Monday, 27 July 2015

You Gotta Pick A Strawb Or Two

Awww on a grey day a text arrived that made the sun shine...........

"are you doing anything?   would you like to come for cuppa?"

My beloved children and granddaughters were fruit picking at a local farm shop and asked me to join them.  how sweet is that?    no hesitation, deviation or repetition needed, instant response..........

"ooooh  yes please...........yippppeeeeeeeee".

There's something very satisfying about harvesting and eating your own pickings and even more so if you've grown it yourself.   some years ago a birdie pooped a strawberry seed into one of my big ceramic pots. until that moment it  was inhabited by a solitary  summer flowering jasmine.   one year there was no strawberry plant and the next there it was, with half a dozen little strawblets.......ok...what would YOU call a baby strawb?   never in my existence had i experienced a 'real' strawberry until the moment that tiny, red, hairy blob exploded onto my taste buds with all the force of a super nova.'s first day of school holidays, reasonable weather, fields a'fruity and ripe, pick your own is  flavour of the month, first day on the job for holiday temp staff and coffee shop is HEAVING.    every table, and there's a lotta tables, full to the gunwales and sloshing over the sides. staff hot and harassed, kitchen running an hour behind on orders, people queuing out of the door and customers are getting antsy.........
then in walks us.......children soggy and shoeless from picking, me exuberant and excited to see them, talking and laughing, much dropping of walking stick, decibel level up to 11, hugging instead of ordering, indecisive about cake selection, we must have been  customers from The Underworld sent to torment and try the patience of the best trained waitress.......yes, they were all female......why is that?......where are the boys when it comes to waiting on tables?   

Now, i'm not overstating the case when i confess to not being over endowed in the gift of observation.......ask those who know  and love me.  it would take a great deal of obfuscation to persuade anybody otherwise.......

       ob·fus·cat·ed, ob·fus·cat·ing, ob·fus·cates
1. To make so confused or opaque as to be difficult to perceive or understand: 
"A great effort was made ... to obscure or obfuscate thetruth" (Robert Conquest).
2. To render indistinct or dim; darken: The fog obfuscated the shore.

yet...... even i could see the differing dynamics being acted out among the tables.   body language and facial expression laying bare the diners inner attitude to the unmitigated chaos around them.   as my lovely daughter-in-law put it "is it my imagination or are people ruder than they used to be ?"    no my lovely, i think you might be right.

Some were using the time to chat with friends or partners, totally happy to simply be in each others air-space with no excuse to do anything but communicate by touch and eye contact and smile, obviously enjoying each others presence, faces lighting up in delight when food finally appeared, sympathising with those bearing trays full of goodies.

But most were foot and finger tapping, shoulders and heads turned away from table mates, scowling and tutting when a tray laden with drinks and cakes bypassed them to be welcomed into the embrace of table 13 or 14 or 15, counting how many till their magic number hit the jackpot.   grumbling and complaining at waitresses who were doing their best while being understaffed, undervalued and under duress.   infecting those around them with the contagion of their miserableness.

In the fullness of time it was our turn and.........they forgot our cakes.   

I hope daughter-in-law would have been proud of my attitude and approach when i gently asked if there was an oversight and stressed that it was totally understandable.

I hope i didn't come over as abruptly as the lady who complained long and loud that her gateaux was "horribly dry" and demanded a replacement in Lady Of The Manor mode .  

I hope i never forget how hard it can be to serve the rude, the impatient, the demanding, the inconsiderate, the overbearing.

I hope we all can take time to be kind to those who work hard so we can enjoy ourselves.

I wish i'd left a much larger tip !!!


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