I am a people watcher.
I suppose it's the writer in me, the need to feel the story within each person I encounter. When I see a stranger in a coffee shop or library, my imagination kicks in and I wonder about their life, what they do, what makes them laugh, what they love and how they like their coffee. The same process befalls me with landmarks, interesting architecture and even pieces of vintage jewellery.
So recently, when visiting a hotel, I found myself getting answers to some of these questions in the most unexpected way.
Sipping an Americano with hot milk, my latest java adventure, I found myself hearing a interaction between a couple at the next table.
A man led the conversation with occasional soft spoken interruptions by his companion as he described the dampness in their hotel room, the state of the decor and the lack of choice on the menu. Once a selection was chosen and his starter arrived I heard a spoon clatter onto the table as he said impatiently, albeit very politely, "you'll need to take it back. All I can taste is pepper."
As I pondered about the perplexing circumstances as to why I was witnessing an interesting twist of personality, I started to think about human nature. Why we act the way we do, the motivators, the detractors, the desires and the consequences as we reveal our internal voice to the world.
As a writer, my characters can form a similar basis. While some creatives plot and plan their stories, I prefer to throw my characters into the wind within a storm to see how they react and the ensuing results are always unique, unexpected and full of bone tingling possibility and flavour.
And as for me? I like a little bit of pepper in my soup, because if you're going to live your life you should do so passionately and with a little bit added spice.
So, if I could leave you with one parting wish, I would like it to be this; dive into the flavours of life and celebrate your authentic self.
Follow your dreams.