Sunday 17 November, 2013 by Uncle Spike
In this week’s guest post, we are taken on a wonderful journey… to get a cup of tea, and more. Uncle Spike’s special Guest Writer of the comic variety for this week is Carol a.k.a. WhichWayNow101.
A Nice Cup of Tea & Oh My!
‘There must be a tea shop here somewhere. We slow down and look in a window.
‘I’m not going in there!’ and Jimmy takes off. We’re killing time before our internet slot at 1:00 at the library in a Cornish town.
‘There are plenty of pubs here where we could get a cup of tea.’
‘Look. Pauline’s Tea Room. Proper tea room upstairs. I’m not letting you in a pub at this time of day.’
‘Why?’ he asks with a sharp edge of indignity about him.
‘Because you’re so weak will . . . OH! LOOK!’ I stop dead in my tracks in front of a display of voluptuous cream cakes.
‘Talk about weak willed!’ he retaliates with triumph.
There is a glass case running the depth of the shop and I stumble in. I’m mesmerised by the statuesque pastries – six inch pyramids of meringues laced with cream and a strawberry on top, cream teas plated up and ready to devour, apple turnovers oozing glistening fruit, great slabs of chocolate fudge cake, lofty wedges of rich lemon and strawberry cheesecakes, chunks of coffee cake and carrot cake – all portioned up for giant appetites.
I think we’re in a bakery. There are probably rolls and loaves of bread on shelves on the wall behind the counter but I’ve been hypnotized by some round pastries yawning open with cream and strawberry jam. They’re quite obscene and I can’t take my eyes off them. Rooted to the spot, I haven’t said another word since entering the shop. My eyes are as glazed as the strawberry tarts. Jimmy has gone off to examine the Cornish pasties.
‘Can I help you?’
‘Oh. I . . umm. We um . .’ I make the mistake of catching Jimmy’s eye. His head is tipped down and he’s giving me that look over the top of his glasses. It says Don’t even think about it. You’ll feel sick and I’ll have to listen to you complain for the rest of the afternoon. ‘No thanks,’ I say regretfully. ‘We’re just on our way upstairs for a cup of tea.’
An old fashioned tea room with tightly packed drab wooden booths is busy with pensioners finishing lunch of something and chips or something with gravy, couples drinking coffee, children scoffing cakes and wait staff buzzing about. As steam poofs out of the kitchen it’s all very appealing despite the slightly frayed look. Waiting to be seated Jimmy studies the menu and asks me, ‘Are you having something to eat?’
‘No I’m not! You can’t be hungry already. It’s not lunch time yet and we have plenty of food at home. We’ve only come in for a cup of tea.’ I stop my rant. ‘You’ve already made up your mind, haven’t you?’
‘A turkey sandwich. Would you like one?’
‘No, thank you.’ My crisp answer is verging on the sullen. Oh shut up and accept what’s offered graciously. It was a well-intentioned question. Not an invitation to bite his head off just because you’ve decided not to eat a cake groaning with calories.
After we’re seated and have ordered, I’m cheered with the arrival of my tea – proper tea in a pot. Lovely. Jimmy’s sandwich has plenty of salad garnish that I pick at so I’m content until the waiter brings a piece of chocolate cake to the young lad at the next table.
The slice is so big that it’s on a platter. The cake is dark, dark brown, broadcasting eat me vibes and nestled up to a massive dollop of clotted cream. Its progress through the tea room turns everyone’s head. People point and comment. Eyes pop out and jaws drop. The skinny lad is blissfully unaware of all this.
‘Do you think he’ll eat all that?’ I ask.
Jimmy’s response is a lowering of eyebrows and pursing of lips. The chocolate piggy’s table is close to ours and he may have heard so I decide to ignore his gluttony. Jimmy and I chat to each other over our tea and just the one sandwich.
Ten minutes later in a lull in the conversation, Jimmy says, ‘He has.’ I look over to see the cake eater, still skinny, leaving the tea room. His plate is scraped clean. Well I really couldn’t care less. My pink jeans needed convincing this morning to come up over that last tricky bit. I had to suck in and hold my breath to pull up the zip and do up the button ‘round my so called waist.
Breathing out again, I cried, ‘Aww, I just heard some stitches pop.’
Jimmy was kind. ‘Jeans are always a bit tight when they’re clean on. They’ll give.’ Well they haven’t. They’re biting in to my belly and cutting off the circulation in my thighs. A pox on chocolate cake.
It’s time for our internet session so I rush off breaking stride downstairs just long enough to see the busty meringues and grinning, tarty cream cakes making fun of my behind. Perhaps I should go to the beach and enrol in the surf school. That would knock a few inches off.
Come to think of it, I could just buy a wet suit and put it on and take it off a few times. The gymnastics involved would surely burn thousands of calories!
written by: Carol a.k.a. WhichWayNow101
Jimmy and I’ve been wandering through Europe and the U.S. over the last eight years. We’re homeless, not the tragic homelessness of poverty or extreme weather but the ridiculous homelessness of an Englishman who wants to live in America with freedom and an Anglicized American who wants to live in England with family.
Somehow I let myself be lured into a nomadic existence. Our house was sold and life as we knew it was packed into storage. What planet was I on when I agreed to this? Carol
You can visit my blog at whichwaynow101