Sunday, January 21, 2007

tea for two

Little Friend Susan and I walk down Great Russell Street. We are supposed to be going to the pub, but I am gasping for a cup of tea.

'I am gasping for a cup of tea' I say. 'Can we go and get one before the pub?'
'Sure' she says, 'Though I'm not sure any of the cafes will be open. They shut at about 5'. She is right. All the bright, warm cafes that I noticed on the way to meet her are pulling in their chairs, wrapping cling film around their mexican chicken sandwich fillings and turning off their Heartfm. 'How very foolish' I say.
'It's your culture' says LFS with a wry smile. She is not from 'round here, and banters occasionally with me about things in the UK which she considers to be silly.
'You can't blame me' I say, 'I was only born into the culture. I didn't set it up.'
'I think that you are complicit, though' she says.
'Oh dear, ought I to have been standing outside cafes protesting their foolish opening hours with a placard?' I wonder aloud. We leave it at that, as I have clearly (and unusually) won the argument.

We have been walking around looking for cash machines and cafes for about half an hour. All the cafes have shut. 'We'll just have to go to a pub' she says. I agree, and fortuitously we are standing at the door of The Plough, a very fine establishment (as it turns out). 'I don't mind if you drink tea' says LFS as we push through the heavy door.

'Don't be silly, it's six o'clock!' I say. You can't drink tea after six o'clock - you have to drink beer! It's virtually the law!'


Labels: , ,