I am sitting in the window of a charming cafe, called – rather beguilingly – The Happy Teapot.
I should perhaps
explain that I am not actually “in” the window, as in being part of the window display. No mannequin, I. I am not that much of a show-off, didn’t you know? The Happy Teapot does, however, have two bay windows in which its (presumably
happy) customers can sit in comfy arm-chairs and gawp at passers-by while supping their drinks and gobbling down their sandwiches or piece of carrot cake.
opted to sit in one of the bay windows while waiting for a friend to join me. The Happy Teapot was her choice of a place to meet but I have been wanting to sample its delights for a while so I am more than happy to find myself here. Of course it had
not occurred to me, when I selected our table in the window, that just as my vantage point allows me to gawp at all the passers-by – let’s call it “people watching”, that sounds so much more civilised – it also enables all the
passers-by to gawp in at me. Fair’s fair, I suppose.
I have ordered a decaffeinated coffee which comes in a large cup accompanied by a small jug of milk.
When my friend arrives, she orders tea – which arrives on a dear little tray, in a sweet tea-pot with a delicate cup and saucer. This leads me to the realisation that, when patronising an establishment called The Happy Teapot, one should probably
order tea rather than coffee. You wouldn’t order curry in a Steakhouse, would you? Or a shepherd’s pie in a Chinese restaurant? Live and learn, Jaqui, live and learn.
I order a tuna and mayonnaise sandwich. I hope you don’t mind hearing about my food choices. It’s just that, when I read my Mum, Dolly’s, diaries she spends quite a lot of time describing what she and my Dad, Len
will be eating for dinner. I find it remarkably comforting, for some reason, to read that she managed to buy “two nice pork chops” or “a nice piece of ham” for their dinner. When I was in Junior School the use of the word “nice”
was frowned upon. My teacher, Mr Smith, would draw violently red circles around the word if it ever happened to slip through, unbeknown to me, into my exercise book. My dear Mum uses it all the time and I will defend her right to do so to the end.
I am quite sure that the pork chops were juicy, that the ham was tasty – but as far as my Mum was concerned, they were both, quite simply, “nice.” The word sums up her utter contentment with the choice she has made, anticipating the
pleasure it will give when served up at the dinner table. “That was very nice, dear,” my dad will have said, complimenting her on the pork chops or the ham served up for his dinner.
There have been a few developments in my exciting life on which I can update you. When we turned up at Short Mat Bowls yesterday that strange manky mat I told you about last week had disappeared. In its place a brand
new mat with a spongy underlay which made swooshing noises when you bowled on it. Sadly our club is closing so Mr B and others were busy rolling up one of the old mats and transporting it out to our Club leader’s car. I kid you not, it looked for
all the world as if they were disposing of a dead body. Next week is our last meeting and we will be eating Fish and Chips and participating in a Club Quiz. Reg is contributing the wine and beer, we are taking along the soft drinks left over from Mr B’s
birthday party and Shaun is providing the music. I did suggest karaoke but everyone pretended not to hear.
“What was The Happy Teapot like?”
Mr B wanted to know when I arrived home. I thought about it for a nano-second.
“Really, really – nice!” I said.