The café is almost like a bar in a pub. An old-fashioned bar. The fixed, wooden bench with the high back hugs the wall all the way around. The ‘bar’ is wooden too. Nice, old wood. The tables are large and rectangular and, would you believe it, wooden. The floor is wooden without carpet. It’s all well scrubbed – spotlessly clean.
The feeling is warm. The sun shines in through the windows and it is bright inside, in spite of all that wood. The espresso machine, behind the bar, gives a delicious smell to the whole place. The staff are, in the main, dressed in white.
I am here for breakfast. This could be Scotland or England and, somehow, that is not important. I walk in and select the table opposite the bar. There are a few people in already. They do these great breakfasts here, or so I have been told.
I go to the bar to order. I want a full, English breakfast. The lady tells me that the have a great extra for the breakfast; a panecone or something. It is something like a panetone but with cream and honey. Freshly baked. It sounds perfect before the eggs and bacon.
I am served a great, big, deep saucepan of this panecone. It’s not full. About three ‘slices’ are missing. It’s a shared pan; you take what you want and the rest goes to the next person. I help myself to a slice of this stuff, delving back in the scrape up the ‘sauce’ that I have missed. It tastes delicious.
I’m close to finishing my slice but need to go outside for a cigarette and phone V.
I return to find that the rest of my breakfast has been served but that they have moved my table. Now, instead of being with my back against the wall, I am on one of the tables in the middle. Behind me is the lady who took my order and appears to be the owner or, at least, the manageress. She seems a little like a cross between Bet and Annie Walker from the Rover’s Return – and, if you don’t know who they are then you’re just not old enough (or you’ve never lived in the UK).
I am a bit miffed about being moved. But the cooked feast looks lovely. All very nicely served. Each item of the feast being in some white porcelain dish. The dishes are more like something you would see in a Japanese restaurant. I see they have brought me sausages which, although not my favourite, nevertheless look tempting. The bacon in another dish is exactly to my liking. Crispy, very slightly burnt in places, perfect.
However, first there is the panecone to finish. But my plate has been cleared and, so too, has the saucepan that had the rest.
I ask if I can have some more panecone. The waitress goes to ask the chef for the saucepan. The chef looks over at me.
“But you won’t be able to eat the fried breakfast if you have any more panecone,” he says.
“No, I will be fine,” I reply.
He is silent for a moment. He strengthens his resolve and says, more firmly:
“Really, no-one eats two helpings of the panecone followed by the breakfast. It’s not possible.”
“Look, I can have more if I like. You cleared away my remaining panecone but I really want some more.”
Now the chef becomes angry. The woman behind says that “It’s probably best if you don’t have more.”
This makes me angry.
“You cleared away my plate and now I want some more panecone. It’s up to me how much I have. I didn’t ask you to take it away. I only just stepped out for a moment. I assure you that I can eat another helping of this AND eat the fry-up. Who is he to say that I can’t have more and that I can’t eat both just because other people can’t?”
The chef is in full rage now.
And I’ve no idea how it ends. This was my dream last night. A panecone does not exist. The café/bar does not exist and is like many but none. The situation never happened. Sometimes my dreams seem real. In this case I could both smell and taste the food although strangely, I didn’t have anything to drink. Also when I went out it was like watching a film in that ‘I’ didn’t go out with ‘myself’ but simply cut to the time ‘I’ came back, although I did speak to V who was somewhere, not necessarily nearby but could have been. I mean that the conversation wasn’t part of the dream but I ‘knew’ that we had spoken.
For those of you who believe, it probably has some interesting meaning. To me, it’s just weird.