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.
I call Susan ‘mad’, not because she is deranged in any way, but because she is so frenetic. With the lungs of a free-diver, she’s able to hold conversation – or rather, give conversation – without appearing ever to draw breath. I find myself inwardly pleading for her to breathe before she falls straight off her stool or faints face first into her extra large cup of cappuccino. With a past in handbags, Mad Susan’s hands are adorned with rocks the size of comets as a legacy of her divorce. She’s now partnered up with Fergal-Seven-Dogs, a bear of an Irishman with seven unruly dogs and an unpredictable temper. He’s a doll to me, but his habit of randomly smacking Mad Susan’s gay friends after a whiskey or two is a constant reminder to stay on his even side. Mad Susan can talk and text at the same time. She prefers Milo’s coffee to anyone else’s and has a maternal soft spot for willowy Fabian. But then, we all do.