Iv’e given myself a challenge. It’s November so my aim is to write 30 stories in 30 days. Here’s number one.
As soon as I opened my eyes this morning, I promised myself one thing. Today I would write. No excuses. All I had to do was figure out where.
The house was no longer an option. Too many distractions. The dogs being just one of them. Yesterday they’d seen a squirrel in the garden and had barked constantly for a good twenty minutes. Then there were the endless sales calls on the house phone. “Had I been involved in an accident? Did I want to claim my PPI back?” I even had one guy offer to come round and clean my oven!
No, I had to find somewhere else. Somewhere I could spend a couple of hours without being disturbed. I tried the local park yesterday. Found a nice spot, a bench with a wooden table attached. I lasted ten minutes. Two woman came over and asked me what I was doing. I hadn’t realised I was so close to the childrens play area. Apparently they didn’t take kindly to a middle aged man on his own with a laptop. The buxom red headed lady became aggresive.
“Does it have a camera? That Laptop of yours. Is it taking pictures? Pictures of the kids?”
I tried to explain but they were having none of it. I decided it was best to pack up and leave.
So today I tried the local coffee shop. I took a corner table, opened up the laptop and switched on. An attractive Polish girl with a badge that read ANDREA, brought my Americano. I felt good. Calm and relaxed. The laptop was fired up and so was I. Both ready to go. The sound of a siren made me turn my head and look out of the window, a Police car drove by at speed, followed by a Fire Engine. The door of the cafe opened and three teenage girls crashed in giggling as though that just seen all of One Direction in their underpants. Once again I composed myself. I was ready and the Laptop was ready. Here we go.
“Any more coffee sir?” The lovely Andrea asked.
“No. I’m fine thanks.”
“No. Really I’m fine.”
Andrea smiled and returned to the counter.
I was ready and my laptop was ready. Here we go.
“Spare some loose change for a cuppa tea guv?”
A middle aged man who smelt of cabbage was standing in front of me with a plastic cup.
I gave him what was in my pocket. All three pounds and twenty seven pence.
I drank my coffee, turned off the laptop and left. Maybe the coffee shop wasn’t such a good idea afterall. I looked at my watch it was only twenty past ten.
I wandered around the town until eleven. The pubs would now be open, perhaps that was where I could find some quiet writing time.
The Swan and Cuckoo looked inviting. A small tradittional pub full of wooden tables and red floral carpet. A very large bald man stood behind the counter.
“Morning guv, what can i getcha?”
“Coffee please. Black, no sugar.”
I must have said something humorous because the bald man began to laugh.
“This is a pub mate. No coffee or tea here. Beer, wine, spirits, we’ve got all of those but if it’s coffee you want try the little place just up the road.”
This wasn’t good news. I’m not a drinker and the thought of alcahol at eleven in the morning was making me rather nauseas. There had to be something else.
The bald man looked dissapointed.
“Really? Okay one Diet Coke coming up.”
I felt releived. I took out my wallet and handed over my Debit Card.
The bald man shook his head and pointed to a sign on the wall behind him.
CARD PAYMENTS. MINIMUM SPEND £10.
“Look, I’m sorry but I just gave my last bit of cash to a homeless man. Can’t you make an exception? Just this once?”
The bald man ignored me and went off to serve someone else. There was no sign of my Diet Coke.
I left the pub and came home and that’s where I am now. Sitting at my kitchen table with a black coffee and my laptop ready to go. The dogs are asleep and the house is quiet. Maybe now i can finally write.
The doorbell rings, I hear myself scream…