I come in from the blustery wind turning to shut the door behind me as
a gust launches into the café, sending a quick chill amongst those already seated.
I pause and take a quick look around the room. I smile as it’s not full yet but there are enough here to make the place cosy.
I notice a smattering of pictures on the wall but that isn’t why you come here. No, you come to the PoetrySoup café for the poetry and prose.
Being new to the neighbourhood I wander first towards the closest wall to catch a quick glimpse of those who have been honoured here.
I smile as I recognise a few names.
Loosening my jacket (there must be a chill in the air as I seldom wear a jacket!) I head over to the serving area to place my order. A hot chocolate to start with and a nice piece of black forest cake.
As I wait to the side I turn back into the room , taking in all the surroundings. There is an air of hominess about the place.
The worn black and white squared tiles on the floor, show scuffs and cracks.
The chunky square wooden tables and chairs with neat condiment holders to the side.
As I take my order I stop for a moment as I search for a spare table.
Amongst the conversations and laughter a phrase stands out and I turn to the table where it came from “Hvorfor Takk” (why thank you – Norwegian) I smile as that can only be Anne Lise. I recognise her Norwegian although mine is very basic and very rusty.
I make my way over to greet her and say hello.
I notice 2 other women sitting with Anne Lise and recognise PD – Linda in a flash as well as Andrea. “Hei I am Thomas and you must be Anne Lise.” I say as I arrive at the table and have caught the attention of those sitting there.
A huge grin lights the faces of those seated with my introduction.
“May I?” I ask standing before the only empty seat at the table.
“Please do.” They answer together then laugh.
Before I can all three stand and
Anne Lise introduces firstly PD Linda, we exchange a hug and our hello’s.
I recognise the next woman and jump in before Anne Lise can introduce Andrea. We hug and all sit, chatting away like school children waiting for the teacher to arrive in class.
They all turn around in their seats excitedly and start pointing to other members who are busily in conversations at their own tables.
“Over there is Kelly D, sitting with Gail and Mystic Rose” says Linda.
“…and Yvette Kelley with Bindu,” interrupts Andrea.
“Connie Moore is over there past Skat-Aux and Lucilla,’ points Linda.
I smile as heads turn at times to stare in our direction.
Standing I excuse myself for a moment as I head across to various tables to say hello to all those that have made me feel so welcome.
I share hugs with Kelly and Bindu, we share a laugh for a moment as I move onwards.
On my way around I meet Beverley Crespo and stop to share a quick conversation before completing my circle.
There are so many others in here as the place is filling up now.
Outside a change of season blows cold through a bleak neighbourhood, but inside there is a warmth in the air that comes with friendships and love.
I look around before sitting again and smile.
Spying my forest cake Andrea stands and heads to the counter.
Bringing some chocolate cake back we all laugh.
Anne Lise asks me about my Norwegian heritage and tries teaching me a few more words. I try but just can’t quite get them yet which makes her laugh. Linda asks about my writing and in turn Andrea and I smile at the bond we already have with our friendship.
Before the night is out I have shared moments with all of my wonderful friends. Kelly, Gail and Mystic as well as a laugh with Bindu who has the warmest smile. Then I got to chat with Skat and Lucilla, Connie, Yvette and Beverley with whom I shared some heartfelt words.
It’s getting late so we shuffle around and say our goodbyes.
Before heading in our own directions. Some left in pairs. Others in groups.
Some left alone but with a warmth inside that will burn brightly until next time.
Come over and drop in anytime. The PoetrySoup café is always open until late and they serve the best friendships going around.