Tuesday, November 13, 2012

Cafe Culture

I am aware that it begins to seem as though I spend my life swanning from one cafe to another.  Good, because what I am actually doing most of the time is negotiating paralysingly difficult circumstances surrounding the mater's recent operation and the aftermath thereof.  I would rather live in what seems, and this out-to-lunch moment with the daughter in a local cafe so cool it would not be out of place in trendy Broadway Market fits the bill nicely.  Yes, life is a bowl of perfectly-sizzled hand-cut chips, and a bacon burger with "onion marmalade" on a wooden block.  If burger-on-the-block conjures up unsavoury resonances let us push them aside.

Well, that was yesterday.  And today I went to another place - the community centre cafe which operates three days a week from the old village school.  The people that go there are mainly old, infirm or with small child, the cooks and waiters are volunteers and the food is best of 1950s and cheap.  The cafe is held in what used to be the school assembly hall - all they have done is put a kitchen at one end and get tables and chairs.  On the wall facing the large windows there is a mural, a collective effort by many children, called Our Village.  There are bookcases full of paperbacks to buy for 10p and small glass vases with little fresh flowers on each table. It is one of my favourite places and if I get to heaven any time soon I will organise a welcome party for the volunteers, when their time comes.


Cusp said...

Oh lovely. I adore a nice cafe. One of my little sadnesses is that our local W.I. weekly market and cafe has gone down :( BUT yesterday went to v comfy veggie cafe and had lovely food, not expensive and very jolly staff: perfect antidote to a morning of hospital consultations, blood tests, X-rays.

More cafes I say.

Thinking of you on the mater-related aftermath ((*)) x

Anna MR said...

Now looky here, beloved Signskins – much as I love you (and am not alone in this feeling), and being as you are most deserving of all things heavenly, don't you dare start going to heaven "any time soon". For heaven's sakes. Just, you know, saying. So watch it.

But that community centre cafe sounds heavenly enough – for now, Signs, k? Your description of it reminded me of the weekly market-and-cafe I used to go to in Llechryd (I was the one with small child/ren) every Wednesday. The space was clearly not as lovely, a recently-built (i.e. ugly-as-sin-bungalow-type) village hall, but the atmosphere was comfort-inducing and the sandwiches and tea lovely. The cafe was run by the local branch of Merched y Wawr (I hope I got that right, it's so cool) – Wales' answer to the W.I. (and translated, it means "Daughters of the Rainbow", which is nice, no? Nicer than "Women's Institute", any day).

There's something about your stories that makes me want to share mine. This desire, however, has me landing up looking like the person who needs every conversation to be about her. Hm, hm, hm. I might have to shut my face ---


Reading the Signs said...

Cusp, a cafe that is comfy with lovely food and jolly to boot is a must after a morning of hospital. And just generally a damn good thing. Do more of this! I intend to.

Anna liebchen, I was being presumptuous of course, for can I assume a ticket carte blanche through the pearly gates? Can I hell - and nor can I say for certain that they have cafes there, in which case I simply cannot be going any time soon. Especially when there are so many as yet unvisited cafes here in our very own fallen, desecrated world. You and Cusp clearly need to have a conversation about W.I. You are coming from slightly different places but I have the feeling you would come to some workable agreement, especially as you are both veggie people (ah the cardboard mince pies of yesteryear!).

Shut your face about shutting your face, for I like your stories. I'm going to do another cafe tomorrow and suggest you do likewise, then tell us about it. I've never had a flat white in an igloo.

cakelady said...

mmmmm even on a lump of wood it really does look good, no sign of cake or pudding though, were you sick? You need those sticky kind of puddings for these days ahead, a sort of mater related balm. Hello Anna, please do not shud up. When you back these ways again?

Reading the Signs said...

Yeah, you tell her, Cakelady. Damn cheek telling one of *my* commenters to shuddup, even if the commenter is herself.

I made up for lack of cake or pudding by having a carton of popcorn later on. I find a way of piling in those calories, fear not.

Anna MR said...

Why Cakelady – how perfectly charming to see you again. As you can see, I am so perfectly charmed I am totally failing at shudding-up – this happens to me with astonishingly frequency, it is true, but this fact doesn't take anything away from the charmingness of seeing you and the loveliness of your comment.

So yes: hello. And listen here, I would come back for even just the one of them scones alone, I would – so you just watch it, for you never know with me, I have become quite the gallivanter-round-the-planet, I have (no, really). I just might be at your door – accompanied by our very dearly beloved Signs, natch – one of these days, asking to be handsomely fed, before you can say "clotted cream".

So seriously: watch it. You'll be putting Thoughts into my head, and that has always been an unpredictable thing.

In the meantime: as you were. (Signs? Sorry for taking over your comment room thuslike, and big hello to you too, my dear.) For you (plural) are very, very, very nice and good, and the world needs more of these things (as well as cake – and scones, for that matter).

x x one each, fine ladies

(But who the hell is that robot who is selling thesis proposals? It's not me, okay, that's for sure. And they're not getting an x either.)

Reading the Signs said...

I'm glad you mentioned that - have removed robot-comment now. At first I wondered if it might be you and thought I was being thick in not getting it!

Cakelady is off to forrin parts - holidaying - gallivanting. Hmph!

Anna MR said...

As is you wouldn't be gedding stuff. I ask you.

But whaaaaaaaat? Cakelady is off to forrin parts, mere moments after she suggested I should come over to her house for high tea (inclusive of scones with all condiments) and cake (she did, now, for sure, at least in my interpretation of it, okay)? I don't know what to make of all this – except perhaps to wish her a Very Good Gallivant and hope she finds some extraordinarily good cakes to eat.


cakelady said...

Sorry signs, just wanted to say to Anna, there will always be at least one or more scones in my house for you, so gwan visit these parts when you are next gallivanting.
See you on Sat,lovely woman up the road.

Reading the Signs said...