I crept downstairs and put the kettle on. With any visitors staying I need half an hour and a cup of tea to get going; with Pandora and Justin staying, the later they got up the better. Geoffrey had conveniently gone off on a golf holiday. At least they weren’t on the Palaeolithic diet this time, but perhaps their new veganism was even worse, that had come about after they joined Extinction Rebellion.
I sipped the cup that cheers and looked out of the kitchen window, the weather was looking good for their bike ride into town, perhaps I would join them if Justin could help me dig my bike out from the back of the garage… and if they promised not to go too fast…
‘Mother! What are you doing?’
‘Nothing… you’re up early, there’s still some tea in the pot.’
‘Tea, how could you, I’m going to have some carrot and cranberry juice before I go for my jog, you should have some, it’s good for post menopausal women.’
‘So is a nice cup of tea, it is Freetrade, loose leaf…’
I thought I had everything covered, meat out of the freezer, coffee machine hidden, impress them with the new Whole Earth shop to get something acceptable for dinner. I had even sold my car, I hated driving anyway, but at least I was doing my bit for climate change…
‘One day people will look back and wonder how anyone could drink coffee and tea, same as smoking is frowned on now.’
‘Oh Pandora, don’t be ridiculous, what harm is there in tea?’
‘Well firstly you put the kettle on, unnecessary use of electricity, then there is the addiction to caffeine… but also exploited tea pickers.’
‘If we stopped importing tea then they wouldn’t have a job at all…’
‘They could be growing food instead.’
There was no arguing with Pandora, she had an answer for everything, had done ever since she was three, now her experiences with Extinction Rebellion had led her to join the Green Party. I defiantly poured myself another cup of tea and tried to change the subject.
‘About what you said last night, are you serious, politics, what does Justin really think?
‘He will be a stalwart supporter, like Phillip May. Which reminds me, we have to watch breakfast television, that scientist chap we met on the protest is being interviewed.’
On went the television, Pandora seemingly unaware that the kettle wasn’t the only thing in the house that used electricity.
A scientist has claimed that if everyone gave up their daily cuppa or ten cuppas, it would contribute considerably to halting climate change. Professor Greenwood, are you actually serious about this proposal?
Of course, just add up all the electricity for all the millions of kettles, but it’s not just that… the resources that go into growing tea, then the carbon fuel to export it all over the world. If everyone just drank water…