Today I bought a teapot. Teapots are somewhat a rarity in the modern home; most people use tea bags.
Those ubiquitous tea bags that make a cup of tea that tastes unlike a cup of tea.
Although my new teapot is a modern one, it is not made for tea bags but for using loose tea – that is tea leaves. But to keep things tidy (to match my new tidy kitchen) this little teapot has an insert made of stainless steel wire that holds the tea leaves and therefore negates the need for a tea strainer, which is a helpful way of contributing towards keeping my new kitchen looking neat and clean.
When I was a little girl, all kitchens had a big (usually brown) teapot that was forever being filled and refreshed. The used tea leaves were either tossed into a colander in the sink, prior to being thrown out with the rubbish or the teapot was emptied and flushed out in the gully trap. What’s a gully trap? Well, again, when I was a little girl, every house had a gully trap. It was a sort of outside drainage connection, consisting of a heavy iron grate covering a drainage hole and pipe, surrounded by a concrete ‘lip’, usually directly under a garden tap. It was a useful place for washing all sorts of garden tools and buckets and things and (with the help of the handy tap) scrubbing kids’ very dirty hands and washing mud from rubber boots as well as a good place to pour the (smelly) cabbage water - and to fill the large bucket used to drown a freshly caught crayfish (lobster).
When searching on the net for ‘gully trap’ I discovered that all homes still have them but they are nothing like the old ones – merely a grid over a pipe leading from the outside of a laundry or bathroom; still amazingly called gully traps, but possibly only plumbers know that.
Anyway, back to my new teapot. It is to go with my new kitchen, with its sparkling clean, gleaming, laminated bench-tops and new stainless steel sink. No more colander in the sink for tealeaves or vegetable peelings. No tea-strainer sitting in its little drip-holder stand. All tealeaves are now emptied straight into the hidden compost bucket, as are the few fruit or vegetable scraps that accumulate. No mess in the new sink. No mess on the new kitchen bench tops. No big inviting gully trap outside the back door, for all those old-fashioned purposes.
And, all these words set off by the purchase of a new teapot.
At times I long for the old messy kitchen and the old messy sink – and the useful old gully trap.
But, the new kitchen is lovely and, at least, I still make my tea with tea leaves and I still keep a small compost bucket under the (new) sink, so am not completely
overtaken with modern concepts.
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