And heaven was a breakfast…

And heaven was a breakfast…

A tiny Salford cafe on the corner of the busy road where we turned for the final leg to work. Half an mile away but a full hour to get there…

Within Paul’s Cafe was Paul; eclectic, gregarious. A man who had walked away from the edge of Salford’s gang culture and made great food, instead. A friend who would be friendly, but leave us in peace with our bacon butties, brown sauce and mugs of steaming tea… magically-refilled, without us asking.

Bacon butties, done ‘crispy’… And just the memory brings a fresh rush of goodness, now – and a sense of loss; even though that was a long time ago, and Paul’s Cafe is a memory buried beneath the white verticality of high-rise, modern docklands Salford.

Nearby, Media City glitters, now – and wonderful it and The Lowry Centre are… but I am lost in the simple pleasure of the memories and the taste of what was there, before….

It was a dirtier, grittier time, but, for us, there will never be another cafe like Paul’s.

©Stephen Tanham

12 Replies to “And heaven was a breakfast…”

  1. I think in the heart of each of us, there lives a wonderful restaurant; it may not look like much, but it has within it that amazing flavor of the many. One of the places I have loved was not a single restaurant, but the magical booths at a farmers market’ in Torrance, California. What I so loved besides the fact that you could eat anything that appealed to your taste any day – foods from different parts of the world, all cooked there in front of you, and the smells mingling into something amazing and delicious beyond description, and perhaps that ingredient that brings together people from all over the world into a single place. None of us speak the same languages, but we all go through the farmers’ market, sharing with sign language that we create to illustrate something wonderful we have discovered, and everyone forgetting that we are the many – different languages, different political beliefs perhaps, different religions or spiritual beliefs, different cultural beliefs and different colors of skin. But at that place, we are all blended into the most beautiful conglomeration. We all sit next to each other at the many picnic tables scattered around, each looking at the food someone else is eating with wonder and happy curiosity, and we find ways to communicate. We laugh at the antics of the many colored children playing happily and freely together, and we are all totally at peace. I could be eating the worst thing imaginable and feel a sense of joy at the food and how we all come together as if there was never a difference. I often wonder how this all changed in the world. How is it that people who were so different in so many ways could sit together and be happy together, even for that brief magical time? What was it that made all of this and then took it all away once again?

    Liked by 1 person

      1. I have always loved things like this – quilting is much the same way. I have been to major quilt shows in the U.S. where people from all over the world contribute. And we each admire the works of all the others without any thought or concern about what the people are creating might represent, but admiring it for its beauty and workmanship, and it matters not any of those other superficial things that are not at the heart or compasses of our souls. I bet I could think of other similar things too if I think on it long enough. I love it when we can share with everyone in the world regardless of anything else, just as the sacred beings we ALL are.

        Liked by 1 person

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