(1937-11-21) Bijou Breakfast
Details for Bijou Breakfast
Summary: Jane and Isobel encounter each other at a charming little Walworth diner, and get to talking
Date: Wednesday, November 21st, 1937
Location: Freighter Diner
Related: None.

It is a fall morning. The weather is cool and drizzling.

Freighter Diner - London

The outside of the diner is made to look like an old train car and once one walks in the whole motif is that of the train. Red topped swivel stools on chrome pedestals sit at the bar for people to be up close. Several booths line the other side of the train cabin and are set up as if they were wooden seats of small cabins. Through a window behind the bar the kitchen can be seen and all the smells come from within as does the food as it rests on a shelf before it is picked up and delivered. A cabinet sits on one side of the counter with pies sitting within and on each table there is a set of salt and pepper as well as a few condiments. The lighting in here is all from a train and hang from brackets that would keep the lights upright all the time if the train was moving.

The middle of a damp Wednesday morning finds this diner a quiet one: the bulk of the sparse crowd is of the 'regular customer' sort, largely people seeking warm breakfasts and hot drinks. In the respectable working class settings, the young woman sitting to the rightmost of the counter stands out like a sore thumb, which likely accounts for a slight berth she's been given by the regulars. Just a little too well-dressed; just a little too well-bred. Jane takes an absent bite of toast dipped in soft boiled egg, most of her attention fixed on the window into the kitchen beyond: two of the cooks are having a muted but evidently heated argument, and Jane is watching with undisguised fascination.

Shaking off her umbrella and stepping inside, Isobel is certainly not dressed as one of an aristocratic nature, or similar. She is dressed more as the rest of the patrons of this establishment. Unlinke most of the patrons, however, she does not seem to be taken aback by those of a rather posh nature, as is seen by seating herself at the counter, nearby to Jane. As the server comes along, she smiles and says, "I already know what I'll be havin', Miss." Her Scottish accent is undeniable. "I'll have the full English breakfast, if ya please. Eggs poached, tomatoes fried, fried bread. And I'd like some tea as well, with cream and sugar. Please and thank ya." She bows her head to the woman before finally taking in her surroundings.

The argument in the kitchen has reached the 'throwing used towels' stage, and Jane is watching with the sort of intensity normal people reserve for horse races. Her fork (yes - with toast soldiers) even freezes, midway to her lips, as one cook looks set to throw a skillet at her comrade, painted mouth slightly ajar. But then the show moves out of sight, and she breaks out of her spectator trance. In goes the mouthful of eggy toast, and the young woman takes the opportunity to examine the newest patron. Isobel is smiled at, slightly. A few moments later, Jane comments, voice soft, posh, and vaguely 'silvery' in its sound: "Good morning. The eggs are quite good here."

Almost seeming amused by the argument in the kitchen, as it falls within her line of sight, Isobel smirks and chuckles a little. A look is given in the direction of Jane and she nods her head to her. "Mornin', Miss." She chirps softly and kindly. "Aye? I've been here a few times, but never for breakfast. I figured I'd give it a bit of a try this mornin' b'fore I go ta work." She offers a little shrug. "Come here often, then?" She asks of the other woman, seeming that she knows about the food to a certain extent.

"Oh, no." Jane smiles at the question, giving a minute shake of her head. "I came to visit a friend, but she's out. But she's brought me here before, you see." The young woman drums a pair of manicured nails on the countertop, absently, eyes flicking back towards the window into the kitchen: but the feuding cooks are still out of sight. She looks subtly disappointed. "It's quite a charming little place, isn't it?"

"Ah, I see." Isobel continues to smile at the woman. "Well, it's as good a place as any ta wait about for a friend, I'd say." Her tea arrives and she takes a sip, letting out a tiny sigh. "Tha's what I was waitin' for, ya see. Somethin' nice an' warm." She tilts her head and gives the woman an interested look. "Charmin' is certainly a way ta put it, ain't it, Miss?" She nods.

"Positively bijou," Jane says, with a bit of a laugh: the sound has a slight music box quality to it, soft and spread out across an even stream of high-pitched notes. "I'm tempted to bring some of my school friends down," she adds, absently dipping another piece of toast in her egg's soft yolk. After chewing, she adds: "They'd think it's a scream."

"Bi…bijou?" Isobel looks at Jane with a titch of confusion, seeming to not understand the word. "Ah, well, certainly the type o' place that everyone should try 'least once." She says with the tiniest of nods, sipping on her tea. "You're in school are ya? If ya don't mind the enquiry, where are ya goin'?"

Jane's smile is unwaveringly good-natured as she explains, "A small, elegant thing. Like a piece of good jewelry." Which is not exactly the most natural way to describe a diner, even a creatively designed one, but… Her forkless hand brushes the definition away as unimportant. The young woman rests her fork against her plate, replacing it with her own forgotten coffee cup. "Western London, ma'am. Over in Mayfair, I don't know if you know it."

