Conversation: Old friends meeting in a London café

Craig and Jenny are old friends. They were at university together and like to keep in touch.

In this conversation, they grab a quick coffee during their lunch hour and catch up on all the news…

Scene: a busy café in London’s West End. Craig spots some people leaving and they rush to secure the free table, covered in paper cups and serviettes

Craig: Here, let’s take the weight off our feet.

Jenny: Oh, I’ve been on the go all morning.

Craig: Tell me about it.

Jenny: (They take the lids off their coffee. Jenny takes a sip from hers). Oh, I think that’s yours: I ordered decaff. Here you are.

Craig: (pulling a “disgusted” face). You’ve drunk out of that now. / I’m not drinking that now.

Jenny: I haven’t got bubonic plague, you know. Here, give me mine. (They switch coffees and drink).

Craig: So, how’s the new job going?

Jenny: (sighs) Oh, you know. Quite well, considering.

Craig: Considering what?

Jenny: (sips coffee) Well, I knew it would be different from working at Baker’s – obviously it’s a much bigger place – more corporate (environment), you know…

Craig: Uh-huh.

Jenny: But I’m sort of doing the same thing that I was doing at Baker’s? (rising intonation). You know – fetching and carrying, sorting out everyone’s problems…

Craig: Not challenging enough, then?

Jenny: Yeah, no, well… It’s early days yet (note: + use of yet)/ still early days. I suppose I’m still finding my feet. There’s a big project coming up. My manager’s said it should be something I can really get my teeth into / get stuck into. We’ll see. And what about you? What’s all this I hear about you going to the States?

Craig: Yeah – I’m going to Seattle next month.

Jenny: Seattle! Wow! Where’s that exactly?

Craig: It’s in Washington State.

Jenny: Washington State?

Craig: Yeah, it’s on the other side – the western side – right up in the north, near Canada.

Jenny: Blimey! And what are you going to do there?

Craig: Well I’m supposed to be heading up a team of programmers working on a new social networking site.

Jenny: Oh, right. Why ‘supposed to’?

Craig: Well, they haven’t actually finalised the team yet, but I’ll definitely be there in some sort of capacity.

Jenny: Seattle in Washington State. Ooh – you don’t do things by halves, do you. They must be making it worth your while.

Craig: Well, the pay’s not bad, but then it’s only for three months. So, I’ll probably be looking around for something else quite soon after it ends.

Jenny: Seattle – isn’t that where Curt Cobain was from?

Craig: Yeah, that whole 90’s grunge thing. I don’t think he was actually from Seattle – I think they went there because it’s the biggest place in the state – you know: leaving Smallville and going to the big city. Do you like Nirvana?

Jenny: Er, yeah. They were all right. I bought Smells Like Teen Spirit when it came out. What a way to go, eh?

Craig: Yeah, awful.

Jenny: Still, he was a genius though. Like Jimi Hendrix, or John Lennon.

Craig: Mm, suppose so. (Stares at the table, while Jenny pushes cake crumbs into a small pile with a wooden stirring stick). [was: while Jenny scrapes the froth off the inside of her cup with a stirring stick and eats it like an ice-cream). We’ve suddenly got a bit morbid, haven’t we? Come on, snap out of it!

Jenny: Hey, you started all this, going on about Curt Cobain. (Leans back, looking at Jenny, then suddenly leans forward). Hey, have you heard the latest goss about Chris and Janine?

Jenny: (leaning forward, so their foreheads are almost touching). No, come onOut with it. Spill the beans

Craig: Well, you know when they moved to that huge house out by Windsor, he said….