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Sunday, 18 January 2009

Observations in Hollies caff

This a big place on Upper Parliament Street Nottingham. One of my neighbours goes here regularly as it is very reasonably priced and the place seems to cater for people with lots of time to sit and chat (nothing wrong with that), the council's manual workers and the lonely. Saying that the regulars and staff seem an industrious bunch. I would say that it comes across as a regular haunt for ordinary folk.

At the back end of last week I decided to re-visit as part of generating interesting observations for this blog. Here are the notes I made as I sat with my tea and pen poised. Incidentally this particular morning there would have been about 50 people in and I would say that it could accommodate around 150. I tried to note take without staring or being obvious.




Directly in front of me are three big burly workman finishing off their drinks and big breakfasts. One of them likes to eat with his mouth wide open and his big breakfast churning around for all to see. I find it hard to look at him and yet hard to look away. All three are wearing grubby yellow and silver bibs to make them visible on their job outside. They have also discarded their plastic protective helmets. The youngest of the three sits at an angle and follows the legs of anyone leaving with his leery eyes. He also has a rather scary grin and a gold tooth. You wouldn't want to mess with him. He has a big tatoo covering most of his neck. I think I'll go over and ask him what it depicts. (joke)

The chill wind comes through an opening door and tickles the Sundae Suprise card to the right of me. The card is propped up against a pretend Japanese style tree and advertises 'Chocolate dream delight, Strawberry dream delight and Banana and Toffee dream delights.' Over in the far corner by the window I can see a frail looking woman gazing out of the window in her own mental state of dreamy delight.

The three builders suddenly laugh at something and gather up their helmets and jackets and copies of the Sun and Daily Mirror and leave. Mr Tatoo leaves a trail of dribble.

As they go out two other people wobble in through the entrance nearest me. They are huge. I presume that they are man and wife and the woman must be at least 20 stone. The man following behind her is a big thick set man and they both have moustaches. She sits herself down on a seat that almost takes fright as she approaches and he's going off to order. She seems to like paisley designs as they make up most of her attire.

One of the staff, a young woman, mops up the builders table. She is wearing all black with a cap like the rest of the staff. They seem very organised here and must deal with a large amount of customers during the day, a good proportion of them regulars. Ooops, she is coming over - journal away for now.

Safe again. Mr Moustache returns and is carrying two very large mugs of milky coffee. He puts them down and once he is seated they both take a slurp. I hope that I am not around to see the coffee get cold and the milk start to cling to their moustaches.

The frail woman has come out of her dreamy state and is now talking to her mobile phone. It isn't up in the classic position by her ear and mouth. She is holding it in front of her and talking at it.

I'll drink the rest of the tea and go now.

2 comments:

Pablito said...

Your turning into a regular - George Orwell - this has the feel of "Down and Out in Paris and London" with the plongeurs, the grey margarine and the bigger the price the more Chef spittle the meal comes with!

Keep up the observatory characterisation commentary. Good stuff.

Yep Brown Betty's is good and their takeaway lunch is great.

However you should come have lunch with me at the Lenton Shop's Crocus Cafe. I ate their Friday lunch and had spinach lasagne, with pesto and goat's cheese, with a mixed leaf salad that included toasted sunflower seeds, nettles, rocket , red pepper etc. Best meal ie most tasty meal I have had for £3.50 in years - what a find. Bet they do breakfast too.

From the Town Centre you can walk there in under 20 mins.

We should do lunch there.

Phil Lowe said...

That sounds good Paul. Email me on phillming@aol.com about the mobile phone number. I don't like to leave such things on Facebook for all and sundry.