I went to the bar to order drinks. Two old dapper geezers with hats, waistcoats and twinkles in their eyes looked over ‘Jeez, it’s about time he turned up, Love; it must have been awful waiting so long for him’. I laughed as Luca reached for a couple of glasses behind the bar – and in the process of doing so smashed them. ‘What the…..!’ one of the men exclaimed ‘Ah, leave him alone for God’s sake, he’s in charge, he can smash the bloody glasses if he wants to’ his mate replied.
We ate mackerel and samphire. ‘I’m still hungry P – let’s have dessert’. We ordered sticky toffee pudding. I asked the waiter for ice cream with it. ‘OK, we ‘ave jeannejer, hasslenut and strouberrie’ he said, sweeping the crumbs off the table onto the floor. Mr Gray looked at him: ‘What?’
The pudding arrived. ‘It’s stale Mr G, stale and heavy’. ‘Leave it to me’ he replied and off he went to see Luca at the bar who shrugged and re-ordered crumble for us.
The waiter flew past again. ‘Please may we have ice cream with the crumble?’ I asked. ‘Eets finish now, no ice cream, ze cabbler will be ‘ere in a moment’. ‘Cabbler? Cabbler?’ I asked Mr G. ‘I think he means ‘Cramble’, Mr Gray replied.
Dessert no. 2 arrived with a dollop of cream on top. ‘What’s it like, Gray?’ ‘It’s cold and it’s heavy’. ‘You can’t send it back again’. Luca arrived on the scene. Gray waved the bill at him ‘We can’t pay this Luca, but we’ll have two single malts please’. Luca gave him a cursory glance and threw the bill on the floor.
A huge platter of fruits de mer arrived for the guys sitting next to us. As they plundered the shells for food we looked on. Finally, unable to resist, I said ‘Was that enough for you?’ ‘No’ he replied as he fished for another whelk, ‘We will ‘ave some meat now’.
The music cranked up and we cried with laughter at the goings on; I’d forgotten what a top night out The Cow can be.
I complimented Luca on the evening as we left and apologised for the pudding debacle. ‘It’s OK’ he replied magnamimously. ‘And, the tunes, Luca, the tunes! What happened? In the 15 years I’ve been coming here you only ever played reggae – apart from Paddy’s day. Are they from your ipod?’ ‘Yeah, mine – and Tom’s’ he replied ‘It’s 2010 now; things have changed.’