My Happy Place

two brown ceramic teacups with latte
Photo by Luka Siemionov on

I have finally found my home away from home. It is simply a little coffee shop between the river and the park. It has wooden floorboards, huge windows and soft armchairs filled with cushions. There are beautiful pastries and fresh fruits in wicker baskets, smells of roasting coffee beans and hot chocolate and has now most firmly become a part of my daily routine.

I sit, drink copious amounts of coffee and write.

I used to find that writing on the underground worked a treat until I realised that going round and round on the Circle Line in order to type up the next chapter was probably a little odd to say the least; and somehow writing at home just seemed to be difficult. It was too quiet and the overspilling ironing basket would give me the evil eye, and the cupboard with the ginger nut biscuits would call to me a little too often to guarantee a lifetime free of the dreaded cellulite. So the coffee shop it is. They do have a rather delicious chocolate brownie which just happens to come with ice cream but I digress.

Like so many of us, it took a little while before being able to feel entirely comfortable and entitled to while away the hours in someone else’s space; but within a week I found myself feeling as though I was simply ‘a home away from home’. The staff became chattier to me by the day and even better, knew how I liked my coffee. And now? I feel like one of those people (usually men dare I say it) who go into their local pub and are asked, “A pint of your usual sir?” Oh yes, I feel as though they have accepted me into their fold and I’m loving it.

So, as I tap, tappety, tap away with the world moving around me and gentle music playing in the background, I have now reached the momentous point of being one third of the way through the book. There is still a long way to go, particularly in light of the fact that I have a notebook completely full of barely legible notes to make something of, but it’s a good start. I’m out of the starting gates, have done a few furlongs and am galloping midfield with a mass of others.

There are many on the same course, and whilst some are ahead, some behind and some have fallen at the first hurdle, I am doing my very best to keep on the straight and narrow. I’m only a little way through with the inevitable Becher’s Brook or another huge challenge or six to contend with, but with a good wind behind me and my bank account allowing for the continuation of daily coffee and chocolate brownies with ice cream, with a little luck I shall finish before the clocks go forward in the spring. I may of course be something the size of a whale with a coffee addiction by that point, but I will, with a little luck have a book. Battle on McDuff to myself and all of us!

Katie xx

Where is your most favourite place in the world? Do you have somewhere away from home that you love to visit?

43 thoughts on “My Happy Place”

  1. Yessssssssssssssssssss! This is excellent news! Write, Katie, write!!!!

    I am yet to find my ideal space but suspect it’s more to do with procrastination than with any physical space for me. Our dining table is right by the big windows and I love sitting there with my laptop and coffee, but I think I just need the inspiration to return. Reading about you galloping in that field and gaining momentum is exciting, exhilarating and motivating and I’ll hopefully get into the thick of it soon too. In the meantime, until such time that inspiration finds me again, I guess I’ll live vicariously through you. 🙂

    Can’t wait to hear about your book and I demand a signed copy when it’s on the shelves in bookstores!

    I am a huge fan of you. 🙂 Mwah!

    Anna xx

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Ha! You’ll be reading it well before it even ventures out to an agent! I neeeeeeeed you because, being as barking mad as I am, I think you’ll get it. That’s a compliment by the way as I think you know, but just to be sure! Your writing is wonderful and it certainly would be a better place with a book from you out there … of course I could suggest that we sit together in my coffee shop and tap away together, however I am completely certain that no writing would even ever commence, we would drink them out of coffee, tea and their amazing juice things and chocolate brownies and not a smidgen of work would be done. No doubt however we would have a wonderful time and we would put the world to rights!! Mwah! Katie x

      Liked by 1 person

      1. I’d love to read and promise to always be honest. Obviously I think the sun shines out of your arse, but I’ll also tell you if it looks big in that. 🙂 It’s a tricky one, isn’t it, because you come at it predisposed to like something because of the person who wrote it but I’ll do my best to pretend you’re Jane Doe and I’m reading something I just picked up at the bookstore. I’m so excited about it and I just know it’ll be fabulous!!!!

        Hm, no, I can’t see us trying to be productive together would be even a TINY bit productive but Oh Ehm Gee I love it, LET’S!!!!

        Think I managed to get my e-mail over to you but shout if not!



  2. A few coffee shops where I used to live. Now, where I have moved to, it’s not took long to discover a place, which I blogged about yesterday, after visiting a second time. The park itself could be my next one I feel, when weather appropriate. 🙂 I will obviously discover more later in the coming months.

    Liked by 3 people

    1. Oooh lovely … nothing beats a hot chocolate (particularly with extra cream and I remember that once there was a place that also had chocolate swizzle sticks to dunk in ….. heaven!). Enjoy your coffee shop – I’ll think of you there!

      Liked by 1 person

  3. That’s great. I’m impressed that you can concentrate in a cafe. I write at my kitchen table. I would spend too much in my favourite cafe. I love upstairs in Nero in Tenterden for chatting with friends. Flat white and chocolate twist.

