I’ve got to admit, I’m a bit of a hermit. When it comes to leaving the house, I don’t actually like doing it. I frequently cancel social engagements because I don’t want to leave the house, even though I know I’ll enjoy myself once I’m there. So, to force myself to leave the house at least once a week, I invented a thing called Leave The House Friday – you can guess what it involves. The last two Fridays were easy as I had optician and dentist appointments but today was less easy as I didn’t have a reason to leave the house and couldn’t be bothered to cycle into town for no reason. Then I remembered the Tesco down the road has a Costa Coffee inside, so I decided to have my lunch there.
Earlier in the week, I’d decided to write a guide to the ‘athons (the ‘athons being the Juneathon and Janathon yearly events I organise), so obviously a new project requires a new notebook and as I walked through Tesco to get to the cafe, I bought a new notebook.
I chose this notebook for it’s ‘go faster’ stripes which I thought were appropriate for the ‘athons. While I was spending far too much time staring at stationery, I saw these little cuties.
Are they the cutest notebooks in the world or what? And only £1.50 for the pair. Bargainacious! After also buying a fountain pen (which, being plastic, isn’t as posh as it sounds) and a packet of animal-striped biros (I’m not even going to try and make that sound posh), I eventually got to Costa Coffee and bought a mozzarella and basil panino. Luckily, the panino was pre-made, so I didn’t have to a) look like a smartarse by knowing the difference between ‘panini’ and ‘panino’; and b) make the girl behind the counter think I’m a weirdo for asking for a panino, not a panini. Although, when the panino was brought to my table, it had been cut in half, which led me to wonder if, when a panino is cut into two, does it then become panini?
I was faced with a dilemma when, while I was waiting for my hot chocolate, the girl behind the counter asked how I was today. I did the British thing and replied with ‘I’m fine, thanks’ instead of the truth which was, ‘Slightly hungover, but on the whole okay’ but then wondered if social etiquette demanded that I return her politeness by asking how she was. I decided not to ask her. Not because I’m an impolite old tart but because … actually, I don’t have a reason, I just decided there was no need for me to reciprocate. I’m sure she was fine though, in case you’re worried. If I go back there next week and she’s not there because she died of a terminal illness, I will feel suitably guilty, although even if I had asked her how she was, she’d only have responded, ‘I’m fine, thanks’, not ‘I’m dying of a terminal illness’, anyway.
In the queue behind me was a woman who, when it was her turn to be served, said, ‘Can I get a hot chocolate please?’ As she was a) standing in the queue; and b) not wearing a Costa Coffee uniform, I assumed she was a customer and not a member of staff asking if she could help herself to a hot drink, so I waited for counter girl to reply with, ‘No – you don’t work here and we don’t allow any old riff raff to help themselves. I will get you your hot chocolate while you stay on that side of the counter where you belong’ but unfortunately counter girl just smiled and made the hot chocolate.
The cafe is upstairs in Tesco, which means you can look down on the people doing their shopping. And by ‘look down’, I mean you can look down from above, not look down on them for shopping in Tesco, not Waitrose. From my window seat I could see three aisles with ‘Click & Collect’ signs at the end of them. The first one said ‘Everything from Musical Instruments to Kitchen Utensils’; the second, ‘Lawnmowers to Laptops’ but the third I could only see ‘Dulux to’ and I really hoped the missing word was Durex but I had to go and disappoint myself by checking on the way out and finding out it was ‘Dyson’. Bah.
Does Waitrose has a cafe? I bet the customers in there don’t say ‘Can I get …’.