It was half-term and it was throwing it down again. Captain Joy! As the rain retreated for a microsecond, I strolled over to the bridge to see how high the river had risen and how close the ducks were to spilling onto the road in front of passing Range Rovers. I hoped the local French restaurants would not be serving fresh canard tonight.
I ignored a couple of heaving half-arsed cafes and, semi-sodden, I wandered up the hill. I imagined bumping into local celebs Ian Brown or Matthew Corbett (without his hand up Sooty) on the way down when I came across a Coffee House. This is one of chain of four branches (all Manchester way) and with a new one soon in Northwich. I was greeted by a standard beard behind the counter and then a jocular and shapely waitress showed me a table. She was over eager though; one of those ones that ask you what you want before you’ve got your arms out of the sleeve of your coat.
I was betabled by the window. Near me, three forty-something men with faces like Marris Pipers were thunderously guffawing while they poked and scraped at their fry-ups. Across from me were a few yummy mummies with their teenage gobshites pissed-off that they’d not been taken to Val-d’Isere.
I ordered a bacon-sarnie and latte before I realised it was quieter on the runway at Heathrow airport. Above my headphones, I could still hear the little frigsters in high chairs and another gaggle of bad parents with their bawdy errant sproglets.
I was keen not to use my ears so I looked around but it’s was a bit uninspiring. The magnolia wall in front of me bore large photographic yawnsome canvas prints of local sites stuff like leaves and gravestones. Dark grey tiles on the floor and the furniture was solid though not exciting. Apart from a big logo on the back wall, there was not much to look at so I just gorped dribbling out of the window for a moment.
The noise abated a little but I was further distracted by middle-aged virginal feather-bedded mummy’s boy called Victor and his elderly mutter that had sat next to me. He was vocalising his fears about everything; Manchester City’s possible points deduction by the Premier League, the size of the ketchup bottle, the heat of his tea-pot, potential lightning strikes and COVID-19. How would he cope if there was a war on?
Unsurprisingly I couldn’t hear what music was trickling from the tiny speakers. What I did hear was proud parents banging on about their son’s cricketing prowess, grazed knees and other assorted smeg. Next to them a goggled-eyed mother with another high-chair bound monster looking like one of Captain Kirk’s adversaries and proceeded to stare at me like I’ve just hatched out of an egg. It then decides, of course, to bawl at a volume which surpassed the Spinal Tap speaker setting of 11. Plus I had surreptitiously released a toxic arse cloud which may have started off the little nappy-filler.
With my ears bleeding, I put on my coat and I looked down the hill towards the brook where the rain-water was now flowing. I decided that even being outside and soaked I’d still be less wet than Victor.
Good: Friendly. Food and coffee fine.
Bad: Loud. A bit dull inside.