So, where was I? Oh yes…the holiday that we (me and the memsahib) have just come back from. Yeah, it was OK. Sort of. The weather was fantastic if you like being boiled alive and the coffee in the room was almost totally De-Caff but apart from that…
We arrived at the old people’s home – no…scratch that. It wasn’t an old people’s home, it was a hotel, that felt very much like an old people’s home. I think we might have been the youngest guests there and we’re old. So ancient were the clientele, I’m surprised that there wasn’t a defibrillator in every room. And talking of accommodation, the rooms were so clean that they had the feel of the operating theatre about them. Which is no bad thing when you think about how comforting that must have been to the majority of the guests.
Death by Breakfast I.
Breakfast was hard work. The smell of lavender and the amount of beige on show was overpowering and enough to put you off your porridge. The eggs were old-folk runny and the toast barely done as you might expect from a chef who obviously wanted to get out of there asap. If it hadn’t been for the youthfulness of the waiting staff, I think I would have signed up for instant cremation there and then. However, all was not lost. If there was anything interesting to be drawn from this dire situation, I would have to say, it was listening to the early morning conversations of the walking dead on holiday. Entertaining, to say the least. The very least.
On the table opposite was an elderly lady who looked and sounded as though she arrived by time machine. Her accent was, how can I put this…worse than the Queen’s when she was a young woman. Cut glass. So squeaky clean as to be transparent. Biting. Sharp. Yet for all that, barely audible.
Everyone she knew or spoke about seemed to be called ‘Hugo’ and by the sound of things either in a sanatorium recovering from TB or on the Front line fighting the Hun. It was a very odd listening experience topped off by the fact that she had the most horrendous and disgusting rumbling/rolling cough I think I have ever heard. After each hacking episode one couldn’t help being in anticipation of a gigantic release into a silver spittoon that she carried with her everywhere.
Death by Breakfast II.
On the table slightly behind us were a group of six. Man & wife, man & wife, man & wife. Who had grown up together, (I’m guessing here) such were their constant reminisces. So innocent were their memories I was left wondering if they were the original models for ‘Swallows & Amazons’. Or perhaps ‘The Famous Five + One’.
Obviously, the sun always shined when they were young, the war never happened and bicycles all had baskets attached to the handlebars. There was no such thing as a gay vicar and doctors only ever treated nettle-sting. It was also long before sex was invented.
All this I might have found amusing if it wasn’t for the fact that after memory-time had passed, phase two kicked in. Picking out their favourite stories from The Telegraph.
(At this point I choked on my raw holiday bacon and retired immediately to our own, very expensive operating theatre).