Another year older…

21/01/22 14:31

I don’t normally mention things like this but today is my birthday.  It’s also the day I got, as a present, a 2-pen pen wallet monogrammed with AEIP.  It’s a soft brown leather and beautifully matches my soft brown leather notebook holder.   But that’s not why I’m writing. I’m writing as I have come up with a second chapter idea. First though, it’s time I took a sip of my Bella’s hot chocolate.

I was in Small Talk Tearooms in Romford this morning, enjoying a cream tea when I turned to Biscuit (I feel like Hemingway whenever he referred to his first wife, Hadley) and mentioned about the difference between the quintessential English tearoom and a typical French café.

“I think I’ve just found another chapter” I declared.   It was questioned why I would want to draw comparisons and without hesitation I said I needed a point of reference.  My other chapter would talk about the differences between the London and Paris marathons, so it seems unnatural continuation. Afterall, I’m an Englishman in Paris and need to have that thread running throughout the book. I’m not going to start here, but I have a few examples of different English tea rooms to use as a starting point. My concern is finding provision cafes are good, stereotypical cafés.   Are they now classed as Boulangeries with tables?  Or maybe that’s a bistro?   I know Starbucks is a coffee shop but I don’t feel that’s a prime direction to take.  I’ve been to Starbucks in England, Paris and also Dublin.  Accent aside, they could have been next to each other.  And that’s fine as that’s their own template that they use. Independent cafés are what I need.  But identifying them may be a problem. Où est le café?  That’s what Duolingo has taught me.

 I read somewhere that 80% of eating/drinking establishments with terrace seating have heating. I don’t recall where or when that claim was made but I suspect the pandemic may have altered that statistic.  Either more places have heating or places have closed, reducing the number without any external heating.

On top of all that, I’m sitting here with an envelope from the Open University, just waiting to open it.  I know what it is.  I know what will be on it and yet, I’m in no rush.  It will mark the end of being a student for eight years.  I’m not sure I am fully ready for that.  I’m getting more ready for the book. And I’m slowly getting ready for the 26.2 miles of Paris that I’m going to be facing in 71 days. I’ve run three times this week and despite hurt thighs and intense feelings, I’m happy with where I am.  I’m unhappy that I won’t be taking photos on the run but having an entire chapter-matter already decided is the bonus.  I then have the tearoom/coffee shop chapter as my second.  I wonder where my third idea will spring from?

So much Paris, so many decisions.  I’ve not even considered a new fountain pen and ink for the new 2-pen pen wallet.

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