Saturday, December 18, 2010

Snowy Saturdays and Starbucks

I had a cracking start to my Saturday. I got up early(ish) and made the best cup of Twinings English Breakfast tea, accompanied by hot toast with the perfect ratio of butter to Vegemite. Dressing warmly, I headed out into the light flurries to pay my deposit on the room I'm subletting for the next month.

By the time I got to the new apartment, the snow was coming down much more heavily and, of course, it was falling towards me so I kept getting stinging snowflakes in my eyes. Fellow pedestrians were coming at me from all sides, and it was all very slow going on my part. Deposit paid, I headed back into the storm, thinking that on the reverse journey I might actually enjoy a pleasant walk with the snow at my back. Um, no. Snow will fall wherever the wind blows it and on this particular occasion, the wind was enjoying nothing more than blowing right into my eyeballs again.

I jumped into a charity shop to donate a bagful of clothes, and used the opportunity to dust myself off and chat with the peculiar store owner about the weather, Christmas and the delicious mince pies on sale at M&S.

It is well worth mentioning that all this activity was actually taking place PRE-coffee, so it's ridiculous how nice I was being to everyone. It also explains what happened next.

I shuffled up the High Street, making a mental note to call into Waitrose supermarket so I could buy the ingredients for the beef stew I planned to make. But the first order of proceedings was coffee. The Jamie Oliver store (Recipease) was chock-full of very weird people today, some of whom were most unhelpfully wheeling suitcases around the store. Whyyyyyy?! Needless to say I left the store, abandoned my principles, and headed into Starbucks.

I haven't had Starbucks in ages - probably not since I was last in the US actually. I used to buy it every day, en route to work, and it was nice to know I could still remember my usual order:

Starbucks language: I'd like a venti coffee with room, thanks.

English: I'd like the largest filter coffee you sell, with about an inch of room left in the top - to make room for milk, please.

Coffee in hand, I headed to any empty table and laid out the reading material that I'd brought along with me. I'd taken off my scarf and waterproof coat and settled them into my lap, ready to relax and unwind.

Attempting to shuffle my chair in a bit closer to the table, I leaned my feet on the table leg for leverage and....well, I think you know the rest.

My coffee cup tilted over and hit the table with an awful thud. Every drop of coffee - and I mean every single last bloody drop of it - splashed across the table, over my reading material, down my front, onto my jeans, and all over the floor. I hadn't even had a sip of it.

I didn't cry and I didn't drop the f-bomb. A man at the table next to me materialised with a stack of napkins and I began blotting and mopping up the spill. Another man went off in search of the cleaning crew, and I searched for a way to get the hell out of there without making an even bigger spectacle of myself (if that were indeed possible). My woollen scarf was soaked in coffee, rendering it completely useless, so I didn't even bother getting dressed again - I just left wearing soaking wet jeans and an unzipped hoodie, dragging my waterproof coat with me.

Stomping back down the High Street, the snow falling even more heavy now, there was not a cab to be found. I got back to my bus stop and shivered until the bus FINALLY arrived to take me home.

I'm washing my scarf in the machine right now and I've no idea if I'm going to ruin it or not, cause I never read the laundering instructions on anything anyway. All I can smell is coffee and while that aroma would normally make me indescribably happy, today it just makes me want to cry.

Needless to say I didn't stop in at Waitrose to get the ingredients for my stew - I have lost the mojo to make it now. That might have to be a job for tomorrow.

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