"Mrs Ball!" Specsavers' Main Man called out. I jumped, obediently, to my feet.
So did the sweet elderly woman sitting next to me. We had been having a good chat about the Reviving Properties of Coffee - it turned out that we were two of
a kind, in a Coffee-Related sense. She had spent the last hour in Specsavers and was in desperate need of caffeine. I had only just arrived, having been recalled for a second opinion, but I could certainly sympathise. We had agreed that neither of us would
ever turn down the chance of coffee and had decided that it would be sensible if Specsavers installed a coffee machine. There was just about room, we felt, between the desk where people booked in for hearing tests and the display of sunglasses.
It turned out that the Main Man hadn't called out "Mrs Ball" at all but "Mrs Bourne", the name of my fellow coffee addict. Hence she had jumped to attention at the same time as I did. As she was ushered into the consulting room she gave me an apologetic
smile, bless her.
There is nothing like a waiting room for meeting interesting people. It's almost as good as the Pulse bus. Similarly with queues generally. If there is no option but to stand in a line with other people, then it pays to make
the most of it. After my appointment at Specsavers, I took myself off to the café in Marks and Spencers in a bid to get my head round the news that I need cataract surgery. Wow, I didn't see that one coming. If you'll excuse the pun. I know it's routine
and lots of people go through it but, hey, this is my eye we are talking about. Given everything else going on in our lives, I am struggling to Find the Joy in this situation. Coffee! I thought. Plus a comforting fruit scone and butter. Naughty but nice.
Queuing while my coffee was being prepared, I passed the time of day with the fella whose job seemed to be placing on empty saucers those little round biscuits which M & S serves up with all its drinks. "Nothing like a biscuit with your coffee!"
I said, by way of opening the conversation.
Though I say it myself as shouldn't (as my dear Mum would chide me, were she here) I am pretty good at opening lines. Not many people ignore my friendly overtures. The Biscuit Dispenser said I would
be surprised how many people tell him, crossly, that they don't want a biscuit. I said it seemed extremely ungrateful, considering the care with which he was placing each biscuit on each saucer, leaving just the right space for the tea or coffee cup. My new
Best Friend shrugged. He hoped I would enjoy my coffee - and, of course, the biscuit.
The café in our local M & S has picture windows overlooking the sea so, while I had bought myself a copy of the "i" to read while enjoying my mid-morning
snack, I found myself gazing out at the sea, sparkling away in the October sunshine, instead. There are sea gulls wheeling above the sea, a couple of fishing boats heading into shore. Union Jack flags fluttering along the promenade. Littl'uns chasing each
other with their mum struggling along in their wake, trying to catch up with the Crazy Ones.
It's a Wonderful World, Louis Armstrong once sang. And so it is. Lucky me that someone has picked up on a problem and will make sure I don't - literally
- lose sight of all that is beautiful and joyful in my own personal world.
Bring it on! I say.