As a child if I was sent to the shop for something you could guarantee I’d be gone far longer than needs be – as an adult absolutely nothing has changed; I think it’s something to do with my insatiable curiosity (nosiness) and my penchant for pondering. My granddaughter is exactly the same, when she was little the pair of us would spent half an hour looking down a hole watching ants work.
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Although I was aware time was getting on and that I needed to think about getting back to the Bristol (to get ready for the evening) I still ended up drifting straight past the hotel and continuing on down Main Street trying to make sense of so many convoluted memories. Probably the best way to describe the world inside my head would be to say I felt like Doctor Who having just stepped out of the Tardis; when I look in one direction I see the familiar, when I look in another I see the opposite. I was looking out at 2016 with 1976 eyes – surreal didn’t even come close.

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For a time I paused to look up at a building I had admired several times earlier in the week. It was decorated in blue and white tiles in a sort of left-leaning herring bone pattern although it wasn’t long before that psychedelic image – mixed with my Doctor Who brain – rebelled in confusion and I spun on my heels and headed off down a side street.

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(The English Tea Rooms)

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Something about the side street looked familiar, especially the tables outside a cafe. As I strolled down the street I deliberately slowed my pace to a virtual stop to take a closer look at the cafe and the more I looked at it the more I knew I had sat in there often with the children – but the name ‘Figaro’ meant nothing to me. 

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As I gawped through the doorway (almost to the point of being rude towards people sitting inside) I spotted a piano that immediately brought back a set of memories which began making sense of it all. For a period of time (when we lived at Edinburgh House) my Mother-in-law Babs came to live with us and during that time she did two jobs; one job was playing the piano in the children’s playgroup and just seeing the piano in the cafe reminded me of her. The other job she did (which I wrote about earlier at 2:40) was waitressing in a cafe called ‘The English Tea Rooms’ and now I thought about that I was 99% sure that’s what I was looking at.

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(((One of the biggest advantages of social media in the present day is being able to find out things you aren’t quite sure about and so it didn’t take long for me to confirm that the cafe was indeed the English Tea Rooms (Thankyou JJ).)))

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I’m not sure where the time went but I suddenly realised I was now seriously late in getting back to the Bristol and so decided I’d better head straight there and take my punishment like a man. Duly I ran all the way back and slithered into our room in the hope of not being noticed……

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