It’s always the way. You allow yourself an extra fifteen minutes to get to work as it’s cold and you figure the roads will be busy, and then for the second time in a week you get to work an hour before you’re due to. Which is the reason I’m in Costa again at 9am. I’ve just finished my first latte and I’m sitting here trying to justify having another cup and letting the others open the branch today, but I know that they’ll probably be late so I know I’ll get up and leave soon.

If Costa only did table service. Then I’d have an excuse to stay in the same place. Years ago my mum used to be a barmaid. I say years ago, it’s more like decades ago. In fact, if you ever happen to be driving through the East End of London in a car with my mum (which I appreciate is far more likely to happen to me than to anyone reading this), then you too will be treated to a game of “I used to work in that pub.” This is often mixed in with a couple of rounds of “I remember…”, which is when you get told of when the Tesco store that dominates the High St you’ve just driven down used to be a pub, or that above the soon-to-be-demolished pub was where Bruno used to train. My mum has worked in more pubs than I’ve ever been in, or so it seems. In fact, I sometimes wonder if she is some kind of pub jinx, the amount of times I have been told of a pub she used to work in where the story finishes “and then it was shut down.” maybe she should have approached breweries that were looking to close under performing pubs, offering her service as a bar maid, cursed to bring about the closure of any pub she pulled pints in. Anyway, my point was that my mum always used to say that a good bar maid would see when a regular was finishing his drink and would ask if he wanted another, before the regular had to get up and ask for himself. I swear, I’m so lazy that if someone in Costa did that to me, they’d take twice as much money from me as they do now.

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