In the corner of a popular coffee shop sat a lady with short brown hair and a laptop. Nursing a milky cup of tea and a thoughtful frown, she sat quietly while life went on around her.

A young lady with long, sleek black hair and effortless but yet perfect makeup enters the cafe with a beautiful baby in a colourful pram, cooing contentedly. She looks totally sorted. She has the whole mothering thing sorted. Actually, she has the whole ‘life’ thing sorted. She goes to the counter and orders a macchiato. She is so sorted she even knows what a macchiato is! She balances the drink in one hand while steering the pram in the other. A great example of elegant parenting. 

She sits down to drink her coffee. She smooths her creaseless jeans before she lifts the baby out of the pram. The baby gurgles happily as she bounces it on her knee. She takes the baby’s coat off, a sweet rabbit themed affair, and folds it with one deft hand before placing it back in the pram. The pretty baby is not sure about this and grumbles its dissatisfaction. The flawless young mum lifts the baby up to eye level and starts kissing the baby’s tummy. 

As the baby’s bottom end makes a noise that would be more commonly associated with cattle. 

The baby’s nappy is clearly not designed for this type of onslaught and the contents squirt up the front of the nappy and straight down the flawless mum’s pristine white shirt!


A couple of teenagers are sat at a table in the corner, deep in conversation. They look like they might be sixth form students enjoying a coffee in a free period. They are talking as if they are the only people in the room — not staring longingly at each other or undressing each other across the table, but so involved in the discussion that they have forgotten the rest of the world exists. I wonder what they are talking about? Brexit? Russia? Something big. This is not a light fluffy conversation. They start to get louder – they are discussing life after death. One of them, a young lady with bluebird coloured hair and a tongue piercing, is convinced that there is nothing after. Death is death. Fin. No more… end of the road… all over… eternal darkness. The other, a smart lad with baby blond hair and a red checked shirt is convinced that there is something. The young lady accuses the chap of changing his views to make her feel better. The lad suggests that in death maybe people get to do the things that they couldn’t do in life. He suggests that the blue-haired young lady’s dad might be able to meet up with his parents and brother and they can visit the places that they didn’t manage to when they were alive.

 Anyone who hears feels humbled.

Photo by Diego PH on Unsplash


Two older ladies sit at the next table. They each have a big slice of cake and a delicate pot of tea, with a china cup. The first lady looks around 75, with sparse white hair that she has combed into a bun. She looks like a fairytale grandma. The other lady is a similar age and has her grey hair cut in a short cropped style. She’s wearing navy jogging bottoms, a t-shirt and a navy hoodie. She looks like she is about to go for a run, although I doubt that she is!

They chat loudly to each other, oblivious to everyone around them. The grandma-like lady suggests that the other lady shouldn’t be eating cake because of her diabetes. The exercise-like lady replied, “That’s okay —I’m only type 2”! They had a discussion about how they felt when they ate too much sugar. Exercise lady said that it makes her shaky and jittery when her blood sugar was too high, to which Grandma lady responded that she couldn’t decide whether she had the shakes when her blood sugar was high or low! 

Maybe someone should call an ambulance!


A lady dressed in a blouse and skirt ordered a coffee for herself and a hot chocolate for the girl who was with her, wearing an untucked school uniform, with a graze on one knee and a couple of scratches on her face and arms. 

“It was Tommy, Mum” the girl pleaded. “He held me down. I could only stop him by hitting him with the umbrella.” 

This sounds heavy. It’s the middle of the day. School hours.

“I know, Sally. I think it’s unfair that you were in as much trouble as him. I think the school have to show that they are not accepting any violence. But I’m proud of you. It’s only a few days until you’re allowed back.”

The girl hugged her mother. 

That was some fantastic parenting.


In the corner, sat quietly was a writer, enjoying a change of scene for the day. Her fingers poised over the keyboard, recording a small moment in other people’s lives.

Rachel is a freelance writer from the UK. She mainly writes in the boating and health/disability fields. Check her out on racheldodman.com
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Rachel is a freelance writer from the UK. She mainly writes in the boating and health/disability fields. Check her out on racheldodman.com

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