This is another Edinburgh story. Actually this one’s in the Highlands. Ian loved being of service. I still have the cup.
This was the second time they stopped at this off-the-motor-way-café in the Highlands. The first time was the day before going up the castle. Now, coming back from the castle, they stopped again.
Her husband said the first time they stopped, as she waited in the car, that he wished he was hungry. He’d gone in to fill his road cup with a flat whites. He said it smelled so good and everyone was friendly.
A few days later, they came upon the same café and they both went in this time. She had gotten sick soon after exploring the castle and they’d tucked themselves away in Thurso. She was feeling a bit better. The castle and now its memories had livened her up considerably.
She ordered the tomato basil soup. Her husband ordered a hamburger with special chutney. She stole chips from him and ate most of his salad. She ate about half her huge roll and half the bowl of delicious soup.
The restaurant was empty. It was mid-afternoon, after the lunch rush and before the dinner rush. The waitperson was a friendly young woman who enjoyed her work.
An older gentleman with a bandage around his right forearm brought her fresh roll with lots of butter. She wondered idly what he was doing serving customers. He looked different than the waitperson who seemed deferential to him.
Her husband struck up a conversation with the tall man who was very willing to talk.
He appeared to be in his mid-fifties. He was almost as tall as her spouse, minus the weight. He was dressed conservatively in light grey wool trousers, crisp white dress shirt, stripped navy blue and maroon tie, and grey wool argyle vest. He was balding. He carried himself with military precision. His movements were fluid and his attitude was nonjudgmental.
He was born in a military family and traveled around the world as a child. His most favorite childhood memories were the looks of enjoyment on the faces of customers as they ate a wonderful meal cooked and served by loving people.
He had always wanted to live in the Highlands. He and his partner of 23 years had lived in Edinburgh for 7 years. They moved up here when he had the opportunity to buy Todwell’s two years ago. It was their 2nd winter in the Highlands.
The restaurant was his dream and he loved what he was doing. He did well in the spring and summer and knew he needed the support of the local folk during the long winter months so he hope was to entice them with good food at reasonable prices.
He was sure he would be able to make a go of his restaurant. He wanted to see the looks on his customers faces when they were served his delicious food.
He believed in good service to his customers. Her spouse asked for some bubbly water to go as she had been ill. She went back to the car while he paid the bill.
He came out a few minutes later with a paper cup. Ian had said it was specifically for ‘madam’s bubbly water’.