A short walk from the main roadway entrance to St. James’s Hospital there is a rather comfortable little café called U-Café. I discovered it back in February when I was holed-up in the surgical wards after undergoing some routine butchery on the top part of my buttocks. All too quickly does staying on a hospital ward get to be a right pain in the arse, and I already had one of those, so I decided to head out and explore the local area. It is right on my backdoor, and right in the middle of my own parish, but I had never taken the time to have a proper rambling look about the place. The result was that I discovered this little café and I have been back to take some coffee there a number of times since the medical people released me back out into the wild.

I had thought that I had an appointment with a student in there today at lunchtime. As it turned out I was mistaken. That would not be until later in the day. So I found myself, quite accidentally, with a whole hour to spare before I had to meet with another student in another part of town. The serving staff consisted of two young men dressed in black, who were both wearing Yes for Marriage Equality campaign badges. I’m in favour of marriage equality, but this struck me as odd. Politics in a café? What effect might this have on customers who had strong opinions to the contrary? It isn’t as though businesses can do with losing customers. Yet very soon I realised that there was a queer effect happening in the place. It seemed relaxed and welcoming in new way. The normal rules of café life seemed to have been suspended, and people were talking to one another from other tables. I even got chatting with some young woman who was studying religion. I think that I may be of the opinion that we could all be doing with this sense of freedom in our society.


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