An Old Fashioned English Caff


You can’t beat an old-fashioned English ‘caff’
The scurrying, clattering, chattering staff
Typhoo puddles on wobbly tables
The builder-banter, the wide-boy-fables
The cackles of Winifreds, Ethels and Mabels
The love-bitten gazes of Daren and Sarah
Over sugar-sweet-sachets of Demerara
The frothy coffee in a bowl-shaped cup…
With a handle so small that you can’t pick it up!
The clang of a waitress dropping your knife
The view through the windows at the town’s street life…
The shuffling grey men, the heeled orange dollies,
Handbags, gladrags, scumbags and brollies
The rear-end view of the bus stop…
The fat man smoking in the football top
The rumbling roar of a sudden downpour
Flushing shoppers in through the beckoning door…
Clutching 5p bags from Marks & Spencer’s
The Tomato-shaped, farting ketchup dispensers
The screaming scrapes of the chair legs
The lard-arsed smell of frying eggs
Bean-smeared plates with bacon fat on
The sausage cook with a sous chef’s hat on
Bakewell Tarts and Pukka Pies
Crinkled chips with a thousand eyes
Fried bread served as a hangover cure
By a dexterous waiter whilst mopping the floor
The ‘Full English’ that won’t quite fit on the plate
Maintaining the country’s mortality rate
Teabags mocking their sell-by date
Thin white toast with burnt bits
Rock cakes that survived the Blitz!
You can’t get all this in the Savoy or the Ritz
Feeding: workers, shirkers, paupers and princes
Trend setters and blue rinses
Night shift workers, ways and strays,
The Old Bill and the latest Krays
Fullfilling every culinary need
From Lizard Point to Berwick upon Tweed
Consoling the Lonely from Margate to Bath…
You can’t beat an old-fashioned English ‘caff’


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