My current writing class on Zoom is going well. I like to think I don’t need a class ; it’s more of a group sharing session, and if I learn something new from it, bonus. While my muse Ino was helping me with my assignments, this happened.

Wooden Spoon : Ino’s story.

Stirrers always beat up cake mix with wooden spoons. Sometimes they use a whisk. Then they feed it to their families. They think they are so sweet, giving people cake, when they are more poisonous than they realise and the spoons and whisks come from a cupboard full of secrets, under the stairs which they have not ascended.

Menders always fix things with a wrench, making them new again, ‘making them good’ as they call it, but an ‘old new’ thing is invariably suspect. Unlike the stirrers they never use a wooden spoon, for it is too smooth and bland, too hollow when you turn it over to beat the potential out. The mender throws a spanner- and catches it- and wields it like a weapon. With it he carves out his place amid the inconvenience of something being broken. He leaves his imprint on the repair, so that he will be called again.

Today the stirrer calls him again, standing amongst smashed eggshells and leaning on the spoon, not trusting her legs to be steady without the crutch that the spoon provides.

Wooden Spoon : My Story

Wooden spoons come in bundles in the Wilko store, giving  an illusion of abundance when really it would be more useful to have just one. They are a poor substitute for a mixer, but we are too poor to buy a mixer, so they have to do instead.

We live by the railway line, in a two up two down council house, and we use our wooden spoon on birthdays and alternate weekends, when we bake a cake.

Sometimes it’s a victoria sponge cake, and other times a chocolate cake. We’ve also tried other recipes, like coconut or dried mixed fruit. While we’re eating the cakes we feel special, as though we were not poor people, and times were better.

The cakes are a passport into daydreams, and when I was at school I was always told not to daydream. But now I think it would have been better if they had encouraged me, and shown me how to use daydreams for picturing a successful life, and setting that as a goal.

I never thought of doing that until it was too late, and I was here in this house on a second Sunday, beating our cake with a wooden spoon.

Photo by Karolina Grabowska on