Toast in Birmingham City Centre

The idea for this Audioboo came from a little discussion about how butter taste better than margarine. He led onwards to memories from my childhood when I was going into Birmingham city centre with my sister to meet my grandma. My grandma, Nan as we always called her and her hair done every Saturday morning so it was really very easy for us to go and see our favourite Nan with just one bus trip. It would have been to buses and at least a couple of hours possibly 3 to travel the distance between the two different towns on the outskirts of Birmingham to make a visit otherwise. Apart from going to say hello to our Nan, we were able to have a wander around the shops and do a little bit of urban exploring. There was a shop which had been converted into a kind of hippy marketplace, there were small individual sales venues for people selling hippie clothes, posters and knickknacks. You only had to walking past the door to get hit fairly and squarely in the nostrils by the spell of the incense and maybe even a little bit of ganja. Mind you, in those days I didn’t know what that was.

The memory about the toast came to me because there was a cafe which was situated in one of the underpasses on a roundabout. The city centre of Birmingham was designed for the car in the 1960s and pedestrians were expected to go underground. This has all changed now, and if I was to go back to visit Birmingham again, I am sure that I would not recognise very much of it. This cafe was very small and sent to specialise in the simple breakfasts that you might get and I just particularly remember the toast. At home we only ever used margarine, and the cheap margarine at that, so when one day we were taken into the cafe and got to taste some toast using butter, it was a bit of an occasion. The toast would be buttered while it was still hot and stacked up in a tray that was warmed in order to keep the toast nice and toasty. I only ever remember going in there once, but it is something that has stuck with me. Normally I’m quite happy to have margarine on my toast, but having tasted some toast recently with some butter on and enjoying it, I have been going for the butter again. And that is why that memory and that conversation came about.