The sun dazzles from all the reflections in the coffee shop - off mirrors, metals, shiny floor and table laminate. The effect is like being in a cloud, with light cocooning me; it feels a little like a 1970s vision of the future - all white jump suits and endless bright corridors (For some reason Woody Allen's Sleeper springs to mind - am I so quick to parody myself?).
I am sitting here winded. Knocked for six by one of those memories that stop your pleasant thoughts for a while; that leave you on the pavement like a drowning fish. I came in for some breakfast and a coffee, but more to remember how I made the moment go away before. So the feeling of unreality is quite welcome.
The sun flashes off the river and sends a ripple across the room. With all the light the room and my black jumper have started to warm nicely now, banishing the early morning cold. My thoughts have found the eye of the storm, and watch the whirling chaos of the darker moments, the lifted emotions that have nothing to anchor them: the cows in the wind.
Safe in the middle I reflect on my successes, my needs, and my hopes. I also remember that this place - the calm centre is important for what it is, and not for what might happen. The future is obscured by flying debris; and through cars, trees, cookers, and, yes, cows. Where we end up is a process of many moments of now - jumping from calm to calm, occasionally grabbing hold of what we can to get us to the next one.
So I set off to a day of sketching and painting, with a new sights, some more than decent lighting, and the excitement of the coming weekend building within me. Life will be what I want from it - a challenge: juggling moments of doubt with moments of joy, and held together with a large dollop of bloody mindedness.
Hmmm... might have steak tonight?