Friday 21 February 2014

Cakes In Coco

Every week, on either a Wednesday or Thursday, sometimes both if I have enough loose change, I sit at my favourite table in Coco's Cafe, the one by the window. This is my writing spot. I will happily spend a whole afternoon in Coco thinking, writing, watching the world go by.

Lunch time today is packed, every bench and chair taken, loud chatter cutting through the mouth fulls of food...

...Women. Coco is full of women. I like the company of women, their full undulating tones; a sweet flavoured backdrop as I sit behind the lid of my laptop. Mothers. Friends. Business meetings. An eight week old infant in spotty baby gro is passed around, from arm to arm, bottle teat pushed between her tiny lips, suck, suck, suck. Happy. Milky. One man sits alone at a small circular table in black suit and striped purple shirt, he also has a laptop. They come here, the creative types.

In the afternoon it will quieten, will almost have the place to myself, imagination given full rein to gallop, to roly poly like a hard boiled egg. I find I write more productively with the background hum of conversation and music; today, it's Stevie Wonder, Superstition is playing, I L.O.V.E Superstition. My shoulders shake and sway to the rhythm; I must look a little odd. And I zone out, in a good space, focusing on the job. At my favourite table by the window - views of pitted tarmac and semi detached homes - I have somehow managed to climb a few literary peaks over the last year; prose that has elasticity (I hope), solid word counts on the beleaguered story (nearly there now).

I bring Little A to Coco. Any excuse for cake. Her regular tipple is a child size hot chocolate, milky, covered in tiny marsh mallows. A frothy chocolate moustache on her top lip.

Coco is all about smiles and friendship and warmth. I'm like a pub regular. 'What time do you call this?' says Beth with a wry grin, 'you're late today, look your table is free.' Lovely Teddie takes my order, and later, Kim does her damnedest persuading me with another slice of hummingbird. No, I'm already stuffed to the rafters. It's good service in here...

Today I had a plate of gorgeous colour; a scotch egg, it's yolk, yellow like buttercups, still runny, oozing over the plate, accompanied with rocket, salsa and purple salad. The main event, desert, a mini coffee and walnut cake, washed down with a mug of tea, a detox infusion.

This fabulous little cafe has become an important part of my daily life, my writing life. And this got me thinking. I want to write more about the details, the minutes of the day to day, the important stuff. So I had an idea, one for a new blog series; Cakes in Coco, a moment to free style, and talk vanilla sponge; cake is always a good place to start...

Care to join me in Coco? It's situated in Croxley Green - a village located between Rickmansworth and Watford - on the Watford Road.

If you like my writing, you could do two wonderful things for me (pretty please);
1. Vote for me in the MADS (best writer). 2. Preorder my anthology, Seasons Of Motherhood (published in March). Thank you. 

Tuesday 4 February 2014

Winter Wonderland

This time, a winter wonderland.
White and blue.
Snowflakes on the table,
caught under shoe.

The belle of the ball,
she piles her presents high.
With friends, with family,
with Cheshire Cat smile.

The magician has a talking dog,
pulls rabbit out of hat,
grey and fluff, named Pancake,
the children squeal and pat.

Chequered paper plates, and cups.
Sandwiches, sausages, crisps,
iced rings, choc fingers; a seventies spread,
no fruit or sculptured veg.

Happy birthday is sung,
one, two, three lengthy times,
the candles blown out,
cake in green serviettes, tat in party bags.

They came again, my visual friends,
But this time far away...
Just pictures, no emotions,
a jaded silent movie, daguerreotype lens.

The midwife, the induction.
Curled over bean bag, timing deep breath,
Not enough in centimetres,
No time to stretch.

The table. The bright lights.
The knife.
Get my baby out safely.
That's all I care this night.

Out. Out. Out.
Memory be gone.
For she is here now.
Just her, is all.

Happy birthday to my baby, my sweetest, bestest friend.

If you like my writing, why not pre-order my little book, Seasons of Motherhood, launch March 2014.

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