Tuesday night Guido and I were in bed. Lights were out. I was tucked up fantasizing about how Alexander Skarsgard and I might both crash land in the Amazon jungle together. I wondered if he’d mind wearing a loin cloth and if he’d consider swinging through the trees towards me, preferably with his legs wide open. You Tarzan, me Jean-Paul.
“I’m thinking about getting out and popping up,” said Guido unexpectedly.
In the blink of an eye I’d gone straight from a Brasilian rain forest to a lumpy mattress in Bermondesy. I stuck my leg over the edge of the bed and happily yanked off my Justin Bieber pyjama bottoms.
“Okay,” I said, “But I hope you’re cool with just a quick one? I’ve got a ten o’clock tomorrow morning with a Russian in Chelsea who wants to discuss designing a replica of Ceasars Palace Casino in his basement. I could really do with the shut eye.”
“What?” said Guido. There was an embarrassing pause. “I said I was popping up, not getting it popped up.”
I got back into bed frankly feeling quite disappointed.
“Did you read that article in the local newspaper about the pop up brothel around the corner which got busted by the police?” As you can tell our neighbourhood’s real classy. “Well,” said Guido pensively “naturally it got me thinking about rock buns.”
I’d no idea what the hell he was going on about.
“I’m talking about starting a pop up bakery, silly,” he said. “Selling artisan bread and cakes direct.”
You’ve got hand it to him. Guido’s ideas always sound amazing laying in bed in the dark at midnight. Unfortunately it’s in the cold light of day his plans sometimes turn out to be more fruit cake.
“Ted and I’ve been talking about it and he’s willing to help.”
“How much?” I asked sceptically.
“Oh he’s very enthusiastic,” said Guido.
“Yeah,” I said, “But how much money? Has Ted any idea of the cost of flour these days?” I was talking convincingly like I did.
“Oh I couldn’t accept an offer of money,” said Guido.
“Why not?” I said.
“Well he didn’t offer any actually,” said Guido.
Ted’s our semi-retired millionaire city banker friend and best man with the dodgy legs. Him and Guido bonded on a bakery course at Peggy Porchen. Nobody plaits a croissant like Ted. Well tonight Ted and Gary and their super intelligent Jack Russell, Brian, came round to the cafe to play poker and talk dough. I’d half expected Brian to be trained to shuffle, cut, deal – and now knead.
“I’d do spelt loaves and poppy seed rolls,” said Ted winning the first hand with a Royal Flush.
“Hmm,” said Guido getting pensive, “I’d do chocolate roulade and Victoria sponge. Let’s keep gluten-free on the back burner for now.”
“And what would Brian do?” I asked just for a laugh. Brian looked up at me confused. I guess he’s not mastered the perfect doughnut yet.
“Oh he’d just entertain customers,” said Gary. “We’ve already taught him to effortlessly balance a muffin on the end of his nose whilst simultaneously walking backwards.”
Picture it. A seven foot Spaniard, a guy with nobbly knees, and a dog walking backwards, all selling bread and cake from a rucksack on the Southbank. Goodness, Martha Stewart sure would be proud.