— 2 – Cam’s Surfhouse

Inside the cafe Christopher Angus McBride, commonly known as Cam, was getting ready to open up. He’d watched the forlorn figure make his way down to the water’s edge and he’d watched the dog running backwards and forwards across the beach.

Cam busied himself turning on the calor gas heater, boiling the kettle turning on the griddle and hot water for the frothy coffee and deciding which CD he should be playing, Dick Dale or the Beach Boys? Dick Dale today was the decision. Important choice that for this cafe was no ordinary cafe. It was The Surfhouse. Inside was the very replica of a 1960s US diner, complete with a Rock Ola juke box. It really looked the part and at £200 it had been a steal. Okay so it didn’t work but Cam had hidden the speakers from his CD system inside just for the sake of creating the illusion.

He had a positively ancient cash register, definitely of the Jewish Piano variety and stacks of melamine cups in a variety of colours that had come free with the cafe when Cam bought it. He’d kept the tables as well as they gave the whole place a vintage look and feel. The tables were Formica topped and the chairs were those plastics ones from Ikea and were bright red. As there wasn’t much wall space given that 3 sides of the cafe was glass, Cam had been creative in his decorating and various 60s and surfing souvenirs hung from the ceiling. In pride of place high and handsome on top of the shelves and hung expertly on polished silver chains were 2 of Cam’s old surfboards

Cam himself was of indeterminate age, no youngster, but you could see he looked after himself. Tanned, slim with waves of long sun bleached hair. Even though it was November and with the amount of rain coming down that you’d think Noah’s descendants would start ark construction, Cam had his sunglasses perched on top of his head. He also had his reading glasses on a cord around his neck Cam looked the ultimate surfer with his “hang ten” T shirt and yellow shorts and of course the obligatory flip flops on his feet. His straw Stetson was also on a cord, but was hanging down his back if you know what I mean. Yes – all in all he looked a bit of a dick – all the more so because it was November in Wales.

There was a certain sadness in Cam’s eyes that you would see should you ever choose to look closely. The reason was plain to see. Across his left knee was a pretty heavy duty brace, the result Cam would tell you, if you asked, of a massive wipe out on some Pacific beach or other whilst looking for the ultimate roller. He reckoned it got him loads of shags – the sob story that is. So now Cam the surfer was Cam the cook and cashier, but at least the surfhouse was all his. As he looked down the beach towards the figure his mind started to drift and staring wistfully at the pounding surf remembering better times.

Cam turned back from the window and began to prepare breakfast, and although he was a Scot, and this was Wales, he set about cooking a Full English. Everything was sizzling away and the cafe was getting full of steam and he kept doing a funny little dance as the fat from the fried eggs kept spitting and landing on his bare toes. What with the heating being on, the windows being closed, the cooking going on, and the weather outside pretty horrible soon it was impossible to see the beach so he didn’t know what the figure was up to. He would not have known if there was an invasion fleet heading up the beach such was the state of his windows. He wouldn’t have heard them either, not with the volume Dick Dale’s Miserlou was being played.


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