    Liked by 3 people

    1. Yum! Yes, in truth I’m surprised I can concentrate too. But military accommodation can be a little dark and drab despite all our lovely things and furniture surrounding us. One day when my husband retires we shall have a home of our own. I think about this often and so look forward to planning the garden. I like the idea of upstairs in Nero … they do great coffee!


      1. It’s great to imagine a future home, isn’t it? I was driving through a different part of the county today and fantasising about living there even though I am perfectly settled where I am. Another parallel life!

        Liked by 2 people

      2. Sorry for delay in responding, but yes, I like to do that as well. Also looking on Rightmove and seeing what you can get for your money in different parts of the country (particularly on the south coast … I would love to be close to the sea). Dreams … ahhhhh!


  4. Huzzah! So excited to hear of your progress. I found myself ‘red pen editing’ in the grand confines of Belfast City Library this lunchtime. Loved the horse racing analogies. Let’s hope you romp past the finishing post and avoid any ‘Foinavon’ or ‘Devon Loch’ mishaps *google them* 😂🐴

    Liked by 3 people

  5. I’m jealous of you and glad for you too! I’d love to have a coffeeshop to sit in forever, and used to do that in many of them, reading paperbacks and drinking coffee or hot chocolate creations that I came up with myself, and eating sandwiches so I didn’t feel like I was wasting their space, although they were all nice to me and knew me and I did spend money every time I was there. I have been missing that. There is a coffee and bagel place here in Woodstock NY that is decent as to food and coffee, but it gets so crowded that it is not a fun “hang out and be peaceful” place for me much of the time. It’s good for grabbing stuff to go, and some days great for hanging out a bit to eat and drink them and read, but that is what I miss: a really good mellow coffeeshop to sit in peacefully for a very long time, and read or do my own thing while running into buddies now and again or chatting with strangers. There’s an older hippie-looking building downtown for sale for a lot of money–close to a million bucks actually, and I secretly wish someone would buy it and use it for that, like in the old days when coffee shops sometimes also sold books–

    Liked by 3 people

    1. Ooh now I can totally relate to this, as so often I buy extra things so that I’m not thrown out even though they say they don’t mind a hoot that I sit here for a couple of hours a day! (I checked!). We are moving to New York next year for a three year posting so I’m hoping that I’ll find some similar places to tap away … fingers firmly crossed! Thanks so much for reading and commenting- it makes it all worthwhile. Katie x

      Liked by 2 people

      1. I hope you do find a good place. New york has many tedious chainstores like starbucks and many fewer of the charming individual coffeeshops that it used to have, sadly. Starbucks used to buy the local coffeeshops that were doing well, anywhere in the country really, and replace it with theirs. I thought it was the most scuzzy heartless tactics and I still boycott them because of all the good meaningful shops they intentionally destroyed to replace it with their own limited crap.

        Liked by 1 person

  6. Interesting to read after our recent conversation about food and diet. I confess that coffee is something I could probably get really into taste wise, but I’ve always been a bit afraid of it. Too many colleagues have got hooked on coffee and suffered bad headaches, jittery hands and anxiety, and energy slumps, which have got even worse when they’ve tried to come off it. Plus I think I experienced too many teachers with terrible coffee breath in my childhood to entertain even the possibility of me inflicting that on other people!!

    Liked by 3 people

    1. Ahhh now I’m with you there …. coffee breath is horrid! A few months ago a ditched the caffeine and had a week of headaches following it. But I still drink a lot of decaf which I’m sure isn’t too good. The coffee shop I go to also has lovely juices though which I hope makes up for the occasional chocolate brownie. My favourite is beetroot, apple, spinach and lemon – sounds disgusting but is absolutely delicious!


      1. Yeh I don’t know that facts about decaff at all. I wonder if the ingredients are exactly the same minus the caffeine, or a synthetic alternative is added instead that may be worse than the caffeine! A bit like “low sugar” drinks and snacks that instead have artificial sweetener added. Yuck!

        My partner makes some interesting smoothies sometimes with spinach, lemon juice, kale, all sorts, so your juice sounds quite conventional, I’d definitely try it!


      2. Yes, I must get back into making smoothies again … clearly I’ve fallen off the straight and narrow of late. My focus has been off I think. It’s so good to hear from you, it’s a wee inspiration and that’s what I need so thank you. K


      3. You’re welcome! My wife uses the Joe Wicks books heavily, we have about four or five of them, and probably half of the meals we make (inc some smoothies!) come from those. Don’t know if you’re familiar with them?


      4. I haven’t come across them yet. I seem to be stuck on my Gousto recipes at the moment and then my staple of Mary Berry (!). Having watched Masterchef last night however, I really feel I need to get out there and experiment a little more. Thanks for the recommendation. I’ll have a look!


  7. I haven’t yet established a particular place but back when I used to write frequently, I would see a child and get an idea, a building and get an idea, a mother walking with her kids, a street kid begging for food, I would feel the wind and write, Get emotional and write, have a good cup of tea and get an idea, listen to a song, watch a movie and stop half way to write before I forget. Writing was a feeling. I could only hope to have WiFi 😂 and my laptop at the time.
    I’d appreciate any feedback on my first two articles 🙂
    Thank you

    Liked by 1 person

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