How To Spend A Restful Few Minutes Over A Cup Of Coffee

I’d just sat down to a nice cup of coffee.

Two sachets of sugar are on the saucer. The teaspoon looks rusty and dirty from too many washes in the dishwasher and is not being wiped clean! Never mind, the coffee looks good, and it’s a beautiful day here on Mumbles seafront.

I take my first sip, and then it begins.

“Hello, Brian, can you hear me……I’m on the mobile……can you hear me, Brian?”

Bit of a pause.

“Brian, can you……what?…….what did you say, Brian?”

Longer pause.

“I’m ringing to find out if…….Brian, are you still there?”

Bit of a pause.

“OK, I’m waving now. Can you see me?”


“Well, I’m waving. Hold on, I’ll get Margaret to wave.”

Margaret starts to wave her hand.

“Can you see us?”


“Well, I can’t understand it; we’re both waving. Are you there, Brian? Can you hear me?”


“Yes, I was ringing to find out if it was working?”


“No, I said, I was ringing…….Brian, can you hear me? Perhaps you can’t hear what I’m saying?”


“OK, I’ll get Margaret to wave again, hold on.”

Margaret waves again, and a small girl passing by, licking an ice cream cone, waves back at her.

“Can you see her waving, Brian? I’m waving now as well. Can you see us?”


“No, I’ve been to Spec Savers, and my eyes are OK. I wasn’t ringing about that; I was ringing about the……”

Longer pause.

“No, my eyes are fine, they said I could continue with the glasses I’ve had for the last……..hello…Brian, can you hear me? Are you still there, Brian?”

He looks at the phone.

“I think he’s gone, Margaret.”

He puts the phone back to his ear.

“Brian, are you still there?”

By this time, I quickly gulped my coffee down, wanting to get away, but then he looked at the phone again, and this time he closed it up as it was one of those clam style phones. I thought about getting another coffee and maybe a cake to continue with my people watching, but then his phone rang.

“Hello…Brian, is that you? Can you hear me?”

Not wanting to find out what he wanted to know was working, Toby and I made a rapid departure.

We enjoyed a lovely quiet walk home along the beach without the sound of any mobiles phones going off.

Toby on the beach

Have you ever overheard a one-sided conversation? What was it about?

© 2016 Copyright-All rights


73 thoughts on “How To Spend A Restful Few Minutes Over A Cup Of Coffee

  1. I hate when people do that, they have some strange belief we are all interested in their conversation. It’s the same as people who insist on talking loudly. I wouldn’t mind if was an interesting conversation but it rarely is.

    1. Agreed, although I do wonder what it was that he was asking Brian was working again? I think these snippets also help with our writing and I’ve heard a great many of writers go out and sit and listen so they can get some ideas. What makes me laugh is those that think they have to shout down the phone in case the person at the other end can’t hear them (as in this case).

    1. I agree, they are, Terri. I hope to pick up a few more over the coming months. They make for great fiction and characters.
      Hope you don’t get too much rain. We’re enjoying a mini heatwave here in the UK. 🌞

  2. Haha…so glad you and Toby found peace on your lovely, calm and peaceful beach walk Hugh! I hear some interesting and amusing one-sided conversations on my weekly train trips to London while attending the memoir workshop. The thing that always gets me is when the person picks up after an annoyingly loud ringtone disturbing the already rather precarious peace, and the first thing out of their mouths is: “Hi, I’m on the train…” I know the person on the other end probably doesn’t know that fascinating bit of information, but sorry, I always feel like saying, “No S****!”

    1. Yes, I’ve heard that said often, Sherri. It always amuses me as well. However, since publishing this post, a few people have mentioned at how these conversations can work to our benefit. They could, for example, become part of a story we are writing or we could find ourselves with a brand new character. 😀 Cool idea, and one I have used myself in the past.
      We went out again yesterday and had lunch sat in the sunshine, but nothing of any interest was overheard this time. 😒

      1. Yes, I agree Hugh! Part of being in the thick of things like this certainly does make for great story fodder. I’ve picked up on a few during my train trips to London. Fascinating stuff. But I need to remember to write the ideas down otherwise they’re gone forever it seems! Sorry to take so long to reply to your reply, ha! Really chasing my tail at the moment…but you know I’ll always keep in touch as much as I can! I hope you get to hear an interesting conversation again soon! xx

  3. I usually get to hear these one-sided conversations when I’m sitting in the car with the window open (in the passenger seat as I don’t drive) – someone sitting in a nearby car yelling into their mobile as if they’re the only person in the world. Couldn’t tell you what they’re talking about though as, after a while, my ears sort of detune themselves for their own survival!
    Your little dog is lovely. Corgi?

    1. Yes, Toby is a Cardigan Welsh Corgi. Cousin to the Pembrokeshire Corgi which is the Corgi most people seem to recognise.
      He’s very much at home now we are back home in South Wales.

  4. I love it when people have what are meant to be private conversations as if the fact that being on a phone made them invisible and inaudible to others around them. I hope you have a lovely and quiet weekend. 🙂

  5. I have occasionally overheard, quite against my will, half of some very personal conversations. Some people seem to forget that they are in public when the phone is by their ear.

    1. It is, Julz, and although I take my mobile phone with me when going out, I always put in on silent when sitting down to a meal or refreshments and, if I have to take a call, I’ll walk away to somewhere a little quieter where I can not be overheard. Many people seem to almost shout down their phone, probably thinking the other person can not hear them if the signal is not very good.

  6. Loved this Hugh. Folk don’t realize how annoying they can be. But, great writing material.
    Glad you’re settling in Wales. I love Mumbles and the beautiful beaches. You lucky devils. Xx

    1. You are so right about this kind of stuff being great writing material, Dorne. I’ve often heard it said that this is where writers get their ideas and characters from.

      Mumbles is lovely. Toby loves the beach, although there is now only certain parts of it he’s allowed on being as Summer season has started. If you’re ever in this part of the country then please come and visit us.

      1. Thanks Hugh. It’s a long time since I was in your neck of the woods. I remember swimming in practically tropical seas off Oxwich beach? The water was so clear you could see the masses of fish. There was a glorious warm breeze coming off the sea. I could go on and on and on! LOL. xx

        1. Please do go on and on, Dorne. 😀 Yes, there is an Oxwich Bay. John knows it as he went there as a child. It’s on our list of places to explore, now that all the unpacking has been done.

        2. It’s nearly thirty years since I visited it, Hugh. But, it was absolutely stunning, with sand dunes and pale sand. Well worth a visit. xxx

  7. How annoying! Some people are so selfish and thoughtless, aren’t they? Not very impressed with the spoon, either…

  8. That was laugh-out-loud funny. And I love little Toby. Kinda reminds me of my Mattie. 🙂

  9. They’re infuriating, aren’t they. The ones I like to earwig on are the loud-mouthed hysterics who conduct a relationship breakdown in the middle of the street under my window. I have been known to lean out and join in…

      1. Oh yes. It was about a woman telling someone about her vaginal web surgery and how it took eight years for the doctors to find out it wasn’t done right. I ran away before she decided to show rather than tell.

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