Thursday, 12 February 2015

Cafe Musings

I am sitting in the cafe again, having forgotten how hot it gets in here and being bundled for the outside weather.  I could have forgone the tights with the denim skirt and the tee shirt underneath my thick cotton sweater.  I should have worn a summer dress under my big wooly coat but it wasn't warm enough at home for such an outfit.  Oh the challenges of my life!  It is Family Day, a relatively new statutory holiday in this province.  I don't know if the same holiday extends across the country but here it means about half the shops downtown are closed and people not sure what to do on this rainy day have come to the cafe, children in tow, sometimes the grandparents too.  I usually don't feel too guilty sitting here taking up a table for a few hours but that might be different today.

I am not only an observer, but a shameless eavesdropper.  Insatiable curiosity and interest in daily life makes these snippets of other people's lives endlessly interesting to me.  In many ways it is those words and actions that remind me how alike we all our.  How we say all of the same things to each other, how our body language, our movements and actions and gestures, tell a story.  Although Canada is a very multicultural country my small town is still very white, very middle class, very much a small town culture.  Travel to other cultures is not readily available to me.  As much as I enjoy being a student of human nature I really only get to study my peers.  I am a stay at home amateur anthropologist, but I suspect that there are many aspects of human nature that transcend culture, and perhaps they are even more apparent as the modern world increasingly shrinks.

Right now it feels like the cafe is shrinking.  There are three times more people in here than usual when I come on a Monday, all of them shedding damp coats, draping them over the backs of their chairs, adding to the visual bulk in the room.  I want to be happy for the cafe owner.  It is good to see her business doing well.  I am also put out at the invasion of what I think of as my own space.  Yes, you can tell I do not live in a city.  I am not used to crowds though I don't mind them as much when I have chosen them.  This one feels imposed on me.  Add the crowd to my being overheated and I am not as relaxed as I might be.  

Harry Stiles just walked in.  Perhaps the Boy Band is performing in Courtenay on a rainy weekend.  Waldo is over in the far corner in case any of you are wondering where Waldo is. If any of my British friends have lost Wally, he is here too.  In fact, he probably hitched a ride with Harry.  Someone has left behind her purse but a patron pointed it out to the owner and the purse has been rescued.  I am feeling rising panic on the purse owners behalf. Where is she?  Is she desperately trying to figure out where she has been today?  I waited for the crowd at the counter to die down before ordering my sandwich.  They have to make me a gluten free one which takes them away from the pre-made sandwiches at the counter.  I don't want to make the people in line angry with me.  I had a large coffee and a cookie when I arrived, forgetting that I had not eaten lunch and so now I have shaking hands.  If I am going to perform well during my scrabble date, I will need some food.  I'd take a photo but I am too busy eating my sandwich.


I have already shown you my cafe outfit-two posts ago.  Following this logic I will show you a dress I wore about a week ago when I went to dinner with my parents to celebrate their anniversary.   It was a bad hair day, and rest assured that after I took theses photos I fixed the hair as much as possible.

This is a dress over a skirt and I think there is a tee shirt layered under it too.  The dress features velvet and embroidery, two of my favourite things and both the skirt and dress are thrifted.  The bag was made by me ex-mother-in-law and the boots are a Christmas gift.  I added a navy cardigan with some fringe, which you can't really see in this photo, and had several fringe accidents.  The fringe is in loops, which I had better cut.  I constantly caught the loops on things and got myself tangled.  I required rescuing a few times.  Thanks very much to my lovely son for that!  We had a very nice pub dinner and then I came home around eight pm and crashed into bed.


  1. You look sooooooooo beautiful in this blue outfit - gorgeous, timeless, or out of different times (1910-20s??)... Rich textures, lovely mixture of hues, everything is perfect and suit you so well.

    I also enjoy people watching and write stories (usually in my head though). One of things I love about where we live now is the diversity - people from all corners of the world. Interesting how you describe the world as shrinking. I see it in an opposite light, as expending enormously. Though I think I understand what you mean - different cultures are within our rich so much more easily these days, even if you live in a small town with mostly white middle class, you interact with people all around the world on daily basis thanks to Internet. And in that sense, distances and barriers shrunk. We feel closer to each other. Back in the USSR people would describe the way we lived as fish in a small can. And from that perspective, the world expended - the borders are disappearing, we realize that we all are pretty much the same, no matter where we live and what languages we speak, and it is such a fascinating time to live in! I wouldn't want to go back to any time in the past.

    Hugses! xxxxxxx

  2. Awwww thank you. This is my favourite blue and I do actually love the dresses from the first thirty years of the 20th century. That would be my idea of vintage dressing! I can see how the same phenomenon could be described as both shrinking and expansion but you understood correctly what I mean by shrinking. Because we must always live in our now, and must look ahead somewhat to the future, I would not see much value in going back to past times either, though certainly we can and should learn from them. I don't think you could ever pay me enough money to go back to the eighties! LOL Hugses right back! xoxoxo

  3. You look lovely in Blue Shawna! Dressing is so much more fun when there are no rules, and you just layer it all. Pretty cute boots. People watching is one of my favourite pass times.

  4. all that soft blues are beautiful on you!!!! as are the soft layers of fabric around your ankles!
    thats what a café is made for - watching people while killing some time :-)
    and to not have to made your coffee and food yourself so you have capacity to let your mind wander...... i love cafés!!!!

  5. Looking gorgeous in blue, Shawna! You look elegant, svelte and stunning.
    People watching is one of my favourite pastimes. Your description of the people in your cafe was a great read. x

  6. Ah, even in Vancouver I get that "invasion" feeling if my cafe gets more people than usual and they start to impinge on what I think of as MY space. It's hard not to eavesdrop as well, especially with people trying to show off their wild investment success while chatting with imaginary friends on their cell phones.
    I really like your blue outfit.

  7. Hi Shawna! if this is a repeat comment, I'm sorry! my internet connection is appalling and cut out as I posted my comment, I have no idea if you received it!
    People watching is something I love too, on the bus today was a magnificently coiffured lady who reminded me so much of my beloved late Aunts, she looked so interesting. Your outfit is gorgeous, like Natalia I think it has a wonderful 1920's bohemian vibe, you look fabulous! and those boots are divine! x x x

  8. I am firmly placed away from the people watching when our family ventures into a cafe or noone can get anything out of me...I'm too busy making up stories about all and sundry! Sometimes I can sneak peeks in mirrors. Shhh! xo Jazzy Jack

  9. I think we are all eavesdroppers and observers of others, it's what makes being out and about worthwhile! Love the blue dress, it's a gorgeous colour on you. xxx


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