Some days I feel so local.
In the cafe this morning, the nice cafe lady brings over coffee with two sugar sachets on the saucer. "Oh I forgot, you don't take sugar," she self-corrects, and takes the sachets away again. The other nice cafe lady is putting out ashtrays on the tables: "I know you don't smoke," she says, leaving one on mine, 'but each table should have one'.
Later I wander up to the veg shop (meeting Mr Taxi Driver en route: he glances up at the sky, "Today's gonna be a hot one"). As the Veg Shop lady tots up the bill, she murmurs "You will leave Madeira. It is sad." I waffle a little about writing in Ireland, but she's not swayed. All my family are there, I say, hoping this might help. She nods, satisfied. "That is important."
In the afternoon I nip across for pizza (the place with sweet mice on the menu). The waitress is serving a table, and glances over as I come in, "A small Romano with little cheese to go?" I say I haven't decided. Up at the counter, the nicest, most eager pizza chef appears: "Romano? Amalfi?" I decide on Amalfi. "Small pizza, no mushrooms, little cheese, thin base?" he asks. Yep, that would do nicely.
When it's done the waitress boxes it up and brings it over: I get tabasco from the restaurant dresser, she grabs a pepper mill, and we move around the pizza in harmony. As she's closing over the box, I glance up: the chef is standing, expectant, at the counter, waiting to see if it's all okay.
It's great, I tell him. It's just perfect. And it was.
Have a great weekend.