Lights twinkle in the distance and a freezing fog wraps itself round the stragglers outside the coffee house. Inside, the atmosphere is warm and lively; no thought to the time as dawn slowly breaks through the gloom to expose the chilly day ahead.
Hugh sipped at his fifth hot chocolate with a hint of Southern Comfort. His Mildred Awards Ceremony, watched by nine million viewers was a raging success and most of the guests had passed through the coffee house at some point during the evening. Olga smiled from behind her steaming cup, reminiscing over the speeches and laughter whilst Jen discussed the award winners with Vashti and the incredible array of books and talent given before the awards began.
Lance sat nursing his drink, his tuxedo a bit out of place and dusty from his last coach tour to Macedonia. I sauntered over, trying not to trip in my long ball gown with laughing cow motifs scattered along the full skirt. He gave me a quick smile, then went back to scribbling exotic destinations on his napkin for a voting poll on where the coach tour would visit next. I had entered my choice already and was pretty excited about the destination that would win.
Before I could sit down, Paul blew into the coffee house, bringing the cold with him. Many heads turned as the man who had put Canterbury back on the map unwrapped his frosty scarf with cold fingers and made his way to the counter. I had to introduce him to the LitWorld team and Chris the Story Reading Ape as he had mentioned he needed to meet some great editors. After drawing Olga, Colleen, Ron and Jo out of a debate on how the Grammar Black Market should end, they shook hands with Paul and asked him about his new book, Faces of a Small City. I left them wrapped in a conversation a outing editing and moved to the next table.
Kev was preparing an interview list with Sally whilst Nishi, Trent and Gene’O and Diana quietly discussed the wonderful response to the #1000Speak Voices for Compassion and the incredible stories that have been shared over the weekend with Austin. He was slightly pre-occupied with the weather report which was promising freezing cold temperatures and more snow.
It made me notice the cold outside and I shivered at the thought. Warm laughter behind me drew me back into the comfortable ambience of the coffee house and I sighed contentedly. It wasn’t time to leave just yet and I still had more friends to catch up with. Happily I turned back into the rom and went to talk to Luccia, Teagan and Corina, the perfect way to start the early hours of a dreary Monday morning.
Hope you all enjoyed your coffees with me and look forward to joining you again next week.