Outside the shop window there’s a bus pulled up, a group of visitors are climbing down the steps into the cold and looking grim. Through the window I can see them taking each step down with great care and encouraging each other to make it to the pavement which is an unreliable three steps down. One man reads out loud the sign on my window which says: Please Come In…
He reads it three times and then says: well, I don’t think so!!!!
Another man agrees, he thinks a cup of tea is more the go.
There are three ladies, now landed, standing in the cold breeze and hanging on to each other, they glance about and laugh, and one says: oh God, bother this wind.
Then a there is a truck coming past, slowing down, and I can’t hear them but I can see them looking through my window and tapping on the glass and speaking to each other, exaggerating the words and looking annoyed at the truck which is stopping, no doubt planning to also have a go at the bakery.
But still more visitors are climbing slowly from the bus. The bus driver stands at the door, offering assistance and looking down toward the bakery in a longing sort of way. One lady tells a man called Colin to get the devil out of the way. Another lady has left her umbrella on the bus and must go back.
But soon they are all moving down past my shop, pulling out purses and aiming for cups of tea, hilarious and making jokes except for one man who comes in to the shop and asks me for a book about the black winged stilt.
I said that I didn’t have one. He said it didn’t matter at all, it’s just that he always asks just in case – because when he was a boy, there were black winged stilts on the lagoon and every morning he would see them, and they were so delicate and fine that he had thought they were magic dragonflies.
Then he smiled and said not to worry, not to worry and went to find his companions and a hot drink.
Photography by Bhanu Kiran Botta