GOOSEFOOT TEA- From Godfrey

Sit young vagabond, watch the snow fall with me, and tell us your story over Goosefoot Tea….

     Could I laugh as I did as a child again?   Snug in my turquoise chair he sat, watching the November snowstorm with me, with scones he had baked, (cheese  and onion), and a hot brew he made us he called Goosefoot Tea.    Ahh, Godfrey slurped, never been able to make a pot quite like my Granny..from the time we could run she’d send Alice or I to the pub for her half G of sherry. We’d lug it home and warm up round her coal fire, with hot mugs of Goosefoot Tea.

I thought it her well water that made it so sweet, Alice said no, it’s the cream, thick and rich and all the cake we would eat.   Could I laugh as I did as a child again?  Big brown teapot, mugs chipped and old, Granny tipped out Goosefoot leaves as our fortunes she told. over nips of her sherry told Alice of the handsome pop-star she would marry, teased me with visions of beets in the dregs of my cup, and she saw the lovely places  I’d   go and see when a grown up.

Then I’d roll up in a blanket on the sete’e, tease the cat, watch the snow, as Grandma with endless const-ipatience with Alice taught her piano.   Could I laugh as I did as a child again?    The cottage of my grandparents had a great, deep bath, in which I could float, if I plugged the drain with a sock, no one knew of that trick but me. On the loo wall hung a carved wooden fish, a duck and a painting of Sir Francis Drake’s ship on stormy sea. I imagined my self as I floated in rose-foam bath, on that ship as far from beets as a lad could be.

We slept deep in blankets before the fireplace, and welcomed the winter morning with Goosefoot Tea.   What did it taste of you ask? Hint of coal oil, orange and a spice that may have been star-anise, and some bitter dock root. Ma refused to drink what she called “Boiled Gumboot”  When we stayed with Grandma, Alice did not torment me…I do not know why, perhaps it was the Goosefoot Tea. I was still very young when Granny died, was Alice and I found her, peaceful in her chair, leaning out for the T.V. Guide, half-G of sweet sherry by her side.

Uncle Lou took the piano, she left me her cookbook and scone recipe. Lou also took the painting of Sir Francis Drake on the roily sea, lost to was the magic of her Goosefoot Tea…oh to laugh as I did as a child, curled up by the fire with Goosefoot Tea.

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4 thoughts on “GOOSEFOOT TEA- From Godfrey

  1. Read several times, I also feel a yearning to laugh as a child again, when life was simpler. It’s such a sweet longing to laugh silly laughter with a dear old grandmother. I never slept wrapped in blankets before a fire but I wish I had. Your writing amazes me with how it evokes memories I had….or wish I had.

    • Thanks Mercy- I had 3 Grandma’s, one not all that jolly or loving, but one who’s memory of a warm, sheltering home when ours was cold and dark I treasure. Very glad I can take you to that happy place in time.

  2. I wholeheartedly agree with Mercy’s comment, Sheila. As a teacher I often enjoyed the silly laughter of children. There’s nothing like it. I laughed with two grandmothers and one granddad, but I was afraid of my step-granddad with his smell of stale cigarettes and hard bark of laughter, usually at someone else’s expense.

  3. I have never forgotten being Godfrey’s age, we made our own fun. I never knew my maternal Grandpa, my dad’s Ma was a war bride, abandoned and bitter. Oddly, I remember her little house more vividly than most places I have lived. Thanks Janet.

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