At breakfast the next morning, we had the dining room all to ourselves. We sat down at the largest table, which had been arranged with five place settings. Mrs. M. came out of the kitchen wearing a light blue apron. She gently clasped her hands. “I’m brewing a pot of coffee for you and hot chocolate for the children”.
“Oh, thank you.”
“Would you all like a traditional English breakfast?”
She pointed to a small table near the kitchen. “You can help yourself to corn flakes and milk in the meantime.”
The half-asleep Alex supported his head with one hand. Mrs. M. returned and placed a plate in front of him. “Whoa” he said, sitting straight up. It was piled high – two gigantic fried eggs, a sausage link, a slice of ham, baked beans, a roasted tomato, a pile of fried mushrooms, and a stack of white toast.
“We call it a Fry Up.”
“You’ve been busy this morning” Donna said.
“Not me, Mr. M.” she corrected, placing the remaining plates around the table. “He’s our resident breakfast cook”.
“It smells great” I said, wondering if I’d enjoy mushrooms, baked beans and tomatoes this early in the morning.
“What are your plans for the day?” she asked.
“We’re going to see Stonehenge.”
She stood silently for a moment, then gave an unenthused nod. “You’ll be back by noon.”
She added: “It can get a bit parky out there – be sure to bundle up.”
We took our seats on the second level of the bus. We sped down the two-lane country road and I suddenly felt alarmed. A car was heading directly toward us! I closed my eyes and anticipated the impact, but only heard the car pass the right side of the bus.
We paid the hefty admission price and walked across a hay field that had been recently mowed and reminded me of a county fair. The only thing keeping us from touching the famous stones was a nylon yellow rope draped at knee level. The wind was howling so we held our listening devices close to our ears to keep them warm. I was hoping to grab some of that spirituality people claimed to get from the stones, but nothing was coming, except the damn wind. The kids managed to form smiles on their near-frozen faces for photos. After fifteen minutes we bolted back toward the warmth of the gift shop.
Strolling among the pricy merchandise, I noted Stonehenge shot glasses, refrigerator magnets, giant pencils, and stone-shaped erasers. I examined a CD called The Sounds of Stonehenge and imagined hearing a howling wind, people sniffling, and children’s voices crying “Can we go now?”
Mrs. M was wrong. We got back before eleven.
Cook your own English Breakfast, Recipe on My Wife’s Damn Inheritance Facebook