Today she gave me a well informed explanation as to why I can have my hot chocolate hotter – although there is a limit because of the danger of burning the milk – whereas the temperature of coffee is writ in stone. I do like it when people talk intelligently and informatively about meaningful things, and the twin delights of good coffee and good hot chocolate are among the most meaningful things in my life.
And it’s often occurred to me that if I lived in a town I would probably sit in the coffee shop for an hour or so every day, probably reading a book since hardly anybody ever talks to me unless they have to. It seems to me that the coffee shop is unique among trading establishments in that they don’t mind you occupying their space for unduly long periods on the strength of one small purchase. It’s part of the ethos of coffee shops, and long may it continue. It’s just a pity that you can’t have a pack of Turkish cigarettes on the go these days and luxuriate in an atmosphere augmented by the smell of old socks, but I suppose nothing is ever perfect. And I don’t live in a town anyway, so the matter is academic.
(I wonder whether the young woman from the coffee shop would come around to my place instead, bearing a bagful of delights from the Chinese takeaway. I haven’t had water chestnuts and fried rice for a very long time, and she wouldn’t even have to talk except to mutter 'OK' when I told where the plates are kept.)