In addition to a rampant need to further bankrupt myself by buying, of all things, books, I'm also a self confessed coffee addict. I love coffee, I love the way I feel on coffee, the smell, the full bodied taste on my tongue, bouncing off the walls after the sixth or seventh cup. Yes, I drink way too much coffee but say what, it could be worse. But really, what I want is to share this love with other people. You see, it all started like this....
Coffeewallah has been my alternate persona for close to twenty years. She's a capable, strong woman with opinions who strides around wearing worn jeans, t-shirts and combat boots, flaming red hair. I'm sure you've seen her somewhere and I confess, there are days when I like her much more than the me that looks back from the mirror. Tempting as it might be to claim schizophrenia, no such luck, Coffeewallah is really me without the carefully cultivated "costume" of my current life.
For almost my entire adult life the communications lark has been my game. Television dogsbody cum director/producer/sometimes talent, turned event manager, turned copy writer/editor, turned feature writer, turned account executive, turned communications manager, yup, it's been a long road. But secretly, I've harboured a dream to move to my other love, coffee...and by extension food. My wish is to own a bistro where my arty friends could come and sit, drink lots of coffee and while away their time talking about whatever caught their fancy. Where the ladies who lunch could have a chat without screaming over loud music, secure in knowing they would enjoy what they eat and not break the bank. A place where writers could write, who knows, the next JK Rowling could be waiting for me. I can see myself strapping on my apron, Global knives laid out, Garland Grill and fryer, five burner stove top and industrial oven, my uniform of jeans, whites and boots (I hate clogs).
I have it pictured down to the little details, the colour of the sofas, the shape of table runners, vases, the weight of cutlery, size of plates, each day's menu handwritten from each carefully constructed recipe. Lists of equipment, schedules, ochre walls with carved dividing screens, fabric panelling, the sound of water from Boutros' water feature, the multi coloured bouganvillea riotously spilling along the walkway...and yes, I know what the building should look like. And then two nights ago I saw it. My building or should I say the building that I would like to have, though it's not for sale and even if it were I couldn't afford it. There it was, sitting innocuously on a Woodbrook side street waiting for me. Standing on the pavement I knew that I had to make it happen. That someday, somehow it would be mine or at least the dream would be. And maybe too, some of you would find your way there and recognise a kindred spirit. The coffee will always be freshly ground and brewed and the conversation will always be good.