This is me, drinking my birthday latte at Ray's Jazz Café at Foyles, which was as perfect a latte as one ever dreams of drinking on one's birthday. It was made by a woman in a many-laundered apron, who had big, soft brown eyes which narrowed slightly over the important tamping and brushing of the puck of coffee grounds with which she then proceeded to make magic.
Pluvialis bought two biscotti, as you can see. They were stuffed with nuts and other goodness, including fennel seeds, unexpectedly. I was disposed not to be pleased about that, but lulled by the fan-flipping-tastic coffee, I came around to the view that the lovely aniseedy scent and pistachio crunch was everything that could be desired in an accompaniment.
Downstairs at Foyle's in the natural history section leaned Pluvialis' book, next to the Poyser monograph on The Goshawk. She smiled. "How ironic," she said. I said something about G coming after F in the alphabet, to hide my sadness.
I watched a pygmy slow loris climb precisely around curled branches and turn amber-brown eyes in startlingly worried apostrophe-shaped black eye patches slowly, exactly, like a small furry satellite dish, like a puppy made of arms and legs dressed for a masquerade and turned to 0.25 speed. Crickets jumped in the dim light.
I ate Tay salmon on samphire which tasted of the sea and of gardens, made jokes with a very tall waiter in a very very clean pressed apron, drank Sauternes and discussed kind hearts, coronets and optics with my dearest friend.