I went to Paris years ago. I sat in many cafes. There was one thing I found very different from the café’s of where I live and those I visit in London; they have a much quieter ambiance. I never heard people telling their life story for all to hear, there were no children running about and there were a lot of people sat on their own either sitting with their own thoughts, reading or writing.
For years, I would be up early and visit a café near the tram stop that I need to get on for work. Here I would have my morning tea and sit to write or read. This was a ritual and the more I did it the more I saw how others sat around reading their books, catching up with emails or simply making lists for the week ahead. The busy, noisy customers would have takeaway drinks and those that needed a little contemplation time in the mornings would be sat at tables. I was one of them.
These days I find it very difficult to find a quiet café in such an over-populated place. I am not saying that people shouldn’t be allowed to go out but it used to be so much easier to get cozy in the corner of a café, drink tea and get some words down on a page. These days I struggle to find a seat, I struggle with noise from people who cannot control the volume of their voices and the way people allow their children to run around strangers, throw their food on the floor and lack general respect for property that isn’t theirs.
I wish I could create a café just for writers. A place of calm, contemplation and creativity. Table service for tea and coffee. I would supply pens and paper in case the worst happens. Food. Warmth. Providing inspiration in the shape of bookshelves packed the rafters, paintings and photography hung up on the walls.
Just a thought for the day.
(Image: Simone de Beauvoir at Les Deux Magots)