The cardboard sign in the window promises "GREAT FOOD & CHEEP TOO."
Mr. Joy chuckles to himself, for even he knows that CHEEP should be CHEAP.
But we have not come to criticise our host's ability to spell, because filling our stomachs with fine English food is more important than educating a man, and after another evening spent getting drunk and making fools of ourselves, greasy food is the only way to get our bodies back on track.
The Polish girl behind the counter smiles at us. The Turkish man in the kitchen gives us a cheerful wave. Tony opts for the table by the window, because he likes to watch the world go rolling by, as he stuffs his face with bacon, fried eggs, mushrooms, fried bread, tomatoes and baked beans. And then, after his meal, he will light a cigarette, because here, in this café, smoking is both permitted and encouraged.
Yes! The food is GREAT, and it's also CHEAP, and if you don't mind dirty plates, stained tables, a server who can't understand a word of English and the sight of Mr. Joy wiping grease from his chin with the back of his hand, a fine breakfast in such an establishment is one of life's pleasures.
But now, because the world has gone slightly mad, what should be a generation of café addicts, like Tony and myself, tend to target more refined establishments offering hygiene, chrome tables, French pastries and thirty-seven types of coffee.
Coffee and a croissant may be a delightful way to start the day in Paris, but here, in south-east London, greasy food and cold tea wins every time for two useless layabouts like Anthony Joy and David Cooper.
David Cooper getting very emotional about dining in style. He and Anthony Joy eat in such an establishment, at the beginning of an awful day, in "The Londoners 2" - now available for Kindle, via Amazon.
Future postings, coming soon:
Jim - A Convicted Arsonist Having A Terrible Time In Prison
When I Was Younger...