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An Extract From My Work In Progress (Because I’ve No Ideas For Today)

Olivia’s mother, Annie, peeked her head out from behind the wooden wall that separated the dining area from the kitchen. “Bacon and eggs, love?” she asked, wiping her wrist across her forehead in a feeble attempt to dispel the heat from her face. She was a tall woman with pale skin and a head of short curly hair that bounded around her cheeks at the slightest sign of movement. Her cream apron, her only one though she called it her favourite, was tied around her waist with a small neat bow settled on her back, the multitude of mini crimson carnations running in a line along the trimming. It reminded Olivia of the Congo dancing line her mother had got them to join at the barn dance during a holiday at a French resort as that’s where she’d bought it. Annie had on a pair of stone-dried jeans and a white shirt and the entire ensemble made her look very much like someone who’d just arrived from the 1940’s and was trying to fit in.

“Please”, said Olivia, taking the seat across from her father. Sam was reading The Daily Telegraph and sipping on a cup of Earl Grey. He usually drank Twinnings’ English Breakfast but Annie had blitzed the kitchen the afternoon before and found the box of Earl Grey hidden behind the greaseproof paper above the fan oven. That they’d also found the greaseproof paper there was testament itself to the fact that Annie’s baking left much to be desired and Sam had installed it in the utensils draw to remind her of how nice shop-bought cakes were with their intact edges.

It was the works. Three rashers of bacon overlapping two perfect sunny-side-up eggs next to which was a generous helping of tomatoes and mushrooms. Hash browns huddled on the edge of the plate together with the baked beans that were skimming the rim. Side plates each harbouring four slices of bread that were skulking under the weight of the butter. When Annie made a fry-up you knew she wouldn’t plan lunch. It wasn’t required.


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