A Dark Place

24HourCoffeePeople is a bustling coffee shop on the outskirts of London: this blog shares moments where caffeine isn’t the main event but the people who visit or work there really are.

This morning, 24Hour was plunged in darkness thanks to a major fuse blowing. There’s always a weird feel about the place on Sunday mornings with weekend only visitors jostling for position on stools by the front window, and trying to read the Sunday papers without encroaching on others. It’s impossible, so the first view from the outside looking in is of coffee drinkers contorted away from or half buried within the broadsheets. One woman, a weekend regular, insists on one of these tight spaces but spends her morning doggedly slurping cappuccino while tutting and sighing at the thoughtlessness of the readers around her. Leona is over from Italy sooner than I thought. She launched immediately into an angry diatribe about the wrongs of Milo regarding her cat and refused to believe that she wouldn’t be able to take her cat home after the court case in the main body of the plane. Cats are cargo in the UK and Leona isn’t happy.

She’s in dilemma now, having flown over specifically to reclaim her cat (which was nothing but an annoyance to her when she lived here, having been bought as her surrogate baby, I think, before she had her own little one), but faced with the reality (and cost) of flying said moggy home on whats bound to be a traumatic journey, her large features descended into a gloom that had nothing to do with the low lighting.

Fabian is still fluttering about his moment with Cameron, while Xena, the Chinese manager, is livid that she missed it. Xena has more problems to come. As is usual on her visits to London, Leona has set up the staff table as a home from home with her baby, and won’t be moved. She can make a coffee and a Thomas The Tank Engine story last hours. If Milo is on duty while Leona is in residence, Xena knows there will be public arguments and a hideous atmosphere. Milo normally takes the early shift, but I’m not sure how its possible for him to completely avoid Leona. Xena is depressed.

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