Mornings go like this:
Feed ducks. Feed chickens. Feed cat – she shouts very loudly so gets hers first just to silence her. Feed dog – she’s more patient. STOP EVERYTHING FOR COFFEE. Feed children. Feed me.
If it is school holidays or weekends that is the routine. Every day. And I love it. I love the quiet and calm that the first cup of coffee brings me. The satisfaction of knowing the urgent morning chores have been done. The ducks and chickens are out enjoying their freedom, the dog is with the children watching TV and the cat is somewhere, goodness knows where. All I can hear is the quiet murmuring of the fridge, some chirrups from the birds outside, maybe a few blasts from the bird-scarers and the distant sound of the TV.
I never used to like coffee. I made myself like it. There I was in the refectory at university force-drinking myself black coffee. It was a cold winter and I needed something to warm me. I knew I couldn’t keep drinking hot chocolate and – gasp – I hate tea. Loathe it. (I wish I did like it. I would love a tea ritual, too.) So I drank a cup. Without milk. (Can’t stand warm milk either.) And I’ve enjoyed it ever since. And when I say I’ve enjoyed it I mean proper coffee. Not instant.
A proper coffee whilst working in the city of London, one with my weekend pastry as I trudge along Oxford street on a Saturday enjoying my own company and being a London-girl-about-town, a cafetiere full as I read the Sunday papers on the floor in my friend’s lounge where I was lodging. And a coffee and a chat with other mums when my children were tiny enough to fit into prams.
And now, a coffee with my laptop as I write. Speaking of which. This cup is empty…