With every passing year, it has become increasingly apparent that I have acquired the ability of entering a room and instantly raising the average age. One recent example was when Elaine and I went to see the band Everybody Looks Famous – we didn’t exactly raise the average age of the audience, we bloody doubled it. Not good... (but the band certainly was, I hasten to add...).
Yesterday however was a glorious exception. We decided to pop down to Northallerton for a change – market day, silly move –and for a special treat (and also for the very first time) we went for our regular Saturday “coffee and chat” to Betty’s.
Patience is not a virtue I possess (especially in queues), but I was proud of myself yesterday. Not only did I stand and wait for fifteen minutes... I actually stood for fifteen minutes; there certainly weren’t many other customers who could manage such a feat.
In front of me, to the side of me (and I’m not meaning you here Elaine x) and behind me were doddery old ladies, all it must be said with neatly bouffanted grey hair, most stooped over a walking stick –and each apparently taking their bloody mother out for coffee..!
In their collective defence, they were no irritation at all compared to the student sat on the next table alongside his evidently proud father and clearly deaf and totally disinterested grandfather (and I salute you), telling anyone within earshot (that was capable of hearing) how he “just switches into Chinese when he’s in China” and “how he gets funny looks because not many westerners can speak their language”.
No mate, you get funny looks because you’re a total 屁眼...
Anyway, back out in the open air and in the spirit of London 2012, we were treated to a re-enactment of the 100 metre heats from the 1928 Amsterdam Olympics – featuring two of the actual competitors. Sadly Doris and Beryl didn’t make the final (which as you know was won by Betty Robinson of America, who later opened a hugely successful chain of tea rooms in northern England), but it was nevertheless a joy to see these two athletes of yesteryear tearing down the high street.
Betty’s time of 12.2 seconds equalled the 100 metre world record way back then, but Doris and Beryl didn’t let the spectators down as Beryl edged out her rival to win in a time of 38 minutes 54.4 seconds, but in attempting to recreate her famous lunge for the line Beryl tripped over her walking stick and landed flat (but unhurt) on her triumphant face. Doris was disappointed, but believed she lost her chance of victory when she stopped to chat to Ada, whom she hadn’t seen since the previous Wednesday.
And there you have it. Here endeth the story of my trip to Northallerton... the day we had a Yorkshire cream tea and I reduced a room’s average age. Marvellous...
Footnote: Please be assured that I’m not in any way “ageist”, this blog has been embellished purely for feeble comic effect... and yes, I know it didn’t work...
All my own work... almost.