(Lack of) Food for thought

(Title thanks to my cousin Martin!)

Today, for the first time in my holidays, I went to a cafe to do some writing. I think I haven’t done this before today because I’ve enjoyed being at home. So maybe going to a cafe is a sign that I am starting to feel rested.

I was met by the waitress at the door, took my normal place at the table looking out the window to my favourite place – Kingston Beach. And told the lovely server that I would start with a coffee and then order some lunch later.

The cafe looks over the water, which is especially lovely if there are no cars parked in the way, and therefore it doesn’t receive any direct sunlight. Which normally isn’t a problem but it became one this morning.

My coffee was beautiful, the first full-strength coffee I’ve had in about a week (I’ve been trying to decaffeinate myself this holidays) and my addicted self relaxed at the first sip.

I sat and wrote about 1000 words plus a few more by hand in my journal and then I decided it was time for lunch. I put in my order and went back to the writing.

My brain was probably 75% occupied by what I was writing. The rest of my brain was noticing how beautiful the water looked and enjoying the flight of the birds, it was enjoying the friendly conversation of two girls sitting in front of me in the outside section, it was noticing the conversation of the two elderly ladies next to me who were trying to decipher the menu, and very gradually a few other things impinged on my consciousness.

One was how cold I was getting. I started to rub my hands together and promise myself that I would be warmer when the food came and wonder if the problem was that I was sitting too close to the door. Another was that the lights in the cafe were flickering a bit – which resolved itself when they went out completely. Much less irritating.

I completed another 1000 words and started to run out of brain and look for more distraction. The ladies next to me tried to order their lunch and that’s when I became aware of the problem.

The waiter explained to them that we’d lost power. That he couldn’t take their order because the computer system wouldn’t work, and they wouldn’t be able to cook the meal anyway. He didn’t know why the power had gone out or when it would be back on.

That’s when the beeping of some electronic device that wanted power started to make sense. And the darkness of the room. And the cold.

It’s a brisk six degrees in Kingston right now, at 130 in the afternoon. A beautiful sunny day but a very chilly day, especially if you’re out of the sun. The restaurant was cold. I was wearing five layers and a nice big scarf and I was freezing.

I tried to hold on, honestly I did. I didn’t want them to miss out on my custom and I really felt bad for them to have had such bad luck, but in the end I froze up and I gave up. I paid in exact change (after looking through all the purses in my bag to find it) and I’ve come home to a much healthier lunch of home-made salad.

I expected to be cold today when I dropped the car off to the mechanic and walked home, and later when I walk down to pick it up. But not when I was having lunch in a cosy cafe. I have no idea why the power went out – the corner shop had lights so it might have just been that one restaurant. I’m sure the not knowing is going to bug me – that was another reason why I wanted to stay. If anyone who lives down my way knows, I’d be grateful to find out.

I am so grateful that our house has power and sunlight. My feet have nearly lost their ice block status. I might try for cafe lunch another day this week. I have one more week of holidays left. I’m going to make the most of it.

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