In 1994, my wife, who was pregnant, and I decided to spend a relaxing week in Wales. We filled the boot (luggage compartment) of our car with more than enough books for a week’s leisurely reading.
We drove to Bala in north Wales. We had booked a room at what seemed like a lovely guest house in a converted mill. On arrival, we were given a comfortable, well-furnished room and then enjoyed a meal prepared by the establishment.
Next morning, we entered the dining room to discover a breakfast buffet with a wide selection of food items. We chose a table, were greeted by the owner of the place, and then moved towards the buffet.
As I began emptying some cereal into a bowl, the owner, much taller than me, stood close behind me, and said in a minatory voice:
“Go easy on that. It’s very expensive, you know.”
I placed my bowl of ‘costly’ cornflakes on the table, and then headed off towards a tempting glass jug filled with orange juice. As I began pouring it, the owner appeared again, saying:
“That should be enough. Do you know the cost of orange juice?”
Just before we finished breakfast, the owner addressed us and the only other couple of guests staying in his acommodation:
“You’ll all be in for dinner this evening?”
We confirmed that we would be.
“Pork chops for dinner? Alright?”
It sounded good to us and the other couple.
We spent the day exploring the surroundings of Bala rather than embarking on the reading material we had brought from London. When we returned, we entered the dining room for dinner and found that two more guests had arrived during the day. There were six of us to be fed.
The pork chops were served. However, the pieces of meat on the plates were strange shapes. We soon realised what the mean landlord had done. He had assumed that there would only be four of us for dinner, and bought only four pork chops. With the arrival of two more guests, instead of purchasing two more chops, he had divided the four so that they could be served to six people. Such meanness and penny-pinching annoyed us so much that we told the owner that we had to leave urgently the next morning. By saving on not buying two cheap pork chops, he managed to lose the income he would have gained had we stayed the full week as we originally intended.
Photo taken at the Blaenau Ffestiniog railway