My Coronavirus love story
Fried food and cake; what more could a boy need?
There was a time, deep in the history of human existence, when people could bask in the magnificence of events such as drinking in a pub, visiting friends or having a conversation without shouting across a three-mile chasm.
However, Covid-19 has scratched those freedoms from our abilities. Now we have only memories to keep us company with the happiness of the past. Along with a small thing called the internet, obviously.
On the day before the first wave of Coronavirus responses were launched (which included orders to obey social distancing, but long after all of the toilet rolls had been gobbled up) I endured an extremely busy and important day at work.
It was dubbed a “team building” day, something that I find absolutely intolerable. Spending many hours listening to gushing stories about how brilliant every employee is at everything and being overly encouraged to love and cherish each other’s company is something that I associate more with Hell than swell. I expect that the Devil has already constructed my private furnace filled with the singeing effects of soppiness.
Thankfully – something that I will forever credit it with – Covid-19 halted all of that nonsense, so a small group of us went for breakfast instead. A full English breakfast that is, not just a bowl of Rice Krispies.
In a slightly cool (but mostly lovely) village café I was served with egg, sausage, tomato, beans, black pudding, hash brown, toast, two slices of bacon and a mug of coffee, all in almost perfection.
There’s something about truly fresh farm food that makes its taste glow amongst the mass-produced chemicals coloured to look like food that are so readily and cheaply available everywhere. Why should bacon that is thick, packed with flavour and crispy be considered a luxury?
Eggs, too, are a critical feature for me in all breakfasts. In this case they were ideally concocted, blooming with yellow, flowing yolk and fluffy whiteness – not the rubbish that James May serves up. I fully expect for him to be hunted down by a pack of outraged hens (all clucking two metres apart, naturally).
The meal certainly contrasted dramatically to the Wetherspoons fry-up I suffered a couple of weeks earlier, which consisted of burnt bacon and a sausage the size of a starved caterpillar. Plus, there was no toast, which I didn’t realise was possible; how can you have a breakfast without toast? That’s like a supermarket without bread: utterly unheard of. It’s almost as though ‘Spoons are more interested in cheap pints than Michelin stars.
One of the best pieces of cake... in the world.
After the hearty breakfast we had to go for a walk, which for some reason included dogs. My dislike of dogs is almost as great as my hatred of humans, mainly because they’re always plotting for ways to steal food from people’s plates. Sinister creatures, disarming people with their calculated cuteness.
The day ended with a trip to something called a public house, which seemed a novel idea based around people who know each other sitting down and relaxing while enjoying drinks together. I can’t believe that hasn’t caught on.
This stop featured a slug of red velvet cake that may have actually been one of the most spectacular sponges I’ve ever been gifted with eating. It was absurdly bursting and overflowing with cream so fresh that I thought I saw black and white patches on it and a dangling name tag with “Daisy” scrawled on it. The texture was perfectly soft, causing the blushing cake to crumble with each touch and melt with every bite, filling all of the taste buds with a supremacy of sugary delight. The harp’s of angels must taste that good.
Food that definitely made a day at work worthwhile. In fact, spending hours gorging on divine cuisine was probably the most productive working day I’ve ever had. An experience that only a few days ago would have been easier to organise than opening a fridge is now something to aspire to once normality is belatedly restored.