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Thursday, 26 February 2009

Watching people in the dark

Venue: Costa Coffee Friar Lane. Nottingham. 7pm

There’s not many people about tonight but I decide it might be fun to have a quick coffee at Costa and see what interesting things I can capture in ten minutes.

A young male assistant with a beard was very interested in my camera as he took my order and said that he had a Canon camera and needed a camera that was sturdy in case he dropped it. His passion was skate boarding and he liked to document his hobby. I gave the flickr address and I am sure if he signs up he will have a many a happy hour going through the skate boarding photography groups world wide.

My cappuccino with a double heart motif in dusted chocolate was quick in coming and I took my drink to a seat near the window where I could see the wheel all lit up and turning round. Two guys were sat in front of me chatting and oblivious of me taking a quick photograph of them. The illuminated cakes cabinet was reflected in the window too like a collection of confectionary ghosts floating in the air.

A stooping man passes by outside and shoots past in a hurried purposeful walk. His hands are stuffed deep into his pockets. A couple of Asian guys are talking in a quiet earnest way in the coffee shop background. There is some music but very low key. Starbucks opposite is caged in scaffolding; their customers sit as in a human zoo. The Council House stone lions will pad over shortly and glare through the window at the human captives. A couple who have agreed to "meet by the lions" will be temporarily confused at their feline absence.
One of the stone lions
I am writing so fast that my hand-writing looks erratic and the words are far from on the lines.My Ys and Gs are like a spider’s legs – broken spider's legs. A young woman with a pushchairhas just crossed the crossing. The baby is huddled up from the cold and marvels at the olive green taxis and their glowing orange lights on top. A line of idle taxi drivers telepathically will her and the baby to employ them for a taxi ride. In vain.

A perplexed man is standing on the street corner looking in all directions. He’s thrown his hands up in the air. I wonder how he is going to catch them on the way down.

A tram skirts the curve and will stop at the Market Place stop and pick up a few passengers including the old chap I can see in the motorised chair. A red light is blinking by his right wheel. He slides forward like he is being sucked into a trap. The tram leaves with him gazing across the square.

I’ve noticed the yellow belisha beacons flashing to my right. There are a couple of people, I assume boyfriend and girlfriend, relaxing on the sofa by to my right. They are slightly outside my peripheral vision. I’m catching little bits of their conversation.

Him: ‘… shy, innocent, but not in a pervy sort of way…I didn't quite mean that...’

Her: (laughs) ‘Gimme a chance then…’

There is some mention of ‘lessons’ and as they say in all the best journalistic circles; I made my excuses and left licking the coffee heart from my lips.


Athina said...

I heart the hearts!

Roz said...

Happy birthday Phil, really enjoying the daily observations

Gail's Man said...

You could take over from the now sadly departed Food Sleuth in the Evening Post. Always a pleasure to read. Where next?

Phil Lowe said...

... sadly departed... meaning dead? Thanks for the compliment Gail's Man. I think the new City Bistro deserves a visit soon. Saw it yesterday when I was out doing some street photography.

TheManOfNotts said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
TheManOfNotts said...

Excellent foto Phil. I had to put my comment in again as i spelt your name wrong(its late - nearly 2).

Again, on your recommendation, i'll be giving that place a try. treat the mrs tommorow(or today rather).

French Fancy said...

How come there is a wheel in Nottingham Not that I've got anything against the place, I've never even been there. I knew there was one in London, I've seen the ones in Vienna and Paris - but another one in Nottingham?

Happy Birthday - it's mine on Monday

Phil Lowe said...

Ah, Fancy Francaise, it is a mere temporary wheel ici a Nottingham. Je suis desole. Bonne Anniversaire a Lundi. Sorry no accents.Sorry aussi if I have spelt that all faux. Have a good time my fishy friend. Hope that Mr Fancy Francaise is looking after you on your birthday. I've logged four blogs in one day today - may take me a while to get get them all out there pour les peuples regardez.

Ex-Coventry Blogger said...

I went into Starbucks the other week because there was a free coffee voucher in the paper. I'm not a big fan of Starbucks (or any other big chain) but it's a super view of the square. Are we still allowed to call it Slab Square? The coffee was OK but I prefer a latte.