Entering the dim light of the cafe from the bright street, I take off my hat and wait a moment for my eyes to adjust. The hostess, a slender young woman with long blond hair gives me the questioning look before saying "just one?"
She takes me to a narrow section with booths that are clearly meant for two and I sit down. By this time my thoughts of 'oh I could go out for lunch, it will be nice to go to a sit down place and get some good food" are dissipating reveling memories and awkwardness. There is no one else in this section but through the large windows I see a patio full of happy looking people in conversation with each other and I realize that the fun of eating out (aside from not having to cook or do dishes) is talking with whoever you are with. I don't even have a book so I continue staring out the window, watching a man practicing his juggling 'till the waiter comes with my food. I eat quickly with no distractions and soon I am pushing back my empty plate and waiting for the bill and wanting to get out of there.
Just then the hostess brings two people in and seats them opposite me.
"I feel like I'm on a train" The woman says sitting down "We could be going to Hogwarts" I smile, going to wizard school sounds so much better than a lonely lunch in a dark cafe. The man notices my smile and says something. We get to talking I say that I have been on the train ride that they show in the Harry Potter movies. Some how we get on to the topic of Gaelic (this happens a lot with me) and the woman says "I wish I could speak Gaelic"
"Well" I say "I teach Gaelic" and I reach for my purse.
"Do you have a card?" she asks correctly interpreting my move. I hand them my card, talk for a few minutes more and then leave them to their lunch.
I walk out into the bright sunlight, smiling.
Caroline has been involved with Gaelic for more than 18 years. She has degrees in Celtic Studies and Gaelic Medium Teaching.