Thursday 25 August 2011

Signs and Wonders

Every now and then I have to travel from my home in Dublin up to meetings in Belfast. It's only a couple of hours drive, but - depending on who you talk to - you do get to cross and international border. I'm happy to make the journey with other people, but if I'm honest I quite relish the time alone in the car for a few hours. I usually take along a couple of podcasts to listen to: often some theological seminar balanced by Car Talk for the way home.

Today as I was approaching Lisburn (I think) just outside of Belfast I happened to see a small sign at the side of the road that advertised a near by "coffeehouse". That phrase caught my attention because it isn't often used this side of the Atlantic and I began to wonder what delights were to be found. I drove on and thought to myself, 'I should stop there sometime and check it out.'

You may or may not be surprised at how often I think to myself, 'Oh I must.....sometime.' Perhaps you encounter similar wistful moments. It wasn't until a minute later that I thought about how I was making good time that morning and maybe I should turn around and find the coffeehouse that was luring me. If not now, when?

On managing to turn the car around and find the sign again I turned down a small country road, eventually pulling into a car park of what looked like a block of warehouses. The "coffeehouse" was actually a large restaurant, but it looked pleasant enough so I went in, ordered a latte, declined a scone and sat in a sofa by the window. There was no one else around so it wasn't long before my coffee was brought to me.

Wow.

I haven't seen coffee presented like this in a loooong time. The drink was in a tall glass mug which was not too unusual. It did however allow a view into the overwhelming proportions of coffee and froth. It was an even 50/50 split in the mug with another third again of froth on top, sitting like a delicate white meringue peak still soft from the oven. I sensed that the girl who brought me the drink was quite pleased with her creation and I wondered for a moment what training she was given. Is this something you learn in a book or watch a video? Or perhaps it was a skill passed on from the older proprietor of the restaurant because 'that's the way our customers like it.'

Unfortunately I didn't. This wasn't helped by being able to see coffee grounds sitting at the bottom of the mug. All of which goes to prove that spontaneity and going down the road less travelled isn't always all it's cracked up to be!

2 comments:

David said...

Yes, but these moments of spontaneity should be congratulated and celebrated. Where else would you have come up with this train of thought. These moments and thoughts contribute to your overall perception of the world around you.

The next time you see a "coffeehouse" sign you will stop because you want to erase event.
Good luck on your journeys.

Dave.

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