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07 January 2006 @ 12:00 am
at york: white chrysanthemums, for the tea man  
After the power failure I walked to the market for blooms. "What are these?" I asked, pointing to the white chrysanthemums. Then, "what are these?", pointing to the yellow ones. I settled on the former - a bargain at £1.50 - and proceeded to the tea shop where that fine-booted man presides. I prepared myself in a side-lane, removing a single stem and hiding the bouquet. Then, inside the store, I walked vaguely towards the counter and proffered the cluster. "Happy new year", I pathetically offered. "Thank you," he calmly replied. And then - after taking a chocolate coffee-bean - I said "have a good year," as if I was both mad and boring. "Same to you," he calmly replied. I was furious! I mean, how dare somebody treat my gift as if it was everyday! He did seem intent on pretending that customers are forever offering chrysanthemums. Then again, there's a chance that he found our last chat about his gumboots sufficiently sexy to resist my more formal advance. Oh, how I despise inscrutability!