Valentines day in Carnforth.
Carnforth, famous for where romance is never consummated. Carnforth, the ‘Before’ pic of a down at heel town in a pretty spot but where the ‘After’ of mezze platters and chalkboards with ‘to begin..’ menus never quite happens.
But where a new Booths cafe is filled with people with appropriate haircuts for their age enjoying a Welsh Rarebit for £6.95.
Carnforth, squat, grey and stoic where the elderly beam and waggle a walking stick with a dog shaped handle at a strange child, where really good things can be purchased for a pound at a charity shop and if you are lacking in cash, they will tell you to bring it next time in that old fashioned resolve and faith in humanity.
Carnforth, mired in Late Victoriana, where the rambling second book shop refuses (for now) to break in front of the invisible ubiquitous peril of Amazon. Where the landlord in ‘The Snug’, the tiny CAMRA wet dream of a pub on the station platform remembers me from last time- which was a few months ago- and they sell cheese, crackers and pickle for three quid and a pork pie for two quid and that is pretty much the food menu apart from the large jars of pickled things on the bar.
Where a stranger can wander into the Brief Encounter refreshment rooms where the fire is always on and a gramophone is always playing, before noon and ask for two whiskies and a teapot of hot water in a voice that suggests Eton more than Lancaster and then he leaves ten minutes later and you will never know his story.
Carnforth is Brief Encounter and Brief Encounter is Romance.
It is Valentines Day.
I finish my scone and go home.