Monday, 30 April 2012


Continuing with my birdwatching amongst the Coffee Shop Regulars.......*

*I overhear the conversations because the tables are so close. I'm not spying.... honestly:

Here are some of the lesser-spotted sightings.

NAME: THE BUDGIES                       SPECIES: Ladies who latte

SIGHTING: Regular Friday morning                CALL: They do indeed like to latte

PLUMAGE: Joules; Crew Clothing. Particularly fond of body warmers. Dislike make-up. Scruffy hair. Equestrian boots all year round, except in really hot weather when the Merrell sandals come into their own.

I used to be Sandi Toksvig
This flock of clones could possibly be the result of a failed BBC experiment to cross Caroline Quinn with Sandi Toksvig. They are the mature yummy mummies. Fenella and Aloysius et al have left the nest to attend prep school and now these ladies have the freedom to talk as much as they want. I'm under the impression that they don't actually speak much at home, because once they are released out into the wild they make up for it at 3000 words a minute and often at an octave that rests just slightly above annoying. The noise level is constant and often to the point where you cannot hear individual words – it's just a wall of sound – punctuated with the occasional vibration of a loud, piercing horsey laugh.

I'm afraid it's the dog.....
One thing I have noticed though is they never eat - they are all as sinewy as Madonna cracking walnuts in her sleep. On the one hand of course, they've probably all been out jogging with the de rigeur gundog in the early morning mists whilst I've been dripping Cocopops down my housecoat as I slob out in front of 'It's me or the Dog' on PICK TV. On the other hand, they also don't stop chattering long enough to savour so much as a raspberry and almond bake. Rather like 'Me or the Dog', it's a pleasure I fear they will never know.
Got any Cocopops?

Thus this aviary of lean, fit chirrupers happily chirrup away without the need for breath. My late nan used to put a cover over her budgie's cage at night to shut him up and encourage him to sleep. I am currently investigating where I can get a really large sheet.....

NAME: THE SUITS                                   SPECIES: Salesmen/women

SIGHTING: Various weekday mornings (early) 
CALL: Flat White (in takeaway cups, even though they are drinking in – it's cheaper).                                     Multiple sugar sachets spread over the table

PLUMAGE: Men: Sharpish Suits, flashy watch
Women: Sharpish Suits, flashy shoes
Both: Netbooks except the flashier ones who have an Ipad;
Excess of hair products (particularly the men)
Folders (card or faux leather)
Occasional lanyard

Bunty, we really need to
talk about Donald
The suits can usually be found in groups of 2 or 3, but rarely more than 4. They always, without fail, open the mating call with the: 'how was your journey to Bury St Edmunds?” routine (they all drive so it's usually M11-A11-A14) and the subsequent follow-up:  'where have you parked?'  Then it's on to serious work matters. I have noticed that the women of the flock tend to stick to talking shop (fear of the glass ceiling mayhaps?) whilst the men get easily distracted and chat about other things: expensive watches, expensive gadgets, expensive footballers (especially European), expensive cars and how expensive the fuel is to put into expensive cars these days.

Interestingly, the women rarely join in with these diversions, they just smile, force out little laughs or concentrate on their netbooks/folders until they can bring the meeting back to the subject in hand. I have often wondered if perhaps they're really the big bosses and are secretly making notes.......

Note to self: Donald = short attention span & large ego. Absolute boor, guilty of overpowering aftershave and unnecessarily loud socks – Suggest urgent relocation to the Outer Tunbridge Wells office (East) asap. Also, make sure he returns keys to stationary cupboard before he leaves, noticed abundance of acetate sheets & treasury tags in briefcase.

Simon = complete arse, prone to exaggeration, signs of small penis syndrome, probably cheating on wife with Cindy from Finance – Suggest talk to Bunty in HR and see if we can't send him on immediate 3 month tour of the Home Counties in the Fiat Punto with Dennis from IT.

Each meeting seems to be of absolute vital importance to the world of commerce (although I have rarely been able to ascertain what it is that they are actually selling). The intensity of the conversation is usually matched by the stereotypical sales-speak which in turn matches the intensity of my cringing........

***[I am sad to say that the following are all direct quotes - I have actually heard these shockers being spoken out loud]

Sharp suit Man the Younger: 'You know we are playing with a straight bat here' (knee clench)

Sharp suit Man The Elder: 'Well, it is an offer you can't refuse.....' (head hits the table)

Sharp suit Woman awash in Elnett and CK One: 'I'm happy I know all the answers to any of the Qs and As that will come up in the training session' (slowly slides off the chair into a puddle on the floor).

No, it's the M11, A11 THEN the A14
Do they ever plan or come to a conclusion? I'm not so sure they do. It all seems to be a matter of networking and playing a game of 'whose got the biggest cufflinks, coolest phone or pushiest-uppiest-bra-beneath-a-workshirt/blouse-combination. But I love the fact that these Gordon Gekko wannabes keep right on going even though they are trapped between a couple of Iceland shopping bags in Bury St Edmunds instead of a pair of million dollar portfolios on Wall Street. In any case, they all march off with purpose to their various car parks and back  down the A14-A11-M11 they go never to be seen again. Not until the next lot fly in that is..........

Next Sighting: Last in the series – Laptop Lady

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