Monday, 24 September 2012

A not so spontaneous moment

Refreshed from a weekend off I blog again. I'm wondering if it's wise to attempt attaching a photo to this blog today. Friday's was a bit of a fiasco to say the least. The upside down and blurry picture of Pret A Manger on The Strand was not the photo I had intended to take, in fact a photo of Pret A Manger was not on my list of interesting shots at all. I took a number of photos on my smartphone but couldn't get them to come out anything but blurred. Maybe Samsung smartphones only are only set up to take decent pictures when you are skydiving. That's what their ads seem to say anyway. I then tried to upload it onto the post via the handy Android blogger app, but for some reason known only to itself it decided to upload the picture upside down. Yes I can hear all of you smug iphone/ipad users out there saying, 'doesn't happen to us', but I don't care. To Windows and Android I will stay loyal. Anyway the idea was be to show my readers where I write some of my blogs when I'm not at home. The place where I have to drag the huge Sherman tank of a laptop that is called The Gericom to. On, the subject of laptops, you know how Mac users always go on about how their precious ibooks go on for years without any problems and PCs always break down. Well I say to them The Gericom is almost ten years old and it's still going strong. Mind you I did wipe the hard drive and install only Word, online backgammon and Google Chrome so it doesn't exactly have to work hard. My God, am I channelling my dad again?

But back to the point of the picture. It was not my first choice of photo for Friday's post. I actually wanted to take a photo of Peter. Peter is one of the cheery (and I say this without a hint of sarcasm) staff at the aforementioned Pret. The staff there seem to be quite happy and the drudgery of serving hasn't seemed to have got them down... yet. This is quite a feat as they have the most surly and humorless duty manager I think I've ever seen. He's an imposing man who would not look out of place as a hammer thrower for Belarus. Anyway, Peter served me my Late and chocolate croissant with a particular flare, performing a great flourish with his tray as he placed the cup and plate on it. My immediate thought was to take a photo of him, smiling by his coffee machine to place on this blog but sadly I didn't. I sat down and though no more about it until I'd finished writing. It was then that I decided to do something that really breaks one of the cardinal rules of life. I tried to fabricate a spontaneous moment. I decided I would take the photo of Peter, but he was no were to be seen. After a quick check that I had not aroused the interest of the duty manager I asked the staff if Peter was still around. I explained that I wanted to take his photo for this blog and told them that they should check out his flashy tray moves, "I think he wants to work over the road at The Savoy" I quipped. They just stared back at me blankly. I was amazed that non of them got how hilarious and wacky the situation was. They were however politely helpful and told me that he was working in the kitchen. One of them phoned down stairs and I was told that he was on his way up, so I waited... and waited... and waited. Occasionally I was told that Peter was just coming, but he never came. Eventually a kind soul rang the kitchen again and this time I was told he'd meet me there. I came to the kitchen door and Peter popped his head round the door. He was not however the dashing servant type that I remembered. He was now sporting one of those strange elasticated plastic hats that food preparers wear and a rather worried look on his face. I explained about the photo and he seemed less than keen, and I was about to find out why. I looked around and saw to my horror that the duty manager was standing next to me. Not wanting to get poor Peter the sack I explained the whole thing. There was a moments silence, and then to my surprise the manager broke out in a huge grin, "sure" he said as he left chuckling to himself. I was amazed. He, of all people, got just how side sidesplittingly funny all of this was. Peter, however, was not seeing the funny side at all. "Just give me five minutes to finish what I'm doing" he barked, and ducked back into the kitchen. I waited... and waited... and waited, but he didn't emerge. After what seemed like on eon standing alone in the corridor next to the gents toilets and the door to the kitchen I suddenly had a thought, "maybe he thinks I'm stalking him." then I had another thought, "maybe I am stalking him!" and it's at this point that I left.

Oh well, no photo of Peter today so you'll just have to make do with a photo of The Gericom instead.

The Gericom, sold exclusively at Lidl. This particular model
is a bit of a museum piece, dating back to around 2004.

Mike Raffone is the co founder of the production company howhow along with his fiancĂ© Grisel Tarifa. They hope to open a new performance club The Royal National Theatre of Fools in Peckham in the winter.  It will be dedicated to the clown, the absurd and the eccentric. Mike is also busy writing his one man show, Clowns, Coulrophobia and Me for the 2013 Edinburgh Fringe. Go to www.howhow.co.uk for more info.

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