Patience pending

Time is precious and patience is a virtue; there are so many good things about getting older

Peter Edgerton
PETER EDGERTON

There are many marvellous benefits to getting older, including never having to go to a nightclub, nodding off in a random selection of inappropriate locations and unabashedly asking people to hurry up with everything because well, you know, time is precious. Perhaps the most positive point of all, however, is gaining perspective. Having hared around like a lunatic in your twenties and thirties, by the time you're forty-two and three quarters, you realise that a good percentage of the energy expended was a complete waste of time. You come to see that life very often shifts in cycles beyond your control and that your granny was right - patience is, indeed, a virtue.

Aristotle once wrote "Patience is bitter but its fruit is sweet." Over two thousand years later and possibly in an attempt to emulate the philosophical depth of the celebrated Ancient Greek philosopher - or possibly not - Axl Rose squawked "Little patience, mm yeah, mm yeah/Need a little patience, yeah." Feel free to choose which of the two you prefer as a dictum for life.

All of which brings me to kiosks. Anyone who's ever been to any Spanish town will have seen them, plonked unceremoniously on pavements with their location apparently having been given little or no thought. Traditionally, they sold newspapers, magazines and penny chews plus a lot of other stuff like plastic toys that no-one ever seemed to buy. If my memory serves me well, I think they sold cigarettes too. Anyway, for a variety of reasons most of their staple fair became redundant - everyone began thinking it's a good idea to read the news on a mobile phone (it isn't) and to stop smoking (it is). Lord knows, it's hard to make a living from penny chews. Kiosks, then, were moribund.

But wait! This week I read that they're experiencing a resurgence of fortune. Could penny chews have become as fashionable as cupcakes, pet dogs and cocktails? Alas, no - the renaissance is, in fact, due to a radical change in what they'll have to offer, including tickets for museums, concerts and shows, cash-dispensing machines and, best of all, coffee. That's a great idea. Instead of spending a squillion euros on a drink with a pretentious name in a franchise, we'll be able get our caffeine fix on the hoof at a - presumably - reasonable price as we pass by the nearest kiosk.

For the younger kiosk owners, all of this will have come as a huge relief; meanwhile, the older ones will have known that it was simply a question of patience.