Golly Gosh Cafe

tea shop and sanctuary

childhood things

Many years have passed since those summer days
Among the fields of barley
See the children run as the sun goes down
Among the fields of gold
You’ll remember me when the west wind moves
Upon the fields of barley ~ Sting

Each stop saw the bus empty and in time there would only be Maggie, Jan and the driver left. They were the last stop and as usual the driver was in no hurry. This really was the most beautiful of places and Maggie was grateful for being in this place at this time. She never wanted to be anywhere else.

She had grown quieter throughout the journey, mulling over the numerous action lists and things that needed to be done, the letter that had arrived in the post that morning lying unopened on the kitchen table, the end of another summer that always left her a little sad.

Maggie leaned against the window and shut her eyes tightly to block out the external distractions and remembered one glorious lifetime ago summer.  Maggie and Jan.  Jan and Maggie.  Inseparable.

A summer of bright red shorts and red satin ribbon tangled in her blond curly hair; yellow cornfields and the wrath of a checked shirted farmer; jumping waves and chasing the wind; running as fast as they could along the beach; climbing and hiding and bumps and scrapes; riding bikes and swings and dizziness and giggles; standing on tiptoes and two  boys they would never see again. A memory of shiny dark to black hair, of golden skin not of these parts, of straight white teeth and a voice and accent that could only be described as posh. She’d never forgotten.  Smiling and eyelashes glistening.

One glorious summer in childhood; one treasured memory.

Maggie’s enjoyment of nostalgia was to be short lived as Jan interrupted, landing herself with a bump into the free space beside her. Multi-coloured shopping bags full to bursting, spread out and now resting on their knees. Jan’s excitement clearly reflected in the break-neck speed chitter-chatter. Maggie found it hard to keep up.  Oh for a little quiet. But it was not to be.

Let’s drop in to Golly Gosh for a quick cuppa … and I can show Sally my holiday things!

Maggie.  Forced to let go of the memory.


formidable (adj): tending to inspire awe and wonder; great strength, powerful

Jan and Maggie sat by the window and admired a glass jug filled with beautiful pink roses fresh from the garden; full and in bloom and softly scented.  Sally’s favourite had become  theirs too.  They were enjoying their usual choice of tea with Alice’s award winning lemon cake.  In cahoots.  Like when they were little and mischief was in the making.

I’m a bit jealous of her you know.   


Sally. She’s sort of … unflappable and I’m, well, more the Calamity Jane type without the horse and Howard Keel.  Guess it’s all part of my charm!  Aunt Kate knew her before she moved here and seems really fond of her but won’t go into any details. And you know what she’s like, she’d never give any information away.

There might not be any ‘details’.   And I thought you made a great Calamity Jane in that school production, actually.

Look at these! Silk, pure silk! I’ll bet her mother spun ’em!  ~ Calamity Jane

They giggled like two school girls, reminiscing; opening night in the school theatre, the badly fitting costumes and the wobbly scenery, the primadonnas, trying to keep a straight face singing Once I had a Secret Love, the boy who played Wild Bill Hickock and the gloriously camp and wonderfully funny director.  And wanting to do it all over again.

Their eyes followed Sally about the room admiring her grace and confidence.  In awe of a woman not that much older than themselves but in many ways older and wiser than anyone they’d ever known.  Charismatic.  Energising.  Always hopeful.  That’s what they saw.  This was their experience.

I really like Sally.  She’s lovely without being  full of herself. 

Honestly?  I think she’s formidable.  Maggie reflected on an earlier conversation she’d had with her boss that day; appraisal time.  Bet Sally’s got a five year plan!

She reminds me of you a bit Maggie but with a better taste in shoes and probably a social life.


Anyway … the only thing that Aunt Kate told me is that Golly Gosh wasn’t meant to be a long term thing and that’s the reason Sally has never moved into the flat up above the cafe.

I thought it was because she didn’t want to be available to everybody 24/7 and who could blame her? So, since your Auntie Kate’s the font of all knowledge, what’s next? Surely she can’t sell up?

We could always just ask her but I don’t want her to think we’ve been gossiping. Let’s ask Alice instead.

They laughed knowing that Alice would be the last person to tell anything.




life’s truest happiness is found in the friendships we make along the way

They meet on the last Saturday of every month.

Sally served the perfect afternoon tea: perfectly triangular sandwiches on a tiered stand, with perfect bite-sized homemade cakes made by perfect Alice and a chilled glass of champagne.  Fine china teacups and plates and tall flutes on white linen.

The perfect place for old friends to share their stories.

Ageing parents and the burden of caring; a game of who’s still alive and who isn’t; children fleeing the nest and the propriety of vetting significant others; partners and ever decreasing circles; expanding waistlines and mirrors; botox and airbrushing; tooth whitening that’s all the rage, receding gums and the pain and price of inevitable root canal; creaking bones, big pants, operations, hormone replacement therapy and hot flushes.  Doctors.  Cemeteries.  God.

It’s as good as it gets.