Wednesday, 21 May 2014

Washing the Cups

Here is my response to the Light and Shade Challenge based on the picture below.

Picture by Ayla87 on

"Did you see her, the one with the dress?" Angie asked as she splashed the dirty cups through the water at speed.
"Her with the dress and the handbag?" asked Betty.  She switched to a dry cloth for the next batch of cups.  They had been washing up together after the meetings for thirty four years this June and they had perfected the routine.
"No, the one with the dress and the handbag is Zoe.  She reckons that the handbag is designer and cost a fortune.  But you can't tell me that handbag is designer, I saw one just like it on the market." Angie sniffed.
"Well she said that he was doing alright and had got a bonus at Christmas.  I told her that everyone gets a bonus at Christmas but she wouldn't have it." Betty rattled the teacups into a stack and slotted them neatly into a cupboard.
"My Den said that he was doing well, but they aren't spending that much.  You should see the state of her sofa.  I'd be ashamed."
"You do like your furniture nice." Betty nodded.  "Of course, he could be spending some money on her at the corner, you know, just past Mrs Henderson.  She always has nice things."
"Her at the corner, she's the one with the dress.  She said that it was a charity shop find, but you can't fool me.  That dress cost a fortune, and her with her car in the garage."
"She spends her money on something.  There must be some money going into that house with them both working and I know they ask the lad to tip up now he's started at the call centre, but they still have that old car."
Angie nodded.  "My Jim said that it was a scandal that car, they've had it for four years now.  But I saw her in the supermarket and she had a bottle of wine in her basket." 
Betty nodded knowingly as she switched drying cloths again.  "Mind you, I heard that her aunt was the same, you know, the one who married the plumber and moved to Brighton."
"Is it her aunt that married the plumber?  Well that explains it."  There was a pause as Angie changed the washing up water.
"I see Mary's got new curtains." Betty rattled some more cups into the cupboard. "I would have thought she would have done something with her kitchen first.  I don't know how she cooks."
"Mary told me that she got them second hand.  You can't tell me that they are second hand, not with those seams.  And as for cooking, she buys frozen veg.  I pity her husband."
"Of course he makes up for it with the darts team.  They were out again last night.  Ted from two doors down came in at midnight."
"By the way, what was the talk today?" Angie rinsed out the washing up bowl.

"The dangers of gossip." Betty gathered her cloths for the wash.  "See you next week."

I have never, ever known a function where the washing up wasn't a chance for a full exchange of views.  I did 'hear' it in the local accent, but I am confident that the sentiments expressed are universal.  


  1. Good God, those women are terrifying. I imagine they looked at Edward Snowden and thought 'amateur'. Beautifully written as always, and with a nice sardonic twist at the end which I adored.

  2. This is an excellent lesson for those who consider the help as robots. Loved the read.

  3. Gossip in all its glory. A fun read!

  4. That was magic. Well done.

  5. Lyssa, this is brilliant! Seamless from start to finish and with the perfect ending too:)

  6. woaa they seem to notice everything and their gossip is quite terrifying. But I enjoyed reading all the gossip :D Brilliant ending.

  7. The voices of these two are great, Lyssa. Nicely rendered allegory : )