February 27, 2014

cafe magic.

Currently I'm sitting at a wooden table that's engrained with aged coffee stains and saucer rings. Crumbs that escaped the barista's last swipe of the surface crunch under my laptop. Beside me two women take endless photos with their iPhones of eachother, of their teapot, of the view of the castle outside of the window. At the top of the castle a flag is barely visible, waving weakly in the foggy grey skies of Edinburgh. Wayne sits across from me, immersed in Puritan thought and word. He's better at nursing his coffee -- there's still half a cup left. I've kept just a few remaining dregs in mine to keep the barista from taking my cup away and therefore, without actually saying anything, telling me it's time I left. Not so, barista! I paid for this table. I'm going to get my two hours' worth of sitting and absorbing and writing. Take that, you Scottish lass, you. 

Being here for three months without income means being very tight with our cash. We budget. We don't buy anything unnecessary (usually!). We go to the grocery at the right times to get discounted bread and meat (between 4 and 6 pm, baby!). We live in a tiny flat and sleep in a tiny bed (really -- it's ridiculously small) and make do with one pot and one frying pan. Despite all this scrimping, however, into our budget we made sure to include weekly cafe dates. We spend a lot of time in the library and in our flat, but figured we ought to absorb at least some of the culture through the wonder that is the UK cafe. Plus... we love coffee. 

This week's cafe of choice: The Elephant House, otherwise known as the "birthplace" of Harry Potter. Apparently JK Rowling spent a good deal of time writing her first Harry potter novel here back in the late 90s. The cafe has run with it and makes a good deal of cash off the tourist draw which is pretty brilliant on their part. It really is nice and bright and a great place to work, so I could see why a frustrated author would come here to stew over characters and dead-end plot lines. I'm currently trying to absorb some of the Rowling writing vibe... and...

Nothing. No millions in my future, I'm afraid. It must be in another cafe she frequented with Harry... either there, or in the toilets here at The Elephant House. The walls are plastered with love letters and quotes from HP fans.... quite sweet. 

{This post written in July 2013}

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