Like my firstborn's best friend who later turned out to have been best mates at his previous school with the very boy we would meet up with at least twice a week when they were all but toddlers. We'd heard from him and his family - but had never met before and didn't even know their names.
In contrast, another mum I got friends with over a local policy issue just recently, not only became a neighbour of another long-standing close friend of mine a few years ago but we discovered she too knew those "sandpit" family friends of ours really well, via them had heard about us back in the day and now even remembers meeting us once out and about somewhere (though I have to admit I have no recollection of her). Just goes to show: better be nice to everyone unless you have a good reason not to, eh?
Anyway, back to this new café on Hackney Road where Faustine works, presumably until she can live off making forestariums full time. It isn't, strictly speaking, new - the Hackney Coffee Company has existed for a while already. But it moved next-door and reopened just five days ago. The comfy but small front room was rather busy, so I explored if there was anything around the corner - to be stunned by a double-height ceiling room with a true loft feeling to it and - yet another corner - a room still very much "work in progress" but with amazing natural light, thanks to skylights revealing this building's previous life as a MOT garage (as I was about to learn later)!
On closer inspection I noticed amidst the "last-stages-of-a-building-site" paraphernalia sturdy wireframe cages hanging from the ceiling. It had to be planters! It was too good an opportunity to be missed - no? But they were 4 - 5 metres above ground, not exactly a place to chuck a jug of water over for quick maintenance in a busy café. My curiosity piqued, I couldn't resist asking the guys working there and yes, my instincts were not mistaken. These were going to be planters - complete with an irrigation system - and owner James (for he it was doing the work with a friend) has big plans for more greenery, to make the most of this space.
It's fun to reminisce that "coffee" was also the first thing I ever posted about in this blog. But while some of these links mentioned above are perhaps not so surprising after all when looked at in close-up, I think I'd want to change that well-known adage "You are only ever six people at most removed from every human on the planet" to "You are linked to most people on earth via plants". Perhaps even closer than via 6 steps.
It may not be exciting news as gardeners have recognized and bonded with each other over their mutual love of plants for centuries. But it still fascinates me to come across and unravel these threads and the network they weave, especially in such unlikely place as modern-day metropolis London. Then again: All the world's a village - right?