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Express dining.

So many times and for so long now I've promised myself that I would give the Express diner, the cafe' in Asda's a try, and never have but... All last week, for some unknown reason, those two words [express] and [diner] were bouncing around in my head like a pinball. "Express", I ponder the meaning of the word and the connotations that it my conjure up in one's mind and so I googled it.

Communicate. Convey. Indicate. Show. Demonstrate etc.
To express, the act or rather an act. A form of expression. Yeah, maybe. We constantly being told that we are what we eat but no, that doesn't work for me.

To go fast. As in a train. An express train.
Express diner is just a spin on the term " fast food " then. Fast eating? No, surely not.
When all is said and done it's just another fast-food outlet. I'll go along with that.
Am I stating the obvious here?

All this thinking and the indulgence of nonsensical imaginings gave me the push that was needed and so, yesterday lunchtime, not heavily laden with shopping, with nothing in need of refrigeration, and after a few minutes deliberation at the entrance, I walked into my Local Asda Express Diner.

The service counter that meets and greets as you walk in is brightly lit, airy, and looks spotlessly clean as though hygiene wasn't a second thought. Think Mcdonalds without the burgers. A stainless steel counter with glass cabinets displaying cakes buns pastries etc. and a small stack of plastic food trays took back to my teenage days. Does anyone remember Fine Fare Supermarkets? Man that takes me back.

In my home town, must be fifty years since, we had a huge Fine Fare on the edge of what was then a sizable market place. The Cafe' was upstairs and it must have taken up nearly as must floor-space as the shopping area below, or maybe that's just my memory playing tricks but they will have pulled a lot of business from the market traders and shoppers.
Customers would pick up a plastic tray as they queued and then their order would be set upon their tray as they were being served. Then you simply found yourself a table and ate. Just like here in Asda's.

I checked out the hot beverages and cakes as I waited and was somewhat disappointed to see that the only coffees on offer cappuccino, no instant, not for me I'm afraid, and Yorkshire tea. Why Yorkshire? I wondered. Why not? I suppose.
Lists of food options were set in groups such as :
Hot bites.
Pizza slices.
Kids. (Yeah I know, who'd want to eat a kid? Well not a whole one anyway. Raising eyebrows as I type.)
Meal deals.
Go large.
And more.

A pound for my ( much maligned one use, such a shame I thought ) paper cup of tea and a pound for my Blueberry muffin, which was very much enjoyed, seemed reasonable. I took my tray and found a small table in a corner as far away from the counter possible then watched the world, and his dog, go by as I sat a while.

People came and went. The place wasn't exactly full to bursting but seemed busy enough though and I couldn't help feeling that people where looking at me and I imagined people thinking, wondering." That old guy in the corner wearing a bright new Hi-viz coat writing in a notebook as he's eating and drinking. Who's he ​then?" Now I was sitting there looking all around the place trying not to look at anyone but that's half the reason that I go into such places. To observe without, hopefully, being observed. Oh well.

My Verdict:

Quite unremarkable. That's got be good hasn't it? Nothing remarkably good to note but not remarkably bad either.
A soft padded bench seating arrangement runs along two walls with rows of small , something like two feet square, tables running parallel. An assortment of green orange and white plastic backed steel chairs set around more tables on a very clean hard tiled floor main dining area. Functional, and very workable, without being disagreeable.

It's funny how we have a tendency to take such things for granted . Nothing to shout about but nothing to complain about either. I shall be going there again I'm sure. Without the bright new Hi-viz coat.

Life eh?


I enjoy these gentle, quiet stories of your day. And, now I, too, wonder what that diner was writing while you were writing. Maybe about you. Or, maybe you are looking at your own reflection in the window. Just my random thought. Kinda poetic. Smiles.
Oh dear, I'm afraid I wasn't very clear there. Sorry sas. I was the old guy in the Hi-viz. Imagining their watching and wondering. I have redone that. How does it read now?
LOL. Now clear, but sorry it is. I kinda like it when the other bloke you see is you. (Sorry, had to use the word bloke for first time in my life)
Oh dear,
another [bloke] watching me watching him, watching me? I'm not sure that I like scenario.

People DID seem to be looking at me though and the only reason that I can think of is the coat. Unless they were all regulars and I the stranger.
Funny. I miss that I’m not looked at, as much, when I enter a room. But, I do still get the once over from old blokes who’ve had cataract surgery.
I am grateful. Sas
I suppose it must be tough if you were once a head-turner. I wouldn't know about that.
But hey! You do okay.
I now turn heads that are connected to less arthritic necks. When I was 58 people would mistake me as being my son’s wife. That doesn’t happen anymore. Pisses me off. He is quite happy.
I wonder if you know how lucky YOU'VE been in your lifetime.
I don't think I was ever " looked at " ever.

You are right, of course. But, most women don't care about men's looks, certainly not smart women. My former husband was always very attractive, athletic, in good shape. I left him, after 35 years, for an overweight, balding guy (almost together 20 years now). What women are attracted to is found within. It's a pity men don't do the same.
sas;bt12299 said:

What women are attracted to is found within. It's a pity men don't do the same.

Seems to me it took you thirty five years to get to what you say women are attracted to.
You went for Mr Wonderful all those years ago.
"...what women are attracted to is found within.." Within a bank account... Oop- Sorry, I just blurted that out.
Well, dither, it didn't take me 35 years to understand what was important. That took a short time. But, I've always had the ability to endure anything, and make the best, until I didn't. He was not a bad person. He was the wrong person. It took me too long to follow my own advice: Don't make a decision by not making one.

I fell out with eating in ASDA a couple of years ago, when both my food and coffee was cold and the staff tried to tell me it was all warm enough to consume. But I ma glad to see that your expirience was better. To be honest I'm not a fan of many cafe in supermarkets over here, the staff never seem to care about customer service or the food they are serving, unless this is just supermarkets in York lol. Wilkinsons (wilkos) cafe food is good though.
Hey, Kev...you're living in the past. Every woman in my family, who is my generation or younger, makes equal to or much more than their husband. Better educated, too. I'm sure I mentioned this here before, but bears repeating: When my daughter was ten (1981) I took her to an outdoor Detroit concert. They had a giant wall covered in paper where people were encouraged to write something. I told her to write the following, and it came true for her & others:

I say... are any of them in the market for a boy-toy, slightly older model, but still got it (if you know what I mean)? I'm fairly house broken, rarely wet the carpet, and (bonus) I cook!
sas;bt12307 said:
Well, dither, it didn't take me 35 years to understand what was important. That took a short time. But, I've always had the ability to endure anything, and make the best, until I didn't. He was not a bad person. He was the wrong person. It took me too long to follow my own advice: Don't make a decision by not making one.

I can relate to that sas but there's no plan (B) here. Reckon I'll just see it out now.

I can't comment on the hot food, I only had a muffin. Hot drinks, it seems are self service. You pay for you hot drink and go to a small counter with these stainless steel taps. In my case I had a cup with a tea-bag in and when I turn the tap on for the hot water it was steaming. Definitely too hot to drink straight away. Can't beat that for a good strong hot cup of tea.
The only real surprise was when I suddenly realised that although people were coming and going as I sat there all the tables remained clear. There's a small bin shaped like a cabinet that you empty your tray in when you're finished which, being a keen recycler, disappointed me when I saw all those paper cups and plates and probably plastic cutlery too. Maybe I should E-mail them about that.

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