Falling over myself to rush down to the hotel breakfast

12 October 2017 8:03AM

I fell at the weekend and really, really hurt my elbow.

No, I was sober but just happened to slip on wet leaves. For a grown-up woman like myself who was wearing some new boots, it was a humbling experience.

One minute I was walking through a kaleidoscope of autumnal leaves, then next I could feel myself falling and landed on my knee and elbow. I looked an absolute fool.

Luckily no one was around to see to compound the ridiculous situation, and I also managed to hold on to my phone which seemed to have been more precious at the time than my fibia.

Anyway, I didn’t cry in the street as I dusted myself down, but later felt so sorry for myself that I had one of those sobbing sessions in the bath when the tears run down your cheeks straight into the bubbles.

The next day I had bruises on my leg, elbow and palm. That will teach me, I thought to myself, for feeling slightly full of myself in new boots.

I then did that English thing by underplaying my painful fall and turning it into a self-deprecating tale to make people laugh.

My accident (no, honestly I was sober) also slightly spoiled a nice weekend away. It’s hard to pretend to be a sophisticated woman about town, when I could be taken down by a damp leaf.

However, I perked up the following day, as I rubbed my aching limbs, to head for a hotel breakfast and to start people watching.

As each person chose their breakfast I guessed correctly whether they were Brits or non-Brits.

There are exceptions to every rule, but only British people seem to throw on baked beans with gusto when faced with a plate filled with scrambled eggs, bacon and two sausages. And tea, lots of tea.

Even though every one of us in the room was capable of making a full breakfast every day of our lives in our own homes, there was unbridled joy at the thought of a ‘proper breakfast’.

Meanwhile the non-Brits were sitting with a small bowl of museli, a bread roll and a black coffee. Possible a Danish.

I know it is wrong to judge but who the hell stays in a hotel and chooses cereal on a Sunday morning? And I will admit that having pastries for breakfast doesn’t automatically rule you out as being British.

On the table next to mine was a group of young women who were all obviously badly hungover, but who had been determined to roll out of bed for food.

Despite having been out until 2.30am, it was unthinkable for them to miss a weekend breakfast buffet.

As one of them put it, as I tried not to look so obviously eavesdropping: “I don’t care how bad it looks, I’m having a full English, extra toast and two Danish. Absolutely starving.”

God forbid that I should sound like a UKIP candidate but I’m not sure those words would be said by a French woman sitting in a fancy Parisian cafe.

After a night out partying, two cigarettes and a quick nibble on a granary slice just doesn’t cut it for hardy British lasses.

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