When bliss ends

Starbucks, this morning, was a peaceful and calm oasis amid a world of rushing and running and the usual excesses of life. There was only a handful of people, quietly drinking coffee or working on various devices. It was delightfully like a Sunday.

As I sat and typed up yesterday’s post, an elderly couple slowly ambled in. They looked to be about 90. He was on crutches and did all the talking (I don’t think the two things were connected). They were both very well dressed in almost their Sunday best. It looked like this was a special outing. She sat down at a table and he went to the counter, slowly.

Could I have two teas, please?” He asked Sam behind the counter.

Of course, sir. English breakfast?” Asked Sam, fingers tapping away at the cash register.

No. Just two teas, please. With sugar.” The old man huffily replied as if channelling Nicktor in that pathetic need for the world to stop progressing beyond the 1950’s.

Sam, like the excellent barista he is, immediately smiled and took the man’s money (he paid in cash which must be a rarity these days). The man then slowly hobbled back to join his wife at the table.

Normally in Starbucks the staff ask your name (if they don ‘t already know it) and yell it out when their drink is ready at the end of the bar (unless you’re waiting for it). Not for this old couple though.

Sue has trained her staff well.

Once it was ready, Sam carried out the teas on a small tray with a small jug of milk. He had even put the sugar in for them. It was a lovely gesture but one that the old couple were clearly unaware of.

Just as I was leaving, Andrew turned up with his usual bounce and joyful expressions of happiness. I shook his hand and he sat down next to a chap he often sits with as they both do their work. Andrew said he was amazed at how quiet it was. I looked around then gave him a grim smile.

Enjoy it while you can, Andrew,” I said. “It will all end tomorrow.

His face screwed up in something of a querulous manner. I waved an arm around.

This is like a calm before a storm, my friend. School goes back tomorrow and you know what that means.” He nodded grimly. “Yep. The return of the After the Drop Off, Coffee Brigade.

I left him with this sad thought and headed for Waitrose then the Wholefoods shop in Downing Street for some more Bodkins cabbage and carrot. I also wanted some Kimchi but it seems it is a major hit and they’d sold out. The woman in the shop said it was on order. I understand why. It is seriously good.

Back at home, after lunch and the park – where we ran into Daisy, Harley and Emma their human – I set to, weeding the top step of the terrace. An irritating job that always looks much better when finished.

It was so bad before that Mirinda even noticed it when she arrived home tonight. She’s not known for always noticing things I’ve done.

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