Tag Archives: coffee

Coffee and TV

Last week was supposed to be my first full week working in Glasgow and my first full week actually making a TV show for the first time in 7 months. There’s nothing like a week of firsts to shake things up a bit. Here’s what happened.

Day 1 – Monday

I’M IN LOVE! I don’t know why I didn’t see it before. You see, he has made me coffee in the past, a couple of times, but I had never noticed the eyes until today.
I’m pleased to say Glasgow has not faded in my estimations and it continues to remind me of New York for many reasons, one of which is that it is full of independent coffee shops. Yes, my new-found love is a barista, and boy, is he good at it. I haven’t been there for a couple of weeks, but he remembered my coffee order and asked me how the weekend was. I told him I’d been sailing and we laughed about the fact that he never got a day off because he was too busy running the café… I melted into his eyes as I handed over my £1.50 (really? He must be under-charging me because of the chemistry) and our fingers brushed against each other gently. Tomorrow I’m going to wear the nicest outfit I have with me, I must get this man.

Day 2 – Tuesday

There is a certain spring in my step as I march down the rain-splattered streets to get my morning coffee, wearing the nicest outfit I have with me. In fact it’s the same dress I am wearing in my headshot on theconversation.tv so maybe he’ll recognise me from that and admit he’s actually my biggest fan and how refreshing it has been to get an insight into a modern woman through my musings, especially one so beautiful… As I enter the coffee shop, a woman turns around to help me. That throws me. I order my coffee, she’s nice but the chemistry just isn’t the same as it is with him. She charges me £1.50 and I leave hastily.

Day 3 – Wednesday

Time to pull out my second best outfit, and freshen up with some dry shampoo since I overslept. But it’s ok as I’m going to see my destiny this morning – he doesn’t care about clean hair, although I’ll still wear a hat. There he is, my heart skips a beat. He is a little bit skinnier and paler than I had remembered from Monday, but that’s ok – after all, we are in Glasgow. He asks me if I’m late this morning – he even knows what time I normally come in! For some reason I find myself lying and telling him I walked to work. But it was the right move. He asks me where I stay. ‘Dennistoun’ I reply. I don’t know if Glasgow has the same East/West End divide as London but I hope it makes me sound edgy as if Dennistoun is Glasgow’s answer to Hackney. I don’t mention that I’m staying with my Mum. Or that the entire area smells of hops from the Tennents brewery next door. He smiles, his sweet honest smile. £1.50. This love affair is going to cost me a fortune. As he hands me my change I see a marked difference in his expression… I only notice when I step outside that my second favourite outfit is gapping open at the breast, a lot. Damn, I wasn’t planning on using that one so soon.

Day 4 – Thursday

Another morning, although no more lovely outfits, I do manage to wash my hair…not that it matters as it’s raining anyway and I have to wear an anorak. When I get to the counter he remembers my coffee order again and I smile my best smile, although there is something missing from our interaction. He goes on to say how all of his regulars seem to have a cappuccino in the morning so it makes it easy to remember – although he does remember that I have one sugar. But something has definitely changed. The spark that was so strong on Monday has faded, he’s just making my coffee, and I’m just one of his regulars. I spot a lemon meringue cupcake on the side and try out my favourite joke on him: (in a Glaswegian accent) “Is that a cupcake or a meringue?” He replies, “No you’re right, it’s a cupcake!” Bedumdum…Only he doesn’t, instead he gets distracted by another customer, chucks the cake I don’t want into a bag, I pay for it and scuttle away without saying goodbye.

Day 5 – Friday

Everyone’s happier on a Friday so the spring in my step has returned. I am hopeful that the previous day was just a glitch in our universe – after all, every couple have their off days. I enter the shop and stare directly into those eyes. NOTHING! I feel nothing. I feel cheated. Where has it gone? He smiles at me in the same way but whereas four days earlier that smile had made me mentally design my wedding dress, today, at best, it makes me want to smile back. I ask for my coffee with no sugar (which is actually how I take it) and hurry out of the shop, in the knowledge that the next time I enter it will just be a coffee shop and not where I met the love of my life.

How fickle be the human heart. Or rather, how mental be the world my thoughts inhabit about 30% of the time? As you may have guessed, this tele programme I’m working on is taking a while to get going, allowing time for daydreaming. Idle daydreaming can be wonderful but it can be dangerous, I reckon I fall in love once a week. I suppose there is a chance I’m too quick to dismiss every spark as just a daydream –  as being all in my mind, could I have missed the ‘real thing’ somewhere along the way? Hmmm, unlikely but as a hopeless romantic I know there are going to be more coffee shop romances to come and maybe one day I’ll stop shallowly taking away and actually commit to sitting in – who knows what might follow…

 

A Soiled Romance

“I can’t keep it in, can’t keep it in…I gotta let it out, gotta let it out” Cat Stevens jeers in my ear. Sometimes the shuffle on my ipod is frighteningly on point. I manage a half smile at this thought which is undoubtedly more of a grimace as the truth is I am desperately trying to clench my bumcheeks together to prevent dropping my guts all over Kensington High Street. Filching that baguette from the work canteen seemed like such a good idea at the time, but the old wheat intolerance has decided to (apologies) bite me in the ass at a most inconvenient time. A Starbucks shines on the horizon like a beacon and I try to make it across the road just as the traffic lights are changing. A man in a white van intentionally speeds up, gesticulates wildly at me, and forces me to jump backwards into a puddle, nearly losing control of my sphincter muscle and my dignity.

Just three days earlier, I was walking – nay striding – down West 4th Street, after having had two strong coffees with a male model friend I met the last time I was in New York. I never drink coffee, what with it being a natural laxative and my having inherited my mother’s constitution, but hey – I was in New York, and the slices of pizza I’d been having nightly had not had any effect so I knew the coffee wouldn’t. Everything is different there. I am different, better. On I strode… strided… glided through the city, until I came to an intersection where I, as I seem wont to do, stepped out into the path of a white van turning the corner. This time though the driver stopped to let me cross, I smiled, crossed, and he drove on. Or so I thought. The next moment said white van driver, was at my shoulder and in a thick New Joysey accent said, “You only get one chance to make a first impression…” reaching for his phone he continued, “Can I take you out for dinner some time?” Boom. Only in New York. Predictably, I faltered, made 110 excuses in 5 seconds, shook hands with him and waved as he shuffled off rejected, back to his van with the door swinging open, in the middle of Broadway surrounded by angry, honking New Yorkers. Clearly I am only better at some things in New York. Remember the Impulse advert from the 80’s, ‘When a man you’ve never met before suddenly gives you flowers…’? I used to believe that this was simply what happened in life, regularly. When I grew up I quickly discovered that it wasn’t and you were more likely to get Tango-ed in the street than be given flowers by a stranger, but nevertheless a small part of me had faith that it would happen one day, and then it practically did, and then I spectacularly blew it. I usually would have wallowed in my closed-heartedness but for once I didn’t, it proved there is still hope, I was elated.  Oh and, for the record, I didn’t shit myself.

Fortunately I don’t shit myself on Kenny High Street either, no thanks to Starbucks which is just closing as I arrive and won’t let me in. I eventually find my relief in the mega store which is Whole Foods, situated in the old Barkers Arcade. As much as I love Whole Foods and its very New York philosophy, I find myself idly wishing it was still Barkers, that classic department store where Biba made its name. The truth is I am torn between two of the greatest cities on earth. So, what should I do? My heart is telling me to make the move, and that is the one thing I have learnt to follow over the years. Sure, I foolishly let a potential husband from Hoboken slip through my fingers last week, but there must be another way? Answers on a Statue of Liberty postcard please…