The day gets off to a fabulous start. As we open Dock Cafe we’re visited by an amazing group of kids from Fleming Fulton school, who have a tour of Dock Cafe before getting stuck into the juice and biscuits.
They stop off for a prayer in the Prayer Garden before heading out to see the Titanic Quarter…
…and of course the unstoppable Titanorak gives them a tour of the Titanic slipways. (More great pics here)
Then it’s back to the cafe in time for lunch – a whirl of people meeting, eating, drinking, thinking. Some of the guys from PRONI try the place for the first time; the students bag all the good seats (but we love them anyway); the cafe is filled with colour and life, different accents and languages and conversations.
Ciaran calls in and it’s so good to see him that a bit of man-huggage happens.
An ARC-apartment resident, one of our very first customers and first volunteers, now moved off to exotic climes as part of his job.
He’s back in Belfast for a week and Dock Cafe is where he’s checking in to catch up with the gang. It’s great to see him.
The cafe gets a bit more chilled as the afternoon progresses.
The nice bright seats at the window are used for some away-from-the-office work on the cafe wi-fi (with occasional breaks to watch the world go by).
The comfy sofas become the scene of an intense chess match (I think Piers wins).
Evening falls over the Titanic Quarter, the lights go on across Belfast, the glow of the Dock Cafe heaters gets cosier as the night grows darker. The Belfast Met Christian Union gather in the Prayer Garden for their weekly meeting, filling the space with prayers and chat and ideas. They’re getting ready for a big outreach night in Dock Cafe next week; it sounds like it’s going to be great. (Although they’ve asked me to speak, which might be a bad idea).
Last few customers, last pot of coffee. A guy calls in to talk about using the cafe as the location for shooting a music video. Two customers at the table are having a language lesson. 7pm, door locked, time to wash up and hit the road, with that lovely sense that this has been a good day, well lived.
Another day of Life in the Titanic Quarter.