A few months ago, I posted about how much I was missing the simple pleasure of taking time to enjoy a coffee in a quiet corner of a café during the lockdown period here in the UK. Things are easing here slightly, and whilst it still feels like there is a good way to go until we can get back to whatever “normal” might turn out to be, the slow return of shops and services has meant that I was able to go out and have that coffee.
What struck me was how things hadn’t really seemed to have changed in the months away, especially considering the once-in-a-lifetime event that we are all living through. Of course, there were the little differences, but people seem to have adjusted to those without even breaking their stride – things like the plastic screens at the counters, the tape on the floor to indicate how far apart people needed to stand from each other, or those queueing whilst wearing masks (which once would’ve drawn stares and sniggers, but now don’t merit a comment at all). It gave me great heart, to be honest, seeing the resilience of the human spirit, or more likely, the restorative power of a good cup of coffee.
Of course, it wasn’t quite like the cups of coffee I’m used to having – not yet, anyway. The conversations around me were completely informed by the events of the last few months, but despite the worries and the stresses that people have been going through, to hear the simple relief of people just being able to spend some time with a friend or a loved one, was wonderful. The subject might have changed, but the warp and weft of the conversation hadn’t changed at all. People were still funny, happy, sad, and frustrated, as well as keen to share their perspectives and experiences of the most unusual few months in most of our lives, even if it was through the prism of one particular subject.
Normally, I buy my coffee, open the laptop, and get working, but I found it hard to type, and just took my time to enjoy being out in that environment again. I’d missed it.
I hope wherever you are that you are safe and well, and that you can see light at the end of the tunnel, and it isn’t too long before you can enjoy a favourite pleasure again, if you haven’t already.