I always knew when someone special was coming to visit long before I was told anyone was coming.First,my mother would bring out the silver tray her mother had given her,and would polish it until it gleamed.Then she would check the old big blue cake tin that she kept on the very top shelf of the pantry.”No more Romany Creams…”she would murmur…”I thought…”Of course she didn’t know that I knew about the cake tin too.

So you can imagine the excitement when the Mayoress agreed to address the Book Club at our house.My mother brought out the embroidered tablecloth,which we never used unless someone really important was coming to visit.She even polished the high wooden backs of the dining room chairs.

Of course I was asked to be good and keep well out of sight.But keyholes were invented for curious young people and I didn’t miss a minute of the fun.The mayoress was very pretty,and had a lovely hat trimmed with silk cherry blossoms and ribbons.And the plate of Romany Creams disappeared alarmingly quickly during the tea afterwards.

That’s when I discovered that even a Mayoress finds Romany Creams irresistibly delicious.Because she artfully manoeuvred two of the three remaining biscuits into her handbag before picking up the plate and saying in a loud,playful voice,”And who would like the last Romany Cream?”

I’m part of my own Book Club now,and Romany Creams are still a special part of the proceedings.And even though there’s no visiting Mayoress,there’s always someone with a naughty smile on her face generously offering around the last Romany Cream.


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