A Tale of Two Old Men
The other day, I went in to my local Costa coffee shop. As my favourite coffee shop chain, I was very happy when I discovered that our nearest one is literally a three minute walk away from our front door.
Working from home on a couple of intense, ongoing projects meant that I needed a change of scenery to help with some ideas. To be honest, even if I didn’t need the change or the ideas, I don’t usually require an excuse!
I got my coffee and looked around for somewhere to sit. Thankfully, it was early afternoon and not too busy.
I was about to settle on a spot near a window when I saw an old man respond to another old man a few tables away. The second man had been speaking with someone else and they had now left. He called across to the first old man (are you still with me?) and invited him to come and sit with him.
I only took notice because the first old man I had seen accepted the invitation and was vacating an even nicer spot for me to occupy.
I had barely sat down when I noticed a small sofa was also now available and I rather fancied that even more. (It doesn’t normally take me this many attempts to get settled!) Whilst it took me further away from the two old men, I was able to observe them without appearing to be nosy.
I couldn’t and didn’t want to hear what they were talking about but a good one hour later, they were still busy chatting away.
Normally perhaps, I wouldn’t pay much attention to such things.
That is what people do in coffee shops isn’t it? Chat, catch up…
Discuss a variety of things with each other, make each other laugh here and there.
It is in fact, becoming increasingly rare and we all know why…
We gave someone a birthday card recently that said across the front:
Dance like no one is watching,
Because they’re not,
They’re checking their phones.
So, back to my tale of two old men…
I marvelled at how one minute, one old man can appear to be looking a bit lonely and the next minute, he is engaged in a lengthy conversation with another person of a similar age (I have no idea if they are friends, acquaintances, former customer/supplier or merely familiar pedestrians on a village high street).
Maybe as I get older, I am learning to appreciate such mundane but I believe marvellous small things.
Maybe, as Remembrance Sunday approaches, I am once again reminded of the sacrifice so many made on our behalf, and am therefore noticing my older, fellow villagers more.
I know that sounds rather random but it’s not really is it? Not when you take a moment to consider how much older generations have been a blessing to us.
Perhaps I was also being reminded by the two old men that no smartphone, tablet or any other future form of electronic distraction can begin to compete against a spontaneous coffee shop conversation.