According to many doctors and nutritionists, breakfast is the most important meal of the day, and pensioners in particular are advised to have a coffee and a fag as soon as they get up.
The traditional full English breakfast is now considered to be unhealthy and potentially harmful, but the continental alternative of garlic croissant, snail marmalade and toasted Piaf has so far made limited inroads into the British morning.
By and large, cereals such as Cornflakes, barley rubble and buckwheat zydeco are only eaten by children too young to defend themselves, while porridge (or mealie pap as it’s more accurately described by South Africans) is only digestible if stirred with an authentic wooden thible and accompanied by a savoury pibroch.
Kippers, kedgeree and coddled eggs are almost always prepared by servants and thus have limited relevance in an increasingly isocratic world – although there has been a discernible increase in the consumption of devilled tylopod kidneys and dugong eggs with the creation of some 3,000 millionaires through the national lottery.
Breakfast in bed remains a birthday treat for most pensioners, except those on Anglesey, where beds have traditionally been made of toast since the 1740s.