Today’s Coffee With… is a special one. ‘Why is it special’, I hear you ask? Well, it’s special because today’s Coffee With… is with my homie, Denise – The First Lady in the series. Okay she is going to kill me for this but I wanted to make her the centre of attention – which she really hates. I am too troublesome for my own good at times…


Like with my other Coffee With… shoots, I headed to Central London to meet Denise. I met her at the till of a local store as she finished paying for her shopping. The first thing I noticed was the bouquet of flowers that she was carrying. I got a tad excited, thinking they were for me. No, I kid. Sort of… She explained that she missed a delivery the day before and had to pick it up from the depot, and it turned out to be a bouquet of flowers. Not bad, I thought – it’s usually a forgotten DVD or something when that happens to me. We then made our way to our coffee destination, Prufrock Coffee.


After a brief walk along a few side roads, we got to the coffee shop. We grabbed a table and settled in. We didn’t need to waste any time deciding on our drinks – we had already discussed this when I asked Denise to be featured on my shoot. She’s a hot chocolate drinker, through and through. I would make fun but she will make me pay for it at some point, so I won’t bother – I know my friend too well.


I guess this is a good time to explain who Denise is. Well, she’s a super talented journalist/publicist, and someone I am privileged to call a close friend. Like Mark, she knows me better than I know myself. She has this uncanny ability where she always knows to contact me when I need her the most. We met through a mutual friend and we pretty much hit it off instantly. We’ve been friends ever since.


While we waited for our drinks, I pointed out a ‘10,000 hours’ sign on the wall of the shop and how I liked the concept. Denise was unaware of the concept, so for anyone else that’s unfamiliar too, it’s from the Malcolm Gladwell book ‘Outliers’ (one of my favourite books). The book’s basic premise is that if you spend 10,000 hours practising any skill, it will make you an expert. We spoke about the concepts in the book and how they can be applied to our lives.


Our drinks arrived and I must say, I was slightly jealous of the coffee art (well, I guess hot chocolate art is more appropriate) on Denise’s hot chocolate. For that alone, I won’t make jokes about it. Plus there’s that whole pay-back issue.


We began speaking about our friendships; we looked back at how we met and laughed at the fun times we’ve had. DiDi, as I call her, is silly like me, so when we meet up or talk it’s mostly silly jokes and a lot of laughing – one of the many reasons we get on so well. Our conversation drifted to our relationships with friends and other people. DiDi mentioned how blessed she feels to have a group of friends that care for her despite everything – this is something I am truly grateful for as well, and it is still a surprise how much my friends have my back. I mentioned that the people I’ve met (from my working career) always seem to see something in me and have so much belief in me. It’s something that is really humbling and frightening at the same time. I find it really scary that they have so much faith in me; it can be crippling at times, in case I don’t live up to their vision of me.


This led to us to speak about fear and how it has affected us, (the story about my DSLR and getting into photography is a prime example… Story for another day) and how, to be honest, it’s still affecting us. DiDi pointed out that as children of God, we shouldn’t let fear hold us back as it is not God’s plan for us. To be honest, it is something I am fully aware of but struggle to put into practice… I’m getting better, though – it’s a work in progress.


As we were finishing our drinks, I got a text message from one of our mutual friends about the timing for the screening of his short film. So we wrapped up the shoot and headed to get pancakes (our tradition) before going to the screening.


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