The Tailor of Savile …

Jaunty … that is the best word to describe him – jaunty hat, jaunty demeanour, sprightly step and a heavy bag. I’ve had the pleasure of his company before – an ex pat – living in Spain – or so I thought – probably because he left behind a stack of business cards advertising his luxurious Spanish villa. But this jaunty flaneur’s olive tree has many branches. After he berated me for not charging for the books we keep for travellers on our window sill (the books will always remain ‘not for profit’!)-  I asked him where he was travelling to? ‘Well’, he said, with incredibly theatrical overtones, ‘today I am off to China to buy silk – for I am a ‘Tailor of the Row’. I looked somewhat blankly at him – which provoked an exasperated sigh followed by a very deliberate explanation. ‘I travel to China to choose the finest silk ties’. I remarked that China is quite a long way to go shopping. He laughed and said ‘I am not a Grabatologist – I am a Tailor – and I sell my ties on Savile Row’. I felt enlightened on so many levels! Large latte for the Tailor next time he calls in …

Marvellous Mabel …

Mabel’s dignified aura shone through the cafe doorway – and there she stood. Impeccably dressed in autumnal colours crowned with a heavy stone broach, a hedgerow scarf and sad eyes. Her onward journey was a difficult one – off to say goodbye to her elderly cousin – the last surviving family member of her generation – now terminally ill and refusing further treatment.
Mabel announced it had been 80 years since she had last visited St Leonards as a child on holiday. Mabel remarked on how much the world had changed for women over those 80 years. Her working life for a Sussex newspaper was happy, but for many other women, the workplace was difficult and dismissive. Perhaps the most fascinating part of our conversation was her recollection of an operation she desperately needed when she was 29. Her surgeon discussed her condition directly with her husband as if Mabel did not exist. Her husband had to sign the consent papers before the operation could proceed – as it meant she would not be able to have children and this would affect her usefulness as a wife!!! Fortunately he consented! Thank you Mabel for sharing your memories – a large Americano on me next time you are here (but don’t leave it another 80 years!) …

Free Radicals

‘The Duke’ called in for coffee on his way to London – always very smart – carrying a mysteriously large bag and a wealth of knowledge. He finds names hard to remember but advice easy to give. The Duke is an unassuming fountain of knowledge and as I will never know everything – I am always happy to dip my toe in the fountain!
We had an interesting discussion about free radicals ,which, in the light of today’s events,  can be viewed in two different contexts …  apparently a salad dressing made of olive oil, lemon juice, garlic and salt protects free radicals from oxidative damage – highlighting the importance of free radicals and their role in the theory of aging!…The other context –  a free radical … believing or expressing the belief that there should be great or extreme social or political change. Hmmm … well that just leaves the fight against the anti-aging process then! ‘Huile de Trump’ anyone?!!! … Large latte for The Duke next time you are here ….

Miami Vice?

Mimi strode into the coffee shop sporting a leather hat and a touch of an American drawl. Her awesome cowboy boots were  original U.S. of A. Her hard nose approach to life – original school of hard knocks. Mimi had been in several times before – now somewhat disenchanted with life back in the UK having been a successful estate agent in America – or so I thought. Mimi threw me a curve ball this week which I attempted to catch gracefully. In her American life –  Mimi also operated a ‘dungeon’ for fetishists – drawn to her for an over emphasised strict english school ma’am accent. They visited for assorted spankings, feather ticklings, lead training etc. One ‘official’ apparently used to visit to sit for an hour wearing nothing but thigh length leather boots and a lace garter. Apparently people without a fetish are the weird ones – I will leave that thought with you! Not quite the conversation I was expecting – but whatever floats your boat! Deluxe hot chocolate with ‘whipped’ cream next time you drop by ….

There’s something about Mary …

Magnificent M  made a definite ‘entrance’ at the coffee shop this week. No sooner had she stepped through the door – I was aware of her ‘arrival. M was gorgeous, incredibly stylish, confident and glamourous. M put the fox into silver or the silver into fox – I am still not sure which way round. I asked her how she was while she ordered her coffee – she looked at me, smiled and said ‘I?… I am at the top of my game!’. Well Magnificent M – yes  – you jolly well are – you made my day and I salute you! It was an absolute pleasure. Large latte on me next time you are passing through …

Slim Shady …

Bristled in to the shop – money in one hand – crusade in the other. He gave a long sermon on how the use of cows milk involves the rape of cattle and the deprivation of sustenance to their calves. He proceeded to tell me that he had spent several years inside for animal rights activism and has now contracted a rare form of skin cancer. His personal conspiracy theory being that he contracted this cancer through’poisoned’ food consumed while in prison because vegans were catered for externally – his forceful words became diluted with a soya (naturally!) latte. Thank you for a colourful morning – large soya latte on me should you pass this way again.