I dropped into the Bake House this morning for a coffee. I’ve a couple of hours to play with so decided to bring my laptop out for a spin and relax in the ambiance of Cashel’s Bake House.
My deep passion for all things bread can be explained most easily by sharing with you that when I took a rare trip to Cork the other day to change some clothes at Marks and Spencer (the Cork branch is my closest, about 1.5 hours away), I realised when I got home and unpacked my food shopping that I’d bought…
two loaves of bread, two types of rolls, pancakes and several packs of bagels and not a lot else apart from a salmon sandwich. Oily fish is an essential part of my diet along with, er, bread products.
So the Bake House is a breadoholic’s paradise. Tiny yet perfect. Traditionally Irish, it naturally sells white and brown soda breads but after that it explodes into everything from loaves crammed with sunflower seeds, crispy baguettes and florentines to soft white baps, chocolate muffins and scones filled with sultanas.
Ascend the treacherous steps and you’re reached eat-in heaven.
And I would have happily set up tent in the rear yard yonks agon were it not for the owner, well the female half of the ownership to be precise. She is so unfriendly, never smiles, doesn’t look like she loves her customers at all. Not this one anyway. Ireland is a bit like this. On the one hand the people are friendly and clutch you to their metaphorical (and sometimes actual) bosom with open hearts. On the other, people complain that even when they’ve lived in a place half their lives, they’re still regarded as ‘blow-ins’ if their great-great-granny didn’t give birth within the county boundaries.
You only need to be a paranoid-delusional in the heart of Tipperary with an English accent to worry that it’s personal. So every time I walk through the door my gremlin says – she can’t stand you. And I agree readily.
This morning though, I decided it was time to change the record. My heart sank an inch when she came to serve me but I was glad really. I ordered my coffee, smiled and defied her to carry on disliking me. I asked her how a mutual contact of ours is getting on. I allowed her to pretend she hadn’t recognised me, it suited us both that way. And she smiled, nay beamed at me, and immediately engaged in conversation.
The customer behind waited patiently while she chatted away happily to me, promising to remember me to the other person and very nearly inviting me round to dinner on Sunday. (Bet she does fab Yorkshire puddings). Service with a smile at last.
"I’m getting good at this abundance stuff" I said, giving myself a pat on the back, "and I’m dumping my gremlin now".
I thank my gremlin for trying to keep me safe, that’s all she was doing, I know, and decide that if one’s going to get dumped it might as well be in the best bakery in South Tipp.
I leave the Bake House to go back to my car. Some idiot has parked theirs three inches from mine so it’s impossible for me to open the driver’s door. Strangely, the fact I’d reversed in and they’ve driven in means that we were driver’s door to driver’s door. So the other driver has chosen to climb over their passenger seat to get out of their car. How weird is that? Their’s was at the end of a row with plenty of space the other side so it’s clearly a deliberate act of sabotage.
I open the passenger door and clamber in, trailing my bags and laptop behind me. As I pull away I find myself memorising the registration. Why would I do that? I realise it’s a subconscious desire to be able to identify the driver if I should ever meet that car again so I can give them a real cross look.
How scarce is that? I catch the thought immediately and throw it away. Whenever I note a grumpy thought I de-tox it by sending up a prayer for my ‘victim’.
And one for me too. After all, I need it as much as they do.