WARNING: THIS POST CONTAINS DESCRIPTIONS OF TOAST WHICH READERS ON A DIET *MAY* FIND DISTURBING.
After our day at the castle, and the night in the hotel, we drove on to see family for a gentle day together. Not much to report – simply eating and relaxing and swimming and then more eating. And then we drove on again, to another night in another hotel, (cooler, but with worse beds) and then breakfast.
The hotel’s dining area had a couple of those wonderful toasters, where the bread slides in the top horizontally and travels round inside on a conveyor belt, under heating elements, getting more and more sizzled, until it drops out of the bottom and onto your waiting plate.
Naturally, I was hooked. Forget the rest of the cooked breakfast, all I wanted to do was toast things.
I wondered which machine was faster, and there was only one way to find out – feed a piece of bread into each machine at the exact same time, and watch. Easier said than done, as there was a long queue of breakfasters, for the toast was excellent; white bread just on the wrong side of cheap, turning out perfectly crisp and yet doughy, and expertly browned.
After a while of watching the situation like a hawk, I managed to get into peak position with two pieces of bread in hand of equal size and shape, and both machines empty and at the same stage of their revolution. This had taken some logistical boldness, but I was determined. So there I was, with each hand simultaneously feeding each machine with a piece of bread, when the man behind me tapped me on the shoulder and said I wasn’t adhering to the toaster regulations.
There was a sign – ‘RULES of the toaster’. In bold type. Playing games with the toaster wasn’t allowed. Toasting croissants wasn’t allowed. Trying to toast bacon wasn’t allowed. Toasting your tie wasn’t allowed. Only humans to operate the toaster. Do not toast while under the influence of the minibar.
Quite which rule he thought I was breaking with my scientific explorations, I can’t say. Or perhaps he thought I’d jumped the queue (guilty, I suppose). I examined his face – totally serious. Not a hint of a smile. I couldn’t decide if he was winding me up, chatting me up (which clearly wasn’t working) or was actually upset.
I turned back to the toaster.
Two perfectly toasted slices of bread lay humbly on the countertop – one to the left, one to the right.
We will never know which slice won.
I spread one (the winner? the loser?) with butter and marmalade, and the other with Nutella. There was no time to get too upset about the interfering man, though I did throw him a few hard stares over the top of my teacup, almost causing him to choke on his toasted bacon.
But we were headed to a festival,* and we had to get going!
*Sort of – you’ll see.