8th May – Personal space, portly ladies and greasy breakfasts

"The Fat Women" by Igor Grabar, 1904...

“The Fat Women” by Igor Grabar, 1904. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

This will be a larger entry then normal as I find the days have piled up and no posts have been written. I woke up and skipped breakfast as I knew I was meeting someone for lunch. I have never had any appetite for breakfast as a meal – combining it into brunch wherever possible – not only because I have a non-existent appetite at this time. ┬áBut more it is the fact of the food one finds at breakfast. The English cooked breakfast with its greasy sausages, bacon and baked beans- the beans I have a particular repulsion for – have never appealed to me. Maybe I have a continental stomach. However I would much prefer if there was normal cooked meats, which one would find at the evening meal, at breakfast. Why does one need a vastly different and greasier palette on a morning?

Following lunch at a cafe, I went to one of the smaller university libraries. This being the middle of the day during exam period, it was nearly full. After a quick patrol I managed to find a seat. Annoyingly I had underestimated the heat of the day and was wearing a thick jacket which thanks to a combination of hilly walk, large backpack and adventure to procure a chair, I was now overheated and slightly sweaty. I then proceeded to read some of Stanley Hauerwas’ essays but after a while grew weary of the confrontational style and left the library. I now had nearly three hours to kill. But what could I do?

The course of action upon which I settled was to go to the station early and sit out the wait. Once there I decided to move myself from the waiting area and ensconce myself in the station pub. Although I was a lone traveller/drinker and it was early afternoon I proceeded to polish off three pints and spent most of the time watching the news channel. The beer was unpleasantly overpriced but I could not be bothered to search for a cheaper and less convenient establishment. My fellow drinker were what one would usually expect to find in a pub in the middle of the day, mainly the middle aged but there was an amiable enough atmosphere. I was perfectly happy for most of my stay there. Except at one point two rather portly women moved on to my table, as apparently there was not space anywhere else. Although my zone of influence was much reduced I stayed put and rode out their presence, glasses of wine and chatter until I could reclaim my table.

I embarked onto the train at five o’clock. I was fortunate enough to have a cheap first class ticket and therefore a complimentary meal. Unfortunately for me when I looked at the menu, I learnt that it was to be sausage and mashed potato. Now the observant reader will have noticed how much I railed against sausages at breakfast earlier, so I was not much looking forward to having to stomach evening sausage. Alas!

Yet this was a decent meal. The food turned out to be of a good quality, at least relative to that in university accommodation and I found I enjoyed it. I also managed to acquire complimentary snacks and drinks to make the most of the ticket. I arrived into the station and moved seamlessly into my waiting lift. Who declares that travel has to be stressful? Not I.

Your writer,

Edmund Donnellan.

Freshly made English Breakfast with smoked bac...

Freshly made English Breakfast. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)