Even though Bernadette’s parents were not animal rights activists, nor kind people, they did love horses and dogs. Also whales and dolphins. And lastly, lions and elephants. They were, naturally, vociferously posed against hunting for sport and also against eating dogs and horses. On the other hand, they always maintained, while presenting some rather startling lines of reasoning, that one could eat cows and sheep and could hunt salmon and tuna.
Now, despite Bernadette’s meticulous schooling by a posse of classically trained monks, on her mother’s appointment, she found it difficult to live with her parents’ incoherent beliefs about animals. Despite the fact that she had been taught to argue deities into existence, her will out of existence and to make injustices just, she simply could not make head or tail out of how her parents thought about other sentient beings. The inductive leaps, the contradictions, the strange favouritism and, generally, just the tension between their hedonism and their compassion left her awe struck.
Bernadette, when she was awe struck, preferred it to be due to dresses, food or wine. She was her father’s child in this regard.
It was, therefore, with some trepidation that Bernadette decided to try her hand at vegetarianism. A sort of designer type, which permits the consumption of anchovy. One of her tutors, a breatharian (who, naturally, has recently shuffled off this mortal coil), had instructed her as to how one makes a transition from one set of values to another. Given that there are many, many sets of values, none of which have any firmer factual foundation than the next, he always became very flustered when Bernadette asked him what was right and what was wrong. What was good and what was bad? His eyes would widen and he would breathlessly reply: ‘It is impossible to tell, Bernadette, with any certainty. So, it is best to be flexible about good and bad. As long as your beliefs all fit together nicely.’
So, Bernadette did not become a vegetarian because she thought it was morally better. She became one because she believed her parents were paragons of unreason, and she could not abide it. Like not abiding people who wear stretched purple velvet and many bracelets, Bernadette could not abide the sentimental underpinnings of her parents’ world view about animals. Neither of her parents would ever wear such things, of course! They had better sense than that. Her father, as we know, was a style icon, clad only in shades of black all made of either of the finest Egyptian cotton or Chinese silk. Her mother, eminent scholar and formidable intellect, wore mostly hooded capes of roughly hewn cloth, in dark brown. Her only luxury being the satin slip between that and her brown skin.
No, Bernadette’s vegetarianism would be analogous to crisp white shirts with starched collars. It would the bedfellow of finely crafted wine and slow fermented sourdough. It would be the favourite peer and confidante of a perfectly roasted little quail. Metaphorically speaking.
On that day, the 16th day of December, Bernadette became a vegetarian. One who eats anchovies; thus rendering her vegetarianism like a Persian carpet.*
*The real reason is that she simply could not forego Caesar salads nor spaghetti puttanesca.
Important notices: The bakery will be closed on Christmas Day, Boxing Day and on New Year’s Day. The restaurant will be open as per usual over this time (i.e. closed on Mondays and Tuesdays and open for the rest). But the restaurant will close for two weeks from the 15th of January, and open again on the 31st of January.