February 27th 2022

Today I had a joyful afternoon outside. After lounging about and wasting most the morning, I convinced myself to walk into town as I needed to buy some coffee beans.

On the way, I passed my favourite coffee place (The Scandinavian Coffee Pod), and popped in to get a flat white for the road. I could’ve bought beans from there, but this place was too close to my house, and I wanted to continue walking in the bright — but brisk — February weather.

On the way to my second favourite coffee place in Cheltenham (The Coffee Dispensary) I decided to buy a book. I bought two books, in fact: Klara and the Sun, by Kazuo Ishiguro and Just Like You by Nick Hornby.

With my books eventually in hand (I took a while to pick), I headed to the dispensary. I picked up a bag of coffee and took it the counter. Apparently because I’d spent over £10 I was due a free drink. So although it’d been maybe ten minutes since I’d finished my first flat white, I ordered another.

The Coffee Dispensary has outdoor seating, and as it was still pleasant out, I sat outside and waited for my coffee. While waiting, I figured I’d start reading Klara and the Sun. Some unknown amount of time later, I’d finished my coffee and the first quarter of the book — It’s a brilliant book, I’ll write about it when I’ve finished it — but the Sun had gone behind the building in front of me. (If you ever read the book you’ll understand the poetic irony of that last sentence)

Cold, I moved locations. There were a row of benches on the Promenade which were still covered in sun. So I sat and I read, still wired from all the caffeine.

I am usually awful at being alone. I get bored. I rush around. I flick through my phone as a distraction. But today I was good at it. I found joy from sitting on a bench in the Sun, and reading a good book. And for a short while, I was happy.

I then met some friends for a couple of drinks, and again sat outside. The Sun gives me happiness. It could’ve been warmer, but at least it was bright. The winter has been dark and cold and seemingly never ending. And it’s still not ended, but at least today I could pretend and enjoy my afternoon.

Until tomorrow, the evening was not quite as fun.


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