Saturday, 31 March 2012

A day in the life of Lucy

Yesterday started on a negative note; an argument at 4 am.

By 9.05 am, the sun was shining, boys safely ensconced at school, no commitments lay ahead. I wandered around town all morning, partly to enjoy the sunshine, partly to indulge in charity shop therapy and partly to think about the early morning debacle.
I did very well, found the most interesting items of clothing in one day (another photoshoot looms) and, half way through the charity round, enjoyed a custard slice and a pot of tea in The Princes, a delightful Art Deco style cafe.

I entertained myself by looking at the list of items on the bill and making up band names; DANISH WEDGE GRAVY was one (or maybe a gross euphemism).
I also marvelled at the fine array of ladies sporting bandaged legs - is this compulsory post 65?

Most of the cafes in Pontypridd are of the greasy spoon variety, but this one is special. I don't go there often because the customers are too sensible. No eavesdropping fun to be had.
 I like the font on the signs, and I like the big copper urn. I have dreamt about having a cup of tea and a custard slice on my own there for ages. It took 4 and a half years to finally achieve this goal. It was pleasant, I probably won't do it again until my leg is bandaged.

It was BOGOF day at the Red Cross charity shop. I came away with four items, only paid for two, the dress I found made my day - I'll show you soon. I chortled at one of the clothing labels, it sounded like something you'd find in the Profanisaurus.

I walked home briskly, as I passed Thorntons, which is having a closing down sale, I heard a lady say "I'm buying Reagan and Teagan's Easter eggs". I smiled, I hope they're not twins with rhyming names. 
When I got to my street, I saw the shouty woman from over the road getting out of her latest gentleman friend's car. I didn't think her boob tube and hotpants outfit was a good choice.

I ate some leftover beef stew, only I would make beef stew when all around are eating salads and firing up the barbecue. I hung another load of washing out - pink bibs (my niece's). I wonder if the neighbours think I've popped out another baby - a fully-fledged workshy fop (anyone remember that insult from Vic Reeves Big Night Out?).

I tried on my new clothes, everything fitted, but some things would look a lot better if I cut down on cakes, lager and Doritos. 

I had to rush back to town to buy flowers for a friend who keeps giving me things, but won't take, money. My shoes were cutting into my flesh, there was a guy standing in the middle of the road telling everyone, loudly, that "God offers you a comfort blanket". I liked that idea, so did my feet. 

I picked the boys up, took them to the park. They whined, cried and fought. I listened to a lady rave about a meal she'd had
 "he cooked pasta, and we had pesto with it, it was STUNNING!"
"what's pesto then?"
"you know, that green stuff in a little jar"

We went home, all of us were tired, all in bed by 9.30.

Maybe I need a job now, eh?


  1. This post makes me homesick for the valleys. I did the there and back on Wednesday for the funeral and was amused by a cafe I'd not seen in Neath before - 'Absolutely Flabulous'. Obviously it works best in a Welsh accent. There used to be twins called Ceri-ann and Crystelle in my year at school.


  2. Lakota - I MUST visit that cafe!

  3. Bandaged legs are totally en vogue on the pension-brigade here in Ashbourne too, think it must be part of the uniform? Cup of tea and a custard slice sounds perfect. Best place for eavesdropping 'round these parts (going all western on your ass) is Costa - full of gossiping yummy-Mummies prattling on about 'It' Mums I've never heard of. Brilliant.

    Jem xXx

  4. Jem - imagine us pair at a cafe - no conversation allowed, only eavesdropping!

  5. Danish wedge gravy brilliant! What is a custard slice, what am I missing out on? I can't eavesdrop without opening my big mouth and jumping in on someone else's conversation- drives Chris mad:). Sounds like a chill day and good for you for finally trying this place out even if it's filled with old bandaged women ;p Job? You can have mine:)

    Can't wait to see you in your new digs:)

  6. when i'm a lottery zillionaire you can be my chief nutritionist

  7. Well done on the chazza shopping and for finally visiting the posh tea shop on your own.
    An argument at 4am? Can we blame the lager? I usually do. Hope the charity shopped helped clear your mind, the row obviously honed your skills at bargain hunting.
    I've got a long wait until I see your haul, mores the pity! xxx

  8. What an action-packed day Lucy! Not sure you should start with a 4.00 a.m. argument though; no wonder you were in bed early. What is the job market like around you? My daughter in London is getting very fed-up. She 's been on JSA since November. Something will have to give soon.

  9. Oh Lucy, arguing at 4am is bound to set you off on the wrong foot - you need to be asleep, love!
    Anyway, I'm glad it didn't put you off your chazzin' stride, sounds like you did very well, and we need to see the spoils asap.
    I think you should make The Princes a regular haunt for a solo pot of tea and a custard slice, it sounds great. I love eavesdropping on the old biddies. We had a coffee shop in town which had been there donkey's years (now sadly closed) that I liked to frequent when the Costa/Cafe Nero/Starbucks homogeneity got too much for me, and I was usually the youngest person there. And I'm knocking on!
    God? Comfort blanket? I'm imagining the Almighty like Linus from Peanuts now...
    If you find a job which more than covers the childcare costs, let me know how you managed such a miracle. Maybe God and his comfort blanket will provide.
    PS. I still use work-shy fop all the time. I LOVED VR's Big Night Out. Still refer to Les' love of the spirit level and dislike of chives too, but no one knows what I'm on about... Think I might have to head over to Youtube to remind myself of those glory days.... xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx

  10. Sorry dear, if those pesky clocks hadn't gone forward this touch of irony would have been complete:

  11. Krista - I will treat you to a custard slice when we meet. If you don't like them, that's IT, I won't be your friend any more!

    tristan - I do hope that hint of sarcasm was just my paranoia at play. I'll come and smash your rabbit AND cat ornaments up otherwise.

