“And you claim to know me well?” White pointed to the paper cylinders of white sugar. “Sugar, obviously.”
“But I also know you're borderline diabetic and Beryl likes you to take saccharine instead.”
“She also likes me to accompany her to the ballet, which is one of the reasons I often work late.” White looked around the clearing in case something had turned up since his sergeant's return. “I don't mind the theatre but I can't bear ballet. Bores me to tears. I don't like concerts, either. What's the point of paying fifty quid to see a live concert when you can buy it on CD and hear it without half the audience shuffling and coughing.”
“CD, sir?” Peters grinned over the kettle. “You're showing your age, aren't you?”
White waved away the humour. “I know all about MP3s, thank you very much. I just don't think I need them at my time of life. I'm not the sort of person to go around locked away from the world because I've got headphones on and I see no need to spend money I don't have on the latest gadget. When I was a lad everything came out on vinyl and I'd record it onto tapes to preserve the condition of the record. There was proper artwork in those days, too. Not just a picture of a girl's arse or some kid in a hoody showing he'd got arthritis.
Peters laughed. “I know what you mean, sir, but you can't dismiss all modern music as rubbish.”
“I don't, sergeant. I still listen to the radio, remember. What I do object to is that people who are kids today will one day decry a classical symphony because, and I quote a young man I overheard in the cinema recently, 'there ain't no beats in dat.'” He looked at Peters. “Now, it behoves me to point out that the kettle is boiling.”