Oh, the places you’ll go.
I’ve been in Banbury this weekend, a quiet trip away to work and visit my mum. Embracing the cliché, I decided to write in cafes.
The benefit of writing in a café away from home is that I can enjoy all of the normal writing in a café experience without the interruption of my friends/neighbours wanting to know what I’m doing (Just call me Happy Mrs Misanthrope)
I also have a bit of an issue of setting. I like to mix it up. Too long in one place and I lose my rhythm, get bored and self-conscious. So, after a couple of hours in one coffee shop, I switched to another.
The first, a gorgeous little café called Café Amsterdam, was delightful. Quiet, just the right level of background noise, delicious little Indonesian spiced treats called Bami Bites, which I gobbled so quickly I burnt my mouth. Peaceful, GREAT coffee, free Wi-Fi. Can’t beat that for a workspace.
The second was a more commercial venue; the Café Nero on Banbury High Street, sitting outside in the sunshine.
I got to appreciate just how many people wear leather jackets and how damn jealous I am of every single one of them (my leather jacket crush has been going on for some time. I don’t think I can last much longer without one. (I thought my leather trousers may cure my hankering but, if anything, it’s made my leather crush far worse)).
Where was I?
Outside, in the sunshine.
It was noisier by far, but the conversations were carried out in languages I cannot speak and therefore they did not intrude on my chain of thought. Just a melodic bubble of vowels and consonants. I imagined it like being a baby who could not yet understand, gaining my meaning from gesticulations and facial expressions whenever I dared to look up.
The smells. Now, I do not condone smoking. I don’t smoke myself. But there is something very atmospheric about the occasional breeze of smoke across my laptop. Sets up a nice atmosphere, a contrast to the floral scents travelling from the flower stand opposite my seat. Kind of makes me feel like a real writer (rather than a pretend writer, which is how I feel most of the time.)
We all have our favourite places to write and I am in no hurry to prescribe a setting for anyone, let alone myself. But I think mixing it up certainly helps me to keep my focus. Even if it does mean having to put up with the large, red-faced woman with the mushroom shaped haircut, staring unblinkingly at me whilst I write this…