcelain teacup. ‘I can’t be too rough,’ she said. ‘All its little gilt flowers will come off. They were designed for China tea. No one ever imagined Mrs. O’Connor would cross their path.’

The world was upside down. On the whole, this pleased Aunt Irene as much as it angered Mrs. Mason. It was more interesting that way, but it was hard on the porcelain.”– from The 27th Kingdom by Alice Thomas Ellis

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