12 years ago and I was 59 years of age on a week’s stay in London to visit my father. I was on my own, and stayed with my schoolfriend and so now and again we went for a day somewhere. We were in Lakeside, one of those modern shopping malls on the fring of London incorporating more shops that you could actually handle. Both of us were book addicts: the Kindle was still in its diapers I believe and so we headed for the bookshop, probably Waterstones. It coincided with a coffee break and the café incorporated café looked good with its warm inviting wood surroundings.
We were alone, there were no other customers and it was the middle of the afternoon and the guy in charge was standing and waiting. My friend had to pay a visit to the ladies and the waiter asked for my order. He spoke with a French accent, so who does not get weak at the knees for a French accent. He came originally from Marseilles and was spending a time in England. My friend arrived back to the café and I was engrossed in a conversation comparing life in Switzerland with life in France and comparing a lot more. He was not Alain Delon, Jean Paul Belmondo or even my favourite of the day Christoper Lambert, but if you closed your eyes you could let the imagination run wild with the reality. Of course I did not, because I was 59 years old and he was probably old enough to be my son.
We now have 12 years later and I am now 71 years old. I wonder what happened to him. Did he return to Marseille, which was his intention? Is he now married with a family or still enchanting the french mademoiselles with his stories of London? Perhaps he even remembered the english lady who actually lived and worked in Switzerland: probably not, but I still have the photo. I said the coffee bar looked interesting and if it would be OK to take a photo and he obliged.
Today I no longer drink coffee. It must be at least 10 years since I had my last cup of coffee due to digestive problems. I do not really miss it, I have become a tea drinker in the meanwhile. I am sure if I was then drinking tea I had not met my French barrister and as a trophy would have had a photo of an english tea room full of old ladies sipping their milky teas.
Oh, the memories of the years gone past.