salle verre

Being left-handed can be a right pain in the arse in a world where everything is engineered with the right-handed in mind. I know this because I am a lefty (in both senses of the word). Moreover when a lefty well and truly knackers his left arm to the extent that his missus quite understandably gets the raving hump as he whinges on and on about the pain he is in being worse than childbirth something must be done!
It is thus that I now have a sling (I use ‘on and off’) to ease said pain, a sling annoyingly devoid of panache. The very blandest of slings. Even now she refuses to embroider the crest of my beloved Arsenal upon it! Regardless, I type with my left forefinger and have been told in no uncertain terms to lay off the keyboard until they work out exactly what damage I’ve done. The plus of course is that I shall frequent my cafés of choice even more often than before and for the duration of this most irksome affliction, whilst hopefully getting in the odd sneaky post when ‘she who must be obeyed’ is not looking.
With this short leave of absence in mind (and do forgive the FB’ness of this post) herewith a few snaps (some borrowed) of my favourite nearby haunts frequented in order to seek a little inspiration as to what to write about. Above is a one of the rear garden of La Salle Verte, my most favoured spot where the coffee is sublime as is the owner, an absolutely lovely Portuguese gal… think Arlo Guthrie’s song Alice’s Restaurant here! It is rather splendid inside also.
Should one find oneself in or about The Port of Dover and in need of a coffee or lunch then this is the place to go! https://www.facebook.com/lasallevertecafe

la salle verte 2

Below another brace of snaps revealing a fine alternative café, restaurant, bar Cullens Yard I visit often from which I ‘traffic watch’ – rather than my usual pursuit namely ‘people watching’. You see across the marina is the main road where HGV lorries from a galaxy of nations (although mostly within the EU) exit the port upon arrival in the UK. They fascinate me…it doesn’t take a lot to fascinate this old fool I should add!


cullens 5

On occasions, in places where retail franchise outlets huddle together there are times when one cannot find an independent café…the vile gluttonous trend toward reservoirs of coffee in manmade cardboard foot spa’s Starbucks style comes to mind. Below is not a Starbucks yet a similar national franchise I had little choice but to patronize a couple of days ago…were it not for the antics of ‘Brian the Seagull’ I think I would have opened a vein. As you may observe my chauffeur (the arm prevents me driving presently) for the afternoon was my youngest musician son a tad miffed at having been charged with the task of propelling me about on his day off!

seagull george

And finally a couple of French haunts. Firstly, a lane up high in Boulogne’s charming Old Town just across The Channel where each and every café sells coffee to die for and where the pretty gals promenade!


Lastly, the square in Bethune (a wonderful little town near Lille in Northern France) with cafes galore I generally make a beeline for whenever possible.  It is here to the melody of ‘A Scottish Soldier’ that the clock in the Belfry chimes every quarter hour (with a full rendition on the hour) in honour of the brave Highlanders who died defending the place in WW1.

bethune 2

Do have the most wonderful Christmas one and all…time for a glass of something red methinks!


69 thoughts on “A CAFÉ TO THINK IN

  1. Cheers! I do most of the time type with my left thumb – especially when someone is sitting on my right. Not enough elbow space, you know. Then whatever I type gets ‘underline’ in red (smartphones!). I then correct the word/s I meant to type.
    Hope your arm feels better soon.

      1. Having read you comment I tried to type with my thumb on this smartphone I’ve got (I don’t really understand it) yet failed abysmally…I have to use a pen like thing with a rubber tip on the end.

      2. A stylus. Ha ha! Just remembered this incident in the train where there were four of us helping out this bloke look for his stylus when it dropped on the floor and rolled. Then the conductor joined in when he was making his rounds! It was finally found on the foot of another passenger.

    1. Used to dictate back in the office back in the day although not many secretary’s stayed the course for I tend to ramble…one did however and ‘she’ was my choice of ‘best man’ when Shirl and I married! You and yours do have the finest Christmas and New Year.

  2. I type with both hands which is why my politics is all over the map. To be more precise, politically speaking I hate every position ever articulated, mainly because I come from a confused political family. As my wife says, “it only takes one of you to have two opinions.”

    Speaking of all that, you got to be careful around Dover because of the Chunnel – it let’s in too many foreigners… Remember the last time you guys did that and all Saxons came rushing in? What a mess they made of the language- you still can’t spell anything in English – much less type it. 🙂

    Gosh, thanks for letting me rant. I feel better now.