    Little Nell - Sainsbury's open a large supermarket here in October, that's about it on the job front. Peacocks was a major employer, but not now they've gone bust. I suppose I could always join the schools supply staff list, but work means stress over childcare cost and arrangements, maybe frugal living is the answer for a bi longer. I have no burning desire to stress my family out for an extra £30 per week.

    Curtise - the charity shop haul more than made up for the unwelcome early-hours lively debate. Oh, Les was so adorable with his shiny-lipped grin every time he saw the spirit level. And Morrissey the consumer monkey...nostalgia. Glad to know another fan.

    Rob - glad you find it funny

  12. Greasy spoons are the best for over hearing shocking/bloody funny conversations, i havent been to one for a while but im sure my local "Mr Munch" is awaiting me just so i can people watch. Scarlett x

  13. Not as funny as this chap:

  14. Rob - You know when I said I'm glad you found it funny?

    I LIED

  15. Scarlett - I fear your 'Mr Munch' belongs in the Profanisaurus too. Maybe he'd like a DANISH TART CREAM from my menu!

  16. Ooh I would love to sit in a cafe and eat custard slice with you and eavesdrop on funny conversations... perhaps even have one myself!

    Show us your treasures... you know I'm VISUAL.

    And 4am arguments are NOT COOL. But green stuff in a jar. Nice!

    Sarah xxx

  17. Sarah - I'll show you my treasures ANY TIME!

  18. Danish Wedge Gravy?! Brillant!!!
    O,do have custard slcie again BEFORE your legs are bandaged! X

  19. I enjoyed reading the story of your day, Lucy. Gives me the urge to hit charity shops and cafes. Hang on, Mrs. Bear is telling me she wants a lift to Blackwood...maybe I can squeeze in both this morning! I wonder if Danish Wedge Gravy may even be another whole musical genre?

  20. I love your day stories,amor.
    I'm picturing all in my mind,especially the lady wearing a boob top and hot pants.
    Danish Wedge Gravy sounds good to me.I eavesdrop everywhere I go.
    I do hope you have more days to yourself, you totally need time to yourself hun.
    arguing at 4 am sounds like my Mom and Dad.

  21. Helga - Hi! Been admiring you from afar from ages - picked up some ties the other week which I'm pretty sure have G-Man's name on them.

    Mr Bear - I've never 'done' the Blackwoodcharity/cafe circuit, must remedy this. I only seem to remember a night out involving Diamond White, I shan't elaborate.

    La Dama - you'd love my neighbour. She looks reasonable from behind, then when she turns around it's like someone dressed Ronnie Wood up as a bird.

  22. The delights of Ponty, with Danish gravy too ... what more could one as for.

  23. Yep, I can assure you that the bandaged leg is a necessity when you hit pensionable age - most of my lady clients sport them!

    K xx

  24. What a day! I would have liked to have seen photographic evidence of the old boob tube and hot pants creation.....sounds very 90's raver which, by the way, sounds much better than it looks. Keep daydreaming!! x

  25. Lucy, I can recommend the Square Cafe if you're happy with a nice coffee or hot chocolate with a toasted tea cake (but it's not exactly sophisticated...which is probably why I like it). As for the charity shops, they can be a bit hit or miss but you never know!

  26. Mark - "what more could one ask for?" some amusing anecdotes, that's what. Far too short in supply at The Prince's

    Keshling - with Crocs too?

    Kat - I saw my neighbour today at her workplace (Halfords) she had holographic fingernails - beat that!

    Mr Bear - do I seem too posh for teacakes and hot chocolate? (how I wish I could believe that)

  27. Ahhh... I had a nostalgic flashback then! There used to be a bakers in Ponty, in that "island" of shops out the front of the market where the road went up behind them. No idea if the bakers is still there. Its probably a gold traders now or a phone shop. They did the most wonderful granary loaf which you could get sliced. But best of all, if you arrived at the the right time, they would be taking the tray of custard slices out of the oven, and oh my, were they spectacularly lovely! In fact, they were the best ever custard slices. Haven't had a custard slice in years. Funny how a confectionery can leave such an impression on one.

  28. Oh you do make me laugh. I really miss the cafes from home. There as a man in one who would greet my friend and I with, 'Hello both.' He would ask if we would like our tea in 'a mug or a beaker?' For some reason these things were hilarious at the time.
    Often in my Yorkshire town there would be someone shouting something about God. They don't do it here, Czechs are too reserved. They were sometimes accompanied by default by by a random fellow breakdancing in an unusual fashion.
    The bandaged legs is indeed a peculiar phenomenon. Over here the old folks like to sport a woollen headband around the forehead and pulled over the ears.
    I think you should write a book. You mix poignant and funny really well. I miss my chazza shop and cafe days, so I loved this.
    Have a smashing day. x

  29. your readers deserve to see a photograph of the custard slice

    1. I did take a picture, but I'd already cut it up, ready to eat with a fork. I never usually do that - it didn't look right.


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