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Starbucks coffee shop on a frozen, February afternoon; condensation clings to the windows, concealing the snow flakes impolitely falling behind them. The shoppers of Leeds have flocked like sheep in search of shelter and warmth. The herds huddle together around the mass of tiny tables cramped into the adequate room.
An assembly of students dominate the space; clearly marking their territory by spreading out along a row of five tables. They screech and squeal; competing for the attention and the role of alpha male.
On the table in front of them sits an irritated man; annoyed at such close proximity to the wild animals. He takes out his frustrations on a large diary; furiously scribbling down memos and slashing out dates. It’s a Saturday, presumably his day off; his dressed down attire contrasts his tiring, prescribed mind.
The table to his right stages two young men; branded head to toe, proudly sipping from their ‘venti’ mugs. The mugs’ logo is facing outwards; image is everything. Two extra chairs accompany them, occupied by large bags gloating; Harvey Nicholls, Oliver Sweeney, Vivienne Westwood.
Three girls sit in their eye line; the lions catch sight of their prey, all three sipping bottled water elegantly. They exchange the odd confident glare.
A group of six Asian students swarm around a circle corner table; transfixed with the technology at their fingertips; frantically tapping the Ipad and exchanging smart phones like a primary school ‘show and tell’ day.
Lucy Jayne Craigs / 33261661
A few solo Starbuckers also tap their phones expectantly; in search of inspiration and company, a cure for boredom, to occupy them or just to take their own mind off solidarity in this jungle.
A young girl is sat carefully filling in job application forms and attaching CV’s, her concentration failing her; this is not the relaxing atmosphere she has envisaged. She looks across to see a young waitress; flustered, stressed, slipping on the wet floor, juggling empty mugs and fighting her way through the swamp of winter coats clogging the aisles.
A crowd queues at the entrance; ready to pounce on any available territory. Vulnerable, an old couple sits by the door; wrapped up, clutching two small teas. They sit in silence; attempting to adapt to their unfamiliar surroundings.