Roger and the cake shop

One day Roger came home from school to find Mummy looking through an old photo album.

“Hello Roger”, she said, “how was school?”

“It was fine, Mummy. What are you doing?” replied Roger.

Mummy explained that she’d been looking for something in the attic when she came across some old photographs.

“These pictures are of my Uncle Ted”, she told Roger, “he’s your great uncle.”

Roger didn’t remember Uncle Ted, but Mummy said that he’d seen Roger at a wedding when Roger was just a baby.

“Uncle Ted has a bakery”, continued Mummy. “I always used to visit him when I was a little girl, and I remember he always gave me the most delicious cakes.”

Mummy smiled. She looked like she could still taste Uncle Ted’s cakes.

“And I also found this old diary upstairs”, said Mummy, pointing to a tatty old red book. “I was looking through it, and guess what?”

Mummy didn’t wait for Roger to try to guess. “Next week is Uncle Ted’s birthday.”

Mummy told Roger she was really busy working on a new book, but she asked Roger if he would take a birthday card and present to Uncle Ted that weekend.

“He lives in Matford. The number 37 bus goes right there.” she said.

“Of course I will”, said Roger. He enjoyed running errands for Mummy and he’d never been to Matford before so it would be an adventure.

Roger got up on Saturday morning to find Mummy wrapping a pair of grey socks for Uncle Ted’s birthday. She signed his card and put it into a pink envelope.

“Please tell Uncle Ted I’m really sorry I can’t come today, but promise him we’ll all visit, just as soon as I finish this book.” she said.

Roger waited excitedly at the bus stop. Soon the number 37 arrived. Roger asked the driver to tell him when they got to Matford.

The bus made its way through the countryside, stopping at several small villages before the driver announced they’d arrived at Matford.

Roger got off. He soon found Uncle Ted’s bakery, and stepped inside. Uncle Ted had a big round smiling face with a shiny bald head. He wore a white baker’s apron. He looked just like he did in the pictures in Mummy’s photo album, which were taken so many years ago.

Uncle Ted was serving a lady with two little boys. The shop had a lovely smell and the cakes looked so delicious that Roger started to feel hungry.

“Morning, young man”, said Uncle Ted, “what can I get for you?”

Roger explained that his Mummy was Mary, Uncle Ted’s niece. Uncle Ted’s smile widened.
“Ahhhh, Roger”, he said, “I remember you, though you probably don’t remember me. You were just a baby last time we met. Now, when was it? Hmmmmm, it must have been at Rosemary and Jim’s wedding. Yes, that’s it.”

Roger handed Uncle Ted the birthday present and card. There were tears of joy in his eyes as he took the gifts.

“Thank you, Roger”, he said, “and please thank your Mummy. No one remembers my birthday any more. I’m so happy. Come through to the back and I’ll get you something to eat and drink. Do you like bacon?”

Roger said he did. Uncle Ted took a new loaf from the giant baking oven and made Roger a bacon sandwich. It was the best sandwich Roger had ever eaten.

“I’ll bet your Mummy doesn’t buy bread like that in the supermarket”, laughed Uncle Ted.

“No, she doesn’t.” said Roger.

Uncle Ted sat down and asked Roger all about his Mummy and school and everything. Once or twice the shop bell rang and he went to serve his customers. Roger could hear how friendly everyone was to Uncle Ted.

After they’d finished their sandwiches Uncle Ted invited Roger to choose some cakes from the shop. Roger didn’t know where to start. Everything looked so tasty.

He finally chose and apple cake and a jam doughnut and they went back into Uncle Ted’s living room and talked some more.

Roger told Uncle Ted his Mummy was working on a book of love stories. Uncle Ted said he was very proud of her, but he always knew she was the clever one in the family.

Soon it was time for Roger to go. Uncle Ted put some cakes in a box for Roger to take home to Mummy and Daddy. He thanked him again for coming and for the birthday card and present.

Roger told Uncle Ted that he would visit again with Mummy just as soon as she finished her book.

As Roger waited for the bus home he knew why Mummy liked Uncle Ted so much.

When he got back Roger excitedly told Mummy all about Uncle Ted and the cake shop. Mummy looked very happy when she opened the box of cakes; though Roger noticed she also had tears in her eyes as she sat down to eat a chocolate cake with her cup of tea.

For the next three weeks Mummy worked hard on her book every day, until one day she finally announced at breakfast, “it’s finished.”

Mummy seemed so happy. And now they could visit Uncle Ted together.

Roger was very excited as they got into Mummy’s car. He was already wondering what cakes he would choose for lunch.

As they drove along Mummy told Roger lots of funny stories about Uncle Ted.

Soon they arrived at Matford. Mummy parked the car and Roger showed her to Uncle Ted’s shop. To his surprise it was not a bakery but a CD shop.

“I’m sure it was here Mummy”, said Roger.

“Don’t worry”, said Mummy, “it’s very easy to make a mistake in a new place.

Together they walked around looking for Uncle Ted’s bakery, but they couldn’t find it anywhere. Eventually a lady came up and asked them what they were looking for. They told her they were trying to find Ted’s Bakery. The lady looked surprised.

“Ted sold his shop and moved away more than ten years ago”, she said.

Next Roger's Christmas