Sitting on a bench, drenched in sunlight, enjoying a little tranquility. It's funny, but for some reason, in this little patch of garden, with the rude statue of Queen Victoria in the centre, you can filter out the sound of the traffic on the main road just a few yards away, and you can hear birds and bees, and notice things growing. The square looks perfect this morning, full to bursting with golden yellow flowers. And the trees are so pretty now that the leaves are bursting forth from their buds, like scrunches of lime tissue paper, stuck on by my children with blobs of glue.
April is no longer the month of rain, is it? It's now the month that I get tanned, the month in which everyone emerges from Winter with a smile, the gateway to Summer, the month of Hope.
Mmm. Costa is calling.
10.15am: Costa Coffee
Nice little bit of banter between the barista, myself and the next customer just now. Always nice to enjoy a bit of banter in the morning. It's a small thing, but a precious thing nonetheless - a smile, a genuine smile from the person serving you. It really does make all the difference between a good day and a less good day.
Almond croissant, pot of Earl Grey, we're good to go.
2.30pm: Upstairs in Starbucks
Many things achieved in the first half of the day:
- Lots of writing and planning of Freaky Jones
- New guitar book and picks purchased
- Some articles read in Mslexia (women's writing magazine)
- Healthy lunch eaten, in the company of my mum :)
- Advice read and digested from Novelist's Boot Camp
Lots! Still got the rest of the afternoon and evening ... good day :)
3.45pm: Starbucks still
Ugh. I feel fat and fraudulent! Sitting here, all bohemian, pretending to be a writer, thinking I'm being youthful and gorgeous having a skinny latte and some crunchy vegetable sticks!
But the place has filled up with students - eighteen-to-twenty-year-olds, and I both hate them and love them at the same time. I hate them because I am jealous, and I want to be twenty, to have smooth skin (not that I ever did!) with no sign of a wrinkle, and hair that doesn't need to be dyed. I want to have their fashion sense (not that I could afford it when I was twenty), their traumas about love and coursework.
But my goodness, they're beautiful to watch, and that is why I love them. Their friendships, their closeness, their wisdom, their confidence, their enthusiasm, their freedom. I've only recently realised that I am no longer one of them, and that I haven't been one of them for a long time.
5.45pm: Verdes, 'table for one, please'
It makes me laugh. I love coming to a restaurant by myself, having my tea cooked for me, not having to do the washing up, being able to eat in peace and having time to enjoy my food. But the look that flashes across the waiter's face when I ask for a table for myself is priceless, every time. Surprise, confusion, embarrassment, recovery, pity, understanding, all within half a second. I always struggle to keep a straight face. Perhaps they would find it easier to comprehend me eating alone if I wore a suit, had a mobile phone in a holster at my belt, and carried a briefcase and a laptop (actually, I do carry a laptop, but you can't tell as it's cleverly hidden in my charming satchel!). As it is I come in looking like right scruff, a bit disheveled after a day of drinking coffee, and loaded down with bags, looking like an escaped housewife.
Anyway. Lots more work done. Written a few thousand words today (don't worry Sazzle - writing a first draft of a book is nothing like writing a science assignment: that's 5,200 words for the bin, 800 to keep!!).
Am going to write for another hour, then am going to treat myself to an hour's read before Clash of the Titans :)
SO FUNNY!! One of the waiter's came to ask if I was okay, and then asked what I was writing. I told him it was Freaky Jones, and then a waitress came over too and asked what it was about. We chatted for a few minutes and she told me about a diary she'd written in the style of Belle Du Jour!
Since then I have been treated with something akin to reverence! The smiles are no longer smiles of pity, but nervous smiles full of bewildered awe! I feel like a celebrity, he he. I could get used to this. The waiter said he'd look forward to reading my book when it's published. I'll personally bring Verdes a free signed copy and give them an acknowledgement in it if it's published!
Oh my word - as I was writing that last paragraph, the waiter came back over and asked if I would write a little character into the book, called Guy! I'm going to leave a nice tip :)
Oh my word once more - the waitress asked if I'd put her in it too. She's called Eva. This is hilarious!
7.45pm: Vue cinema
I'm an hour early for my film, but it's nice. The cinema's a little creepy when it's empty, but I kind of like it.
I had to leave Verdes as the attention was freaking me out! The waitress who took my money at the till said 'you've caused quite a stir' and she grinned. I said I felt like a celebrity, and she said 'well, you probably will be one day'!
Time to get my head out of the clouds now :) I'm going to read the work of a proper author while I wait for Clash of the Titans.
Thank you, blog followers, for keeping me company on my Day Off. Hope you enjoyed it :)