I spied them basking in the late-morning winter sunshine.
Like two ageing street cats, my husband and his mate John.
One lean and grey, eyes darting everywhere and the other robust and well covered, squinting into the sunshine.
I was at work and driving between meetings, returning from the city and looking for the perfect, strong coffee.
Like the jaunty French music from Le café, the two jaunty men lifted my heart.
They were sharing a lemon tart. With cream. Of course. Both live within walking distance of each other and the café, but I reckon they drove.
Who knows what they talked about?
Seasonally, I'd guess a fair bit of Sydney Swans and Geelong Cats mingled with the occasional Test Cricket miracle; Steve Smith's magnificent return to the Baggy Green.
Like two Italian godfathers they urged me to sit with them for a while. I was in a hurry.
I'm friends with John's wife and we believe our husbands catch up more often than us.
When we met our sons were only four, our husbands were 47 and 37.
With those sons now 23, I wonder at how fast the years passed.
On Sunday I was in another café, in Hobart.
This time I was on a day off.
I was sharing coffees with my best friend.
We were huddled on a leather couch in North Hobart's Rain-check Lounge.
We nibbled raisin bread and sipped strong coffees before heading to a special event.
The couple across on an opposite couch were just that bit older.
They started a conversation and took our photo because we looked so happy.
I did the numbers again. Maree and I have been friends for almost 30 years.
Our smiles showed us 30 years-close. We are like sisters, my husband says.
We're like twins, I say.
We are regularly reading the same book at the same time ... Gould's Book of Fish ... at the moment.
We even took the same book to the same destination, a week apart.
That was Cradle Mountain, last month.
I wrote about my friendship with Maree some 20 years ago, when she was 35 and I was 41.
We are like the odd couple. She is tall, blonde and elegant and I'm like one of her Greek sisters...shorter, not elegant and generally out-of-control or asleep.
She says she admires my ability to stop, curl up with a book and shut out the world. I admire her grace, poise, long legs and kindness.
We are both brave and we are both kind and I believe it's those qualities that sustain our friendship.
On another matter...
Maree and I were headed to Mona for the launch of a Tasmanian Chapter of Women in Media.
Special guests were ABC journalists Caroline Jones and Virginia Trioli.
I thanked Ms Jones, 81, for breaking the ground for those of us who have followed.
She shrugged. We hugged and she asked my story.
I told her I believed I might have been the first single mother to work as a full-time journalist in this paper's newsroom.
"Then you're a pioneer," she said.
I introduced her to a 26-year-old female reporter whose first job saw her riding a motorcycle on L plates, reporting and taking photos for a tiny newspaper in a tiny town a long way from home.
How hungry is that?
It occurred to me that any woman who journeys into any career headlong, hungry and hopefully kind, is a creature of true beauty and real courage.
Ms Jones' advice was to stay brave and be kind.
That's good advice at any age, for any gender.