Rosie Warlock: your tales of sharing drinks

Rosie Warlock, a senior practitioner in children’s social services, shares your “cuppa” stories

Mark Drinkwater’s column on sharing a “cuppa” with clients jogged some memories.

Ralph Edwards, of York Council’s learning disability services, recounts how a social worker would refuse a cup of tea or coffee because of a lack of cleanliness by saying that he or she had a drink earlier.

However, one Christmas this subterfuge failed. An old gentleman insisted that the visiting social worker should have a small glass of sherry. The social worker agreed as he saw the gentleman reach for a clean sherry glass from the cabinet.

The client then “promptly brought the glass up to his mouth, gently spat, and then blew into the glass before wiping it out with the hanky taken from his pocket. Then he poured a small sherry into the glass. ‘Merry Christmas,’ he said before urging the social worker to drink up.”

The dry sherries from Andalucia are said to be salty, but Ralph did not comment on the vintage.

Ben Benzinski, a family therapist in Gloucestershire, outlines this surefire way of ascertaining cleanliness.

Ben worked in a London borough long ago, where the team ethos was to allow the clients to show hospitality, no matter how dirty the cups.

“We would share our experiences of how many rings inside the mugs we were able to count as we drank down, the greater number of rings indicating the more use since the mug was last washed properly.”

Ben says that it was “a bit like telling the age of a tree”. And, about as tasty as one as well.

E-mail your anecdotes and observations here 

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