I was collecting money yesterday for the Mary Potter Hospice in Wellington. It couldn't have been a colder day. As the hours progressed, it seemed to get more and more cold. That morning, when I'd asked my friend A.J's opinion over what to wear for the day, she assured me the weather would get better. Ha!
I ended up with so many clothes on that I felt, and walked, like a Womble - you know sort of a side-to-side waddle? I put my fingers up to touch my nose and thought frantically, "Oh, my goodness, it's so cold I can't feel my nose!" Or was it that I couldn't feel my fingers?
At one stage, I tried to pop a sticker on a woman's lapel and my fingers reached across to her coat without a sticker in them,. I honestly thought I had picked up the sticker but because my fingers had turned into blocks of ice, I couldn't judge if I was holding anything.
I did have fingerless gloves, and a beret. I kept scratching the beret down lower and lower over my cold ears, with the consequence that when I got home, I found I'd lost a really nice (expensive) good gold ear-ring., Oh, yes, and it did drizzle off and on.
I stood outside Cafe L'Affare which is a little bit off the beaten town track, but gets a veritable wad of folk visiting it. And the right sort of moneyed people, too. Arty, yummy mummys, yuppies, ballerinas, actors, advertising execs, NZ tv stars, and the year before last I pasted stickers on the Governor-General of New Zealand, his wife, his aide-de-camp, his bodyguard, and a couple of naval officers.
This time, my bucket was so heavy, I could hardly hold it upright. Good on you, Cafe L'Affare customers. And also a big thank you to the customers and staff who offered me cups of coffee. I turned them down with a polite "What a lovely thought, but no thank you." I couldn't possibly say that I hadn't had a cup of coffee since I was about thirteen and I hated the stuff. I mean, Cafe L'Affare have their own branded coffee that sells throughout the country. It's won awards.
Years back, I used to sit in the bus next to people who smelt as if they hadn't washed,. They stank. The smell coming from them was terrible. It wasn't till one woman said to me, "Ah, doesn't the freshly ground coffee in my bag have a wonderful aroma?" that I realised that over all these years when I'd figured people were just dirty, it was their coffee I was getting whiffs of. Ooops..