Sky