They’ve opened up a new cafe round our way
so I thought I’d give it a try. You go up to the
counter to choose and the menu is high up
on the wall. I saw ‘Homemade Tomato’.
I said, ‘I’ll have the Homemade Tomato, please.’
‘Anything else?’ the man said.
‘I’ll have a cup of tea with that, please.’
‘Usual?’ he said.
‘I haven’t been in this cafe before,’ I said.
‘I know you haven’t,’ he said, ‘I meant do you
want the tea you usually drink.’
‘Yes please,’ I said.
‘And what kind of tea is that?’ he said, ‘I don’t
know what kind of tea that is.’
‘That’s what I thought,’ I said, ‘I’ll have English
‘I’ve got a breakfast tea here,’ he said, ‘but it
doesn’t say that it’s English.’
‘ I’m not bothered about the English,’ I said.
‘Oh aren’t you?’ he said, ‘It’s all got a bit political,
‘I tell you what, I said, can I have a coffee? Black
He winked. I winked back. I wasn’t sure why I
winked. It felt like the right thing to do at the time.
I sat down.
A few minutes later he came to my table. He had
the coffee and a plate with a tomato on it. He
turned and went back to behind the counter. I
drank some coffee and started on the tomato. He
hadn’t brought a knife and fork, so I reckoned that
the best way to eat it was like you eat an apple.
Pick it up and bite into it. I took pretty small bites
because I’d been caught out like that before. You
take a big bite into a tomato and you end up with
tomato all over yourself. To tell the truth I’m not
mad keen on tomato by itself. I really like it with
bread. Or cut in half and grilled with toast. Or
chopped up with cucumber and Greek parsley
and a bit olive oil and lemon juice. He didn’t
have that on the menu.