And all the while the couple in the inglenook sat and talked. Safe in a world of their own making, enveloped in a calmness, a togetherness that excluded everyone else in the room. The noise and bustle didn't impinge on their world. They felt no need to raise their voices, as the noise in the tea shop rose, they simply inclined towards each other, unconsciously, as if breathing in the other's words.
Time ticked by. The tea room filled. People waited to be seated. No-one approached the couple to suggest they might care to abandon their nook to another couple.
At 3.30 she glanced at the clock and laid a hand gently on his arm. He briefly covered her hand with his and then waved for the bill. The first and only touch.
The bill was presented and paid, with a generous tip for the smiling waitress.
He held the door, and then they were gone.
"Let us not speak, for the love we bear one another -
let us hold hands and look'
She, such a very ordinary little woman;
He, such a thumping crook;
But both, for a moment, little lower than angels
In the teashop's inglenook.