Xena’s Hat

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.

On the breakfast news today, there was a story about a UFO bumping into a wind turbine. If they’d said that aliens had landed in the village, I’d be more inclined to believe it, as Xena, with her beautiful, round face and almond Chinese eyes was wearing the strangest ever hat. A slouchy, silver knitted affair dotted with sequins, it hugged the contours of her forehead and cheeks but flopped empty at the back. Xena looked like an extra from ET. I just – thankfully – missed Guy so there was no lip dodging to be done.

Mad Susan has taken to her country residence until next week; and I haven’t seen quiet Elizabeth for at least two weeks. Immaculately dressed – often in hand sewn clothes – Elizabeth just misses looking stylish. In conversation, always thoughtful and measured, she just misses being amusing. In kindness, however, she’s is always on target. There’s an intangible essence about her – and I think it’s chronic shyness – that always stops her short of her target. She wants to be like the rest of the coffeemates; loud, unselfconscious and pretentiously dramatic at any opportunity, but instead she almost disappears when we are all together. She’s very drawn to Mad Susan and lavishes her with presents. Mad Susan, who has taken to ‘regifting’ as her credit crunch measure is thrilled and doesn’t see at all that gifts from Elizabeth are so full of meaning and warmth that to pass them on is nothing short of criminal.


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