"A piece o' good jewelry? Well now, a place like this is like that, I could certainly agree." Isobel smiles and nods, tilting her head. "I know the area somewhat. I've been workin' in London for…goodness, must be nigh on ta a decade or so!" She shakes her head. "Where's the time fly?" She chuckles at that. "Ya could say I'm in education m'self. Part o' why I was curious, ya see."

It's Jane's turn to make enquiries, head tilted very slightly to the side. "Oh?" she says, gently curious. "Where do you work, if you don't mind my asking, ma'am?" The young woman takes a sip of her coffee, though her attention remains politely Isobelwards.

"I'm jus' a teachin' assistant." Isobel starts off. Of course, it would be difficult to explain what it is that she actually does. "Bu' I work in the secondary school system. At a…a school nearby." She nods a little bit as she explains. "There's nothin' better than helpin' someone ta get through school, even if it's a titch difficult for 'em."

It's subtle, Jane's bemusement: just the tiniest lift of her eyebrows, just the slightest downward shift of her mouth. "Oh, a grammar school, then?" She's silent for a moment, perhaps mulling something over, but then smiles and nods. "That must be interesting work. I haven't the patience for children, myself, so I confess I don't envy you it!" This latter comment has a tich of that lofty disdain of childhood that only someone extremely recently graduated from it can muster.

Tapping her knows lightly, Isobel looks at the other woman in an amused, almost conspiratorial fashion. "Ya got it, Miss. A grammar school it is. It's work. I enjoy it. But I can see where ya might be comin' from, Miss. They can certainly draw on a person's patience. Sometimes ya just gotta take a moment ta yourself ta relax." She smiles. "So, what is it tha' ya study there at your school?"

Again, that subtle lift of brows, this time with a hint of a conspiratorial smile in return: whatever it is that Jane's theorizing Isobel actually does (because with all that temporizing, there must be a mystery) it's a thought she evidently enjoys. And is evidently keeping to herself, because she flows right into the topic change without a quibble. "Psychology, ma'am." Her smile is fuller, now, a manicured hand gesturing. "Not that I go too wearyingly Freudian on anyone - before you worry."

"Psychology?" Isobel grins and rolls her eyes. "My ma an' pa had a psychologist stayin' at there lil hotel once when I was younger. Got ta talkin' ta him I did. Sounded like a right quack ta me. Went on 'bout the mind an' people's 'subconcious desires' an' all." She laughs. "Bu' really, good area o' study. With the right person it could do people some good ta talk with a pyschologist."

"Well," says Jane, still smiling, "there are a fair number of quacks in the field… but they really have been making leaps and bounds. We were talking in lecture, the other day, about a really revolutionary new thing they've been trying. Using little bits of electricity to shock the abnormal brain into proper function, you see." Setting her coffee cup down, she reaches up to tap her glossily coifed head with a scarlet-hued fingertip. "It's quite fun, knowing there's electric currents in here!"

"Good ta know tha' the minds o' the public are bein' put in the 'capabale' hands o' some o' these psychologists." Isobel snorts and chuckles, shaking her head, just as her food finally arrives. Giving thanks to the waitress, attention is given to Jane as she takes small bites of her breakfast. "Bloody 'ell. Really? Who'da thunk tha' givin' a person a lil shock would help 'em out!"

Jane nods, mutedly enthusiastic: this is evidently a topic which she enjoys, and Isobel's skepticism won't sway her. She says, gentle tone just a tiny bit coaxing: "Really! I think you'll find, ma'am, that psychology is miles ahead of where it was when you met that, ah, quack." Her mouth twitches a little further upward at the corners. "Not that there aren't still a few, of course…"

"I'm gonna go out on a limb 'ere an' trust ya on tha'. Only 'cause ya have just a trustworthy face, ya do." Isobel grins, bringing a forkful of beans up and depositing them in her mouth. Taking a moment or two to chew and swallow, she smiles. "The mind is such a fickle thing. I'm jus' surprised anyone can understand it at all, really!" She chukles and shakes her head. "It's amazin', it is!"

Jane nods, solemnly. "It truly is. One rarely ever thinks of one's mind as a part of one's body." Any further philosophizing on the wonders of The Brain are cut off by a young woman of similar age - if not quite so posh an appearance - entering the diner. "Jane?" the newcomer calls. "Ah," says the budding psychologist, "there she is. One moment, Rita!" Abandoning the last of her breakfast, the young woman graces Isobel with a slight nod and smile, even as she starts to gather up her things. "My name's Jane Gwynn, by the by - I don't think I ever introduced myself. A pleasure speaking to you, ma'am."

"'Tis true. It's not somethin' oft thought of, that. The mind an' the body as one." Isobel grins and bows her head. "It's been a pleasure talkin' with ya, Miss. Truly it has." She bows her head slightly. "Pleasure, Miss Gwynn. M'name's Isobel Strudwick. Have a nice day then, ya an' your friend." And with that, her attention turns to her breakfast.

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