Notable points to pick up on:
The sign for the Starbucks has a short circuit so the large green looming thing reads
STA BUCK OFFEEIt reminds me of the Grinch and makes me think of stabbings. Saying that, it's all so nicely lit with a cascade of white glittering fairylights that the whole thing leaves me feeling confused and numb. It’s odd that when a sensation is confusing it might leave you feeling nothing at all. They say that’s what psychopaths feel when they witness something horrible which in all people, apart from the psychopath, would stir an untoward feeling of empathy i.e. the death of a child or a man under a train. I’m sure my feeling toward the Starbucks sign is incomparable to feelings held by any psychopath so I feel safe in my sanity.
The waitress is unusually pretty and looks like Diane Moore.
There is a man in an anorak with thick lens glasses hanging out, placing his full body weight on the banister of an indoor bridge. I’ve taken shelter in a shopping mall that possesses a gigantic Matalan, TK Maxx, M&S, Starbucks, JD Sports, you get the picture. He looks like a classic trainspotter and unfortunately his bearing, in this shopping mall on his own wearing what looks like a wet tracksuit, alludes to the image of the evil paedophile demon all the papers keep throwing up these days. He is probably just the embodiment of someone lonely – and it’s Christmas, pity.
One table is on an early date, maybe even a first, perhaps they met online and that’s why they chose this large yet inconspicuous location to meet for the first time. She smiles a lot and flattens down her nicely dyed blonde hair and you can tell he’s nervous because he keeps wiping his left palm on his left trouser leg. I hope it’s going well, and it does seem to be - with all that eye contact, bless.
Another table is on a stale date. I don’t know if they’re married but they’ve certainly given up trying, she talks to the chair and he nods at his cup.
My coffee has grown cold and the prospects do not look great. The Pentland Firth is choppy and the ferries are not getting in to their ports on time. I fear I may have a seasick ride to Orkney; an island the Vikings looted and then left fallow for the seaweed-eating goats to graze upon for millennia. Still, I can’t wait to see the family.