Only three weeks to go

Yes, just three weeks to go before Dave retires and we close the restaurant. The end of an era. It’s very gratifying when customers say “You can’t close! What are we going to do without you?” but I keep thinking of all the things I won’t have to do any more and I won’t miss for a minute: emergency waitressing, washing aprons and shopping, to name but a few.

Large-scale supermarket shopping is definitely top of the list. Some stuff gets delivered, but somehow we’ve never managed to avoid trips to Mercadona, and I usually come out of the place with a trolley laden to the gunnels. It all seems such a laborious process: first you have to take all the stuff out of the trolley and dump it at the checkout, then you have to put it all back in again. Then you have to go through the whole procedure again in the car park, and again when you get home. And even then you haven’t finished, you still have to put it all away. It’s repetitious just writing about it. You’d think someone would have come up with a solution by now. Maybe some day there’ll be an app called “Shopping Solutions” and you’ll just point your mobile at the pile in the trolley, key in the address and say “Beam it that way, Scotty!”

Then there are the panic phone calls. Another thing I won’t miss. They tend to go something like this:

“Can you come over? Everyone’s coming in at once!”
“Oh, all right.”
“And have a look and see if there’s a spare lettuce in the fridge.”
“And bring that jar of mustard that’s lying around.”
“Anything else, dear?”

So, I’m not sorry we’re closing, although I dare say nostalgia might kick in a few years down the line when I’ve forgotten how annoying it is to be summoned to help just when I’m trying to untangle some particularly convoluted sentence. We haven’t managed to sell the restaurant – nobody in their right mind would buy a restaurant in Spain right now, especially if it’s in the middle of nowhere – so we’ll still have it, it just won’t be open. This has certain advantages, in my opinion, the main one being that we’ll still be able to make ourselves decent coffee.

As far as I’m concerned the best thing about having a restaurant is that you get to make your own coffee with a proper espresso machine. It’s like going out for coffee, even if “going out” is actually just the two-minute walk from the house to the restaurant.

According to Dave my way of making coffee amounts to skiddling, a word he had to explain to Sandy: “Scotland’s the only country in the world that has a word for farting around with water, and your mother’d be the winner of Scotland’s world famous skiddling championships…”. That’s fine by me. I’d rather be a skiddling champion than a shopping champion.

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