Wednesday, 21 September 2022

Café Culture

Hello, dear readers!

One of the wonderful things about having a new car is the sudden and undeniable urge to do some driving.

Yes, my brand new Hyundai Ioniq isn’t all that much different from my old Hyundai Ioniq, but Winnie (the name of the car in question) is still new. She still has that distinct ‘new car smell’, that sheen to her tyres. A windscreen unframed by the dust and dirt of the road. A subtle stiffness to her accelerator.

So yes, having noted all of those things, I of course must, as quickly as humanly possible, do my best to destroy them. I don’t mean by wrapping Winnie around a lamppost, you understand. I simply mean my new steed is in need of breaking in. The girl needs some miles on the clock.

So off we popped.
Pay Slip
I don’t want to lead you astray, here, I’m not talking about day trips to the coast or inter-city pleasure cruises with a stop over and fill up. It’s not exactly been an adventure on the scale of Easy Rider, Summer Holiday, or even The Muppet Movie. No, it’s been far more humble than that.

In the main, the eighty or so miles covered since we picked Winnie up last Tuesday have been trips to nearby Dewsbury and back, with some time spent wandering around town on various little missions, including the depositing of the cheque I got for not damaging the old car (too badly). This actually took two trips (apparently, it’s handy to have your bank card when doing business with the bank - who knew?) In between, we may have treated ourselves to a light lunch or two, and of course (if you know me at all) the odd coffee, along with it.

Closing Time
Now, Dewsbury, for those unfamiliar with the place, is, in my opinion, somewhat of a dying town. The last few years have not been kind to her. Shops are shutting at an ever-increasing rate, with a computer/console game shop, a W.H. Smith’s, whatever was next door to it, and a shoe shop. all getting the whitewashed window treatment since our last foray there. A real sign of the times.

One establishment that still seems to be thriving, however is a place both myself and my wonder-wifey, Tina have grown increasingly fond of. A coffee shop and café called Cloggs.

Cloggs is one of those hidden gems one sometimes stumbles upon. It sits, tucked away, down a back street behind Longcauseway Church (it’s a church on a causeway that’s long. The causeway that is. Not the church. That’s sort of rectangular-ish). A friendly little place in which one can purchase a very drinkable, home-roasted coffee (a little on the dark-roast side for my preference, but still very nice) and a selection of faff-free, tasty little plates. Salads, jacket spuds, sandwiches, that kind of thing. It’s not fancy, but neither is it expensive and, once you’ve been a few times, it’s like everyone knows your name (and they’re always glad you came.) You are most welcome for the earworm.

Think Small
As I say, it’s not grand. There’s nothing nouvelle about their cuisine, unless you count the red onion chutney I got with my beef salad, but it’s homely. It’s comfortable. A place where, if you could get a wheelchair in the loo, I could see myself settling for the afternoon. It makes a change from the mega-brands with their homogeneous-could be anywhere decorations, subdued lighting, and easy listening music. It might not be fancy, but neither is it bland.

And these are the places that, sadly, are most at risk in the current financial climate. The ones most likely to get the whitewash treatment. Times are tight, and that means that all of us (the excitement of a new car aside) are going to find it trickier to justify these small treats. Given the plethora of choices the average high street holds, even when it comes to a humble cup of coffee, I think it probably pays, therefore to choose the destination of our money with a little more care. For the most part, the bigger corporations, your CostaBucks and McNeros of this world can look after themselves. A place like Cloggs on the other hand…

Until next time.


Hey, folks! If you would care to take a look at some of my more creative writing, then the links below will transport you to the magical worlds of a few anthologies my short (and in two cases, very short) stories have been included in. Feel free to check ’em out!

New Tales Of Old: Volume 2

Death Ship



The Musketeers Vs Cthulhu

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