Some days work out well in the most unexpected ways. I decided, after weeks of laziness, to go to the gym and caught the bus. It was full, but a lovely young Asian woman with a toddler in a pushchair shoved up so I could sit next to her. The toddler was a beautiful little girl with a magical, mischievous smile. She smiled at me, stretched out a pudgy hand and got hold of my fingers and she and I held hands and played peekaboo round the hand-rail for the rest of the journey. Her mum said I was very honoured because she didn't act like that with most people and she must have really taken to me. I am very awkward around small children as I've had no experience of them but this one really changed my mind and captured my heart.
I had a good session on the machines and felt really energised even despite the hot, muggy weather. I came out feeling that the one thing that would make my morning complete would be an iced coffee, but all the outdoor tables in the coffee shops were taken, until I came to the Starbucks by the station. Unfortunately that was manned by the slowest barista in the universe and after ten minutes of standing in line, I gave up and went to Costa. Coming out with my iced hazelnut latte and 'breakfast loaf', a small, loaf-shaped banana muffin, I again found that all the tables had been bagged. One lady was sitting on her own so I asked if I could join her. She said she was with someone, but I could have the third chair.
I took the lid off my coffee (their washing machine had broken so they were using takeaway cardboard cups), only to find they'd given me a hot coffee instead of an iced one, but I couldn't be bothered to take it back as by that time I'd fallen into conversation with my table companion and discovered we shared a hometown - Liverpool - and she used to live in Devon near my daughter. She was a rep for a jewellery firm and her ambition was to write a children's book! We exchanged email addresses and I offered to critique anything she came up with.
Then her companion came out with their coffees and lo and behold, he and I discovered all kinds of music biz connections in common as he was a showbiz chauffeur who had spent 12 years working for Elton John and I used to be a rock music journalist. He took the lid off his coffee and guess what? He had managed to get the iced hazelnut latte of my dreams. Damn. Can't win 'em all!
PS. Why am I writing this at 5am? I'll tell you. Mr G got pressed into service as a chauffeur driving his friends and their four kids to Gatwick so he could bring their car back afterwards and save them 2 weeks' parking charges. They called for him at 4. I couldn't get back to sleep as my ears are itching like mad again, so here I am, up with the lark (or rather the magpie, in my case; the one with the nest outside my bedroom window) and I have a horrible feeling that I've been conned by the cat and he's just struggled through his second breakfast, Mr G having already fed him.
Anyone remember the Fat Freddy's Cat cartoons? I adore them. Flad is a real Fat Freddy's Cat. One of my favourite FF cartoon strips featured Fat Freddy going away and accidentally shutting the cat in the house for 24 hours. When Freddy returns, he checks the house to see if the cat has 'done' anything, can't find a thing and strokes the cat and tells him what a good boy he is. In the final frame, the cat has a manic grin on his face and the 'thinks bubble' says: 'Just wait till he puts on his stereo headphones!' Two-breakfast Flad is right now on Mr Grumpy's bed. Oh joy!