There are only so many days in a row you can sit at home alone so alone and write.  I’m hoping that converting the outbuilding at the end of my garden is going to completely transform my writing regime but until then, to avoid total madness, I take myself off to my local coffee shop.  Just to be near people.  To remember what they sound like.  And to fritter my income on mixing-bowl size coffees and stale biscuits.

And for the first hour it’s great but then …

Urgh.  It’s really hard to do bloody anything with all of humanity crashing around you ORDERING stuff and SPILLING stuff and SCRAPING chairs just all the time.  And I always end up sitting near the quiet, conscientious one who turns out to know bloody everyone, who has everyone come up and talk to them about really interesting things that put me right off.

So, in honour of all those trying to write in a coffee shop, here is my Coffee Shop Bingo.  Just one more excuse not to rewrite that tricky fourth act…

A writer writing A man in red trousers* A writer not writing (that can be you) An ridiculously big pram
A fly on someone else’s food Writer who HAS NOT BOUGHT A DRINK A queue longer than six people A writer crying
A writer laughing at their own work A plug socket A screaming baby A copy of The Guardian
Someone with blue shoes Loud socialite who knows everyone A stranger trying to engage you in conversation An out of control toddler
Laptop damage (coffee spill, drop, flames…) A writer with head in hands Wilted flowers A writer acting out their lines

*two men if you are in West London, Shropshire, or Dorset.

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