Breakfast @ Beanos

Sunday morning and it's threatening rain. There's a huge black nimbus cloud towering above the tip of North Kent and it's telling me not to bother flying my aircraft this morning. Not if 'm sensible anyway.

Walk into the village and buy my Sunday paper with a stop at Beano's cafe on the way home for a 'Beano's Breakfast', £3.40, the full Dr Atkins diet with fried bread and a mug of tea included.

Beano's appears to be run by an army of young Turks who are busy trying to satisfy David Blunkett's test of contemporary Englishness. It's actually a rather comfortable environment in a strange kind of way. It's where you find all Thanet's Police on any given morning, having their breakfast or the refuse collectors and jobbing builders, reading their copies of the Daily Star.

Smoking is compulsory once you have finished your meal and if you don't smoke, then you had better learn. I don't normally smoke my favourite small Cohiba cigars for breakfast but on this occasion I made a special effort and blended in quite nicely I thought.

There's a kind of 'Rive Gauche' feel about the place. It's not quite the left-bank of the Seine and I don't see any artists but there are no pretensions here. The young Turk behind the cash register calls me 'Boss' and I call him 'Mate' and there's a comfortable working-class feel to the transaction.

So now it's back to a partially decorated house and my partly functional laptop to write a security case study. With luck, I'll manage to have some work finished before driving back to London this evening to prepare for an eight O'clock in the morning flight to Nice tomorrow.

Doesn't everyone work on Sunday? It can't be just me but when we sold our souls in exchange for Moore's Law of computing, that's what we received in return. It's why I'm 'Downshifting' at Xmas. Goodbye London, I'm moving permanently to the seaside where the quality of life is better and three hours sitting on a closed M25 on Friday night convinced me that life in the city is no loner what it used to me.

"Why, Sir, you find no man, at all intellectual, who is willing to leave London. No, Sir, when a man is tired of London, he is tired of life; for there is in London all that life can afford."

Thus said the diarist Samuel Johnson but in the 21st century it may no longer be as true as it might have been in the 18th century.


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