Where do the Irish go to find some respite from the raw days of a North Atlantic winter? Among other places, the Canaries, lying off the coast of Morocco, the first outposts of Spanish conquest. Americans escape to Florida; the Irish to the Canaries.
Out the window of the coffee shop, the fog tints the hills above the harbor a gray white, and I know from my morning walk that there’s a chill in the village that would warrant a scarf. Cappuccino weather.
It’s near noon on a December Saturday, and the Poet’s Corner is abustle with connoisseurs of mince pies and cappuccino, the scene outside sliding from shade to sun and from still air to bluster in the time it takes to prep the espresso machine for another order.
And now it’s half-twelve and the shop has settled into semi-vacancy, tables cleared and clean — the staff free to ask how things were whilst they spent a month away in the Canaries and such, recovering from an especially busy village summer.