So it’s Sunday morning, and this is the fourth weekend I’ve slept Saturday night in my clothes. I’m sitting in the Olde Pie Shoppe in Maritime Greenwich, eating a hearty 10 a.m. breakfast of ‘meat’ pie, mushy peas, limpid mash and gravy. It’s the cheapest meal I’ve found in London at £2, so I’m enjoying the fact that I can waste the rest of the tenner on crap at the local flea Market. I’m the first customer of the day, understandably, and the staff are warming up to their usual banter.
“I can’t believe it’s Sunday again” whinges the shrivelled up old cocknette behind the counter. “It comes around so quick.” She’s said this every time I’ve been here. Like clockwork, the younger owner says, “It does. Wonder what the new boy’s going to be like?” Every Sunday I’ve been to this place, they have a new staff member in to learn the ropes, who disappears by the next weekend; obviously the mass of tourists descending on the pie shoppe (they’d put an extra ‘e’ on pie if they could away with it) traumatises the new workers every time.
Then the owner proceeds to explain his philosophy on life. “He/she should be here by now. There’s two types of people in this life; shirkers and workers.” At this point you expect a puritanical work ethic to spout, about grinding fingers to the bone or suchlike. But no… “Workers die at sixty, shirkers die at ninety. This place has been in my family since 1951.” Ah, so he’d rather not be working. Fair enough, man after my own heart.
By now I’ve scraped together my two scoops of liquid mash for long enough to get it in my mouth, nailed the pie in four forkfuls, and wolfed the mushy peas. Ready to slog home, shower and sleep. Now that’s getting ready for the working week.