The Difference

A visit today.

Not people but a place.

To look at things.

Not things in particular, just things generally.

As a rule things are just there. And some things just are while some things need to be placed. Things that are missing may need to be accessed. And sometimes things might not be missing until they are spotted. And suddenly there were the cups. And saucers.

The cups and saucers of a very ordinary pattern were not even in a cupboard. They were on top of a display. Loosely sellotaped together, they match our plates perfectly.

Not that we ever bought a set, you understand. We happened on them.

We broke our last two plates. By accident. And we needed to eat, so we needed to go out and find plates. But where to go? Our nearby town has a cookery shop but it is for those and such as those. Anyway, it was closed. The town was closing for the day.

Running down the street took us to a lighted shop. A charity shop run on behalf of the local hospice. Running in we see no assistance. “Anybody there?” No reply.

Then suddenly: “Oh! I was just about to lock up. What would you like?” “Well, plates please. We have just broken our last two!”

We are shown into the back shop. “Look,” says the manageress, “these are all going to the tip. We can’t sell them, so please just take what you need and give us a donation.”

So for all the change in my pocket (“Is that enough do you think?” “Honestly it’s plenty. They’re going to the tip”) we took arcopal plates with a blue and grey pattern on the edge.

We still have them although two have since been broken. And today I saw the cups and their saucers. The ones that match the plates. And when I saw the little cups, the ones that matched our plates, I was surprised. Surprised by how small they were. I suddenly realised how we had all changed from that time when enough was not merely enough.

It was plenty.

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