Despite the fact I distinctly remembered that Guido and I both got into our bed completely naked at exactly the same time last night, I woke up at three a.m. this morning to discover only one of us was still in it. Me.
I always know when I’m alone in our bed because I can roll across the mattress. I can stretch straight out in the shape of a star. Under normal circumstances a very hairy and athletic Spaniard with big feet gets in the way. Guido tends to twitch a lot in bed at night. If you happened to be sandwiched between us you’d soon get used to it. Only last night, there was no tossing and there was and no turning and no sound of him shouting out indiscriminatly in the dead of night. He often yells kitchen instructions in his sleep like, “there’s a cheese burger and toasted bun going cold on the pass” or “hold the mayo on table 5!”
In the dark I put my pyjama bottoms back on and went from our loft to the cafe downstairs. I found Guido stirring a pan of milk.
“I had a horrible nightmare” he said, “I was being chased by an angry bran muffin with big sultanas for eyes.” All he was wearing was a pair of boxer shorts. “Want something hot?”
I warn you. Guido’s hot chocolate is totally luscious. In a pan of full fat (whole) milk add 2 tablespoons of unsweetened cocoa powder and 2 tablespoons of sugar, a pinch of salt and a quarter teaspoon of vanilla essence. The great thing about this recipe is that once you get back into bed, rather than counting sheep, you spend the rest of the night counting calories.
There was an unexpected knock at the front door.
It was Tony Biscotti. Tony is Bermondsey’s local resident taxi driver. He models himself on that deranged Robert De Niro character and let me tell you he displays all of the same customer service skills.
“I’ve just got back from Watford,” said Tony. It turns out he’s got a customer who’s having a clandestine extramarital affair and the only time the two of them can hook up to have sex is slap bang in the middle of the night. Though, if I’m honest, that didn’t sound particularly clandestine to me.
“God, what a horrible dream I just had whilst waiting outside in my car,” he said, “I dreamt I had Svetlana Stalin in the back of the cab. Then I saw your light on. Any chance of a bacon bap?”
“Come in come in,” said Guido and he grilled some bacon.
Ten minutes later there was an unexpected knock at the back door.
It was Ethel from Toxic Bubbles, the launderette next door.
“I’m washing, drying and starching 1000 cotton napkins for a contract at the Shangri La Hotel up The Shard,” she said.
Now, that really was a nightmare.
“I smelt bacon,” she said.
“Come in come in,” said Guido and he grilled even more bacon.
I have to tell you eating at 3 a.m. is highly civilised. There’s no rush to clear the plates away and it’s amazing what extra skills you’ll pick up. Just so you know, I can now drive the most direct route from here to Brick Lane whilst simultaneously folding the perfect napkin.