    1. A rant is the finest thing…not too worried about the Chunnel though. I use it a lot and pity the poor sods in The Jungle outside Calais…6000 in tents in December in Europe not good. I feel sure we can let a few more in – today marked one million refugees entering Europe this year, Germany has taken in by far the most. We Brits are a mongrel breed as is our language…I mean I can read a French newspaper yet mostly cannot pick up on what they say for they speak with such haste.

  3. It’s a wonder Svetlana is not pictured here as I do remember her being a favorite site of yours at all coffee shops. In fact it’s a wonder that this isn’t just a catalogue of the views you got when a young barista leaned forward to mix your coffee or bent over to grab a cup. In any case, do get better soon as I find your comments most amusing even if I do have to labor over many of your blogs trying to decipher exactly what message you are trying to convey…it’s most times well worth it.

      1. To hell with the sling, a glimpse of cleavage is a cure all…’Shirl I’ve just found the cure to my affliction…Shirl are you listening…Shirl…’ She wasn’t listening!

  4. Wonky arm blues are hard to shake off I know. I am currently suffering from wonky knee syndrome and, of course, trying to maximise the amount of sympathy available by being outwardly brave while indicating a significant amount of stoically born discomfort. To date the strategy has not worked and I still have to make my own coffee and sandwiches.

    1. A walking stick is the thing. Severed my quad muscles in a freak accident 15 years ago and was getting no sympathy until – because I kept falling down – my wife got me a walking stick. Pregnant women would offer me their seat on a train; waitresses would hurry over to me in preference to others; even got led to the front row seats when my middle son got to be a copper in Hendon…best thing with the stick was being able to say things to ignorant types that without the stick I’d never dare say. Stick strongly recommended.

  5. no surprise to know you are a lefty through and through – this piece tells me you have even more talents that could launch a career as a traveloguist – Happy (Merry) Christmas, Mike, to you and yours

  6. “Being left-handed can be a right pain in the arse in a world where everything is engineered with the right-handed in mind.” – My dear old thing, forgive me, though perhaps you might do well to reconsider the syntactical arrangement of this sentence – the imagery is quite disturbing. [Or is it just me?] Moving swiftly along, how is your boy the chauffeur’s musical career coming along? Or is the elder lad the troubadour?

    1. He (my son) hates networking, social media, people in general, doesn’t drink or smoke…it is thus I worry for him. To have a talent I would give (especially so this instant) my ‘left’ arm for (arrangement problem again I accept) not fulfilling itself annoys me. A ‘first’ in music, presently composing some superb classical pieces no soul will hear is a bit like being Van Gogh’s dad.

      1. Lefties are a step closer to first base. Politically they become rebels because of all those jokes about left-handed screw drivers. Organic molecules can also be left handed or right handed and they have no consciousness, although not too many are good at baseball.

  7. Dear friend !May the joy and peace of Christmas be with you all through the Year.
    Wishing you a season of blessings
    from heaven above. Mary Christmas and Happy Holiday

  8. Enduring this misfortune is unfair but for one totally debilitated I must give it to you, you have gifted us a fine post for Christmas. Adore the photographs and would love to be sitting in one of those cafes at the moment. Have a very Merry Christmas Mike and a prosperous and inspiring New Year. Wishing you a speedy recovery too, Holly.

  9. “On occasions, in places where retail franchise outlets huddle together there are times when one cannot find an independent café…”

    I know. I know!
    I have been to Europe
    (and mostly Middle – East)

    C’est moi.

    Hey! Thanks
    Thanks for being my only ‘reader’.
    (I appreciate that more than you could possible know)
    And yes: I fuck aroud with gram’her.

    1. i’ve set myself an easier target

      off to see son and grandkids at 11 am and have promised myself not to drink before and when I’m there – [it’s a bugger not having a designated driver to ferry me there and back]

      4 hours or so there, 1/2hr drive back and I should be downing my first glass of wine by 3.30pm, and my 2nd glass by 3.32pm 😆

    1. Thank you…be it physiotherapist’s or steroid injections I am not sure which will work! I find my son becomes more agreeable if I fill his wallet…a rare occasion I must add! Have a great New Year

  10. You might want to consider getting a dictation tool for the computer, such as Dragon Speak. I had a copy when the stroke struck, and was going to use it if my typing was affected for long. But these tools are pretty accurate these days.

    1. Certainly will consider this…my one finger typing for weeks now has caused RSI in the right wrist…my left shoulder downwards has not responded to anything…going to the loo is such a joy! My thanks for that regardless…ouch!

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