Nobody thought anything of it when the Rosetta café opened in Llandeilo. There was nothing strange about an Italian café in a Welsh village. From almost the start of the industrial revolution Italians had been flocking to the valleys in an attempt to avoid lives of abject poverty. To be fair, a start-up in the 21st century was a bit unusual but there was a nostalgic theme to it and the villagers embraced it. Let’s face it, as the demographics of the village was mostly doctors, lawyers and chief executives of voluntary organisations they would have embraced anything that sold cake made out of root vegetables and offered fair trade coffee and Darjeeling.
Rosetta was thought to be the family name and so it was. Had been since the late 1990s. Before that it was Ap Dafydd. The Ap Dafydds were the direct descendants of Iolo Ap Dafydd who had discovered the missing fragment of the Rosetta Stone in 1945. In addition to the copy which resided under the Senedd, Iolo had made another and kept it in the family home. Due to the haste with which it was written and the conditions in which it had been kept, the family’s copy was subtly different to the one in the Senedd. It was corrupted, unreliable and open to exploitation by darker forces.
Corrupted though it was they had found it useful and over the years amassed enough wealth not to have to open a café in Llandeilo. They could easily have opened one in Crickhowell or Ross on Wye. Constant use of the false text had wreaked havoc on the moral fabric of the entire family. Caradoc Ap Dafydd, son of Iolo was jailed in 1965 after a shady deal during the Simba Rebellion in the Former Belgian Congo, involving fifty eight pick-up trucks from Davies of Bridgend new and used Toyotas. He would have been executed if the family hadn’t bailed him out to the tune of five thousand pounds in cold hard cash.
International protocol dictated he had to spend time in jail which was how he ended up in Swansea. His son, Jamie Ap Dafydd, was the last person in Britain to be convicted of blackening the good name of the financial markets. The law was repealed as part of the deregulation of the stock exchange in 1986 (The Big Bang). Unluckily for him he was caught, insider dealing, when he received a tip about the bumper lavabread harvest of 1984. Tina Ap Dafydd from Hafod in Swansea used the early internet to sell nuclear secrets to the North Koreans. She is currently in exile in Ecuador.
The café was the brainchild of family matriarch Tonya Ap Dafydd. It’s main purpose was to act as cover for her sworn mission, to obtain the one true copy of the Rosetta text and lift the curse from her family. Also to develop a mid-market light refreshment snack profile which could be franchised internationally thus taking advantage of the lack of cross border corporate tax regulation. It was Tonya who changed the family name to Rosetta in a bid to keep the rest of the family focussed on the task at hand. Now that she had the Grand Keeper of the text in her possession, surely victory would soon follow. Mwa ha haa……