Here at the retirement home we’re all experienced coffee drinkers. We’ve been drinking coffee since World War II when you couldn’t get coffee at all. Some of us were drinking coffee before the war. We know every coffee story that’s gone around in the past 50 years and we’ve tasted every coffee blend that’s been around for the same time.
Friday is a day of relaxed coffee drinking before the coming hectic weekend which will be probably be spent with children, grandchildren and maybe even great-grandchildren and which will drain all a retiree’s energy reserves.
The pre-weekend ‘do’ takes place in the entrance lobby cum coffee shop of the retirement home amid noise, hustle and bustle. All you have to do is show yourself to Etty the coffee-bar tender and a cappuccino and slice of cake appears in front of you. You can then choose whether to talk to your spouse, a friend or go solo and make a start with the weekend papers. Some folks even jump the gun and get going with the crossword. The coffee is nothing special, but that’s of no consequence, it’s not the coffee that counts.
This crowd, experienced in every subject under the sun, can talk on any topic for hour after hour and once they get going it’s not easy to stop them. Some of the little circles of coffee drinkers turn into noisy argument centers and some into silent, deep-thinking crossword corners. And because this is a retirement home, there’s strange stuff going on as well. Like the attractive woman who wandered around in and out of the crowd, who suddenly drops into an armchair opposite me and starts talking – to herself. Her eyes are completely blank, but she smiles now and again during her soliloquy and is clearly enjoying her company.
And the not-so-old man who is propped up by his male caregiver, finds a seat, sits down, stays put for ten seconds, jumps up, finds another seat, sits, jumps up and spends the entire morning like this. He looks fit and well, but by lunch time his caregiver is a total wreck.
Come and have coffee with us any Friday morning. Never a dull moment.