An exerpt from The Tomato Dip, the continuing novel that will one day have a point, or even a storyline, when and if I have the time and inclination to sit down and think about it for a short while…
Tuesday 6th August 1968 : 15:00pm
When they break for tea, or in their case a pint of Tetleys bitter in the Blue Bell just off the promenade the England cricketers are struggling to gain any momentum against the assorted ten and eleven year olds who have appeared from all parts of the beach to take them on, the bowling on the wet sand seems to hold no fear for the young kids and they quickly knock up 50 runs with no loss of wicket before someone suggests a pint might be beneficial, leaving the lads to continue on their own.
“It was LBW anyway” insists Fenno who holds a high opinion of his spin bowling.
“You couldn’t give him out Fenno, it was his first ball and it was his ball, he’d have taken it home if we’d given him out” one of Franks posse suggests
“It was his bat an all” someone else adds
“And his wickets”
“He was only eight”
“It was still LBW, should have walked” insists Fenno.
“Whats the Grand like Bob ?” someone else asks
“Alright” Bob nods his approval, “Very nice”
“How much is that then ?” his mate Frank asks, “How much do they rush you for a room then ?”
“Ten quid a night”
“HOW MUCH !” Frank shouts in mock alarm, except that in his case its not mocking, he’s serious, he doesn’t like to spend his money and he doesn’t like anyone else spending their own money, “Thats seventy quid a week” and all the other Cayton Bay holiday makers all nod at each other, shaking their heads and sucking air in noisily through their teeth muttering “eeeh thats dear that is”
“You can’t afford that Bob” Frank advises, “You haven’t booked for the week have you ?” and a concerned look comes over hs face
“You bloody idiot, check out today and get yourself down to Wallis’s, we’re having a bloody ball there” and everyone around the table nods in agreement muttering “aye we are”
“I don’t know, Brenda likes it there”
“I’ll bet she does at a tenner a night, get her telt Bob, start how you mean to go on, don’t get her used to tenner a night hotel rooms or she’ll expect it all the time, theres nowt wrong with a Wallis’s caravan”
“Or a motel room” someone else suggests
“Aye thats right” adds Frank, “they’ve got the new motel rooms now you know, right next to the Rendevous Club, be right handy for you that will, I’ve told Joyce we might stay there next year but its a bit dear you know, still, it’ll be cheaper than ten bloody quid a night, you can’t afford that Bob”
Bob glances at Frank and gives him the slightest of winks and Frank knows immediately that that means Bob has had a fiddle at work, he’s either had his hands in the till at the cafe or he’s been paid in cash, no bills, on a central heating job, still, its a waste of ten quid a day is that, its half that price at Wallis’s and you get all your entertainment thrown in.
“Why don’t you and me pop back to Wallis’s now in the car and we’ll see if they’ve got any motel rooms, women are on t’beach they’ll never know, we can have you out of the Grand before Brenda even knows.”
Bob slings back the last of his pint,
“Lets have another one then before we go eh, my round lads,”
“Bloody hell, he is flush” they all chorus.