Fr T and I often go out for a pub lunch on a Saturday. I'm afraid neither of us is much cop in the kitchen, so the Three Arches, the Ty-Glas, the Ffynnon Wen and the Nine Giants regularly profit from us. We are experts in the various 2-for-1 or 2-for £10 deals around. In the ones that don't do these deals, the meals are cheaper anyway - oh, yes, you can't fool the clergy on matters combining food and money! Last Saturday we helped out in a neighbouring parish at their First Reconciliation and popped into the local Harvesters, where we were told that we could expect at least 20 minutes' wait, so we tried another local that hadn't welcomed us before, only to find a mere handful of people in what I would have to describe as rather drab surroundings. My steak and ale pie was fair enough, but it would have been nice to have a pastry top nicely browned instead of sickly yellow... I won't embarrass anyone by naming the hostelry - partly because I was from time to time seen in there in my pre-priesthood days when it was buzzing. Nostalgia can excuse a lot.
Now, Fr M has been seen also from time to time in coffee shops, and I got round this week to trying a post-Mass cappuccino with some parishioners at Coffee Plus in Rhyd-y-penau Road. And very pleasant it was too. It's been well converted from its previous incarnation as a store. My coffee was good, toasted tea-cake good (but not as nice as Sainsbury's), and things went swimmingly once we had established that the boss's family came from one of my previous parishes. We were there at 10.20ish, and by the time we left it was packed. Good sign, good place. Fr M approves.