Thursday 01 August 2013

Café Specific

The Ashes are a major sporting event. They are generally separated by several years and so they are quite popular. Manchester didn’t host a test the last time the Ashes were in England. (Emirates) Old Trafford has also gone major rebuilding and now has in increased capacity, complete with requisite media centre without which a modern-day cricket arena is incomplete.

Given this dearth of an Ashes test and the increased spectator capacity there is one thing that you didn’t need an advanced qualification in supply and demand (because there are so many qualifications in supply and demand) to work out that today there would be fat men in the general area of (Emirates) Old Trafford. Fat men like food and beer and sport. The food element becomes less important as the day goes on but at the beginning of the day it is still in the minds of the masses (that works on more than one level).

There are three cafés* around the corner from Old Trafford if you’re walking from Hulme (I had walked from Hulme). One was shut for a week – starting today; one only had bacon; the third didn’t have sausages. What the very fucking shit of piss is that all about? Café number one in particular…”We’re going on holiday for a week, there’s one week where the will be five consecutive days with 20,000 people in the vicinity – the kind of people who are likely to want a cooked breakfast. Other than that it’s mainly quiet. We’re going to go on holiday that week. We’ll just run the risk that we can be on holiday that week AND still get the slice of the  100,000 spectators coming back on a day when we’re back off holiday (for no reason).”

At least the other two shops had the grace just to be ill-prepared. Why would you be aware of things happening a few hundred metres away that would significantly increase the footfall through the door? Just treat every day as the same. Running out of sausages at 9am will only annoy everyone and reduce the amount of money you’re making. Unbelievable.

*Only the closed one was actually your traditional café, but the other two advertised breakfast options they couldn’t deliver on.


Practically did a bit of freeganing at the end of the day – a guy from one of the food fans was giving away pieces of breaded chicken that he was just going to throw away! I was like, no you’re alright mate don’t throw that away – I’ll eat it instead. And he was all like, yeah that’s why I’m stood here shouting about how people can have any of this chicken because it’s going in the bin otherwise.

Amazing. Had the conversation happened just a few minutes earlier – with the service hatch of a specially manufactured kitchen van between us – he’d have been insisting on some money exchanging hands. So, next time you’re at the cricket, fight the urge to get some tea around half four/five. Just hold on until the end of play and stand about near the food vans and you can eat for free. You will just look like a sad, pissed-up bastard. A sad, pissed-up bastard with a free piece of chicken, mind.

All About Food

Honestly, today wasn’t all about food. It seems like all I have to say about is food. But these are the only two times I ate all day. There was a lot of sitting in the sun, drinking bitter and saying stuff like, “ruddy heck this is the life, eh chaps?”

And watching cricket. I was capture on a Sky fan camera. Look, look now:

Can you see me?

Can you see me?

Maybe make it a bit easier….

Little bit clearer on this one eh?

Little bit clearer on this one eh?

What do you mean? I’m there – LOOK!

I'm in the middle of the yellow circle.

I’m in the middle of the yellow circle.

It is me…

I didn't know I was having my privacy violated, it's just a coincidence I'm looking directly at the camera.

I didn’t know I was having my privacy violated, it’s just a coincidence I’m looking directly at the camera.

Here’s the view the other way….

Top boys

Top boys – I know where the camera is on this occasion.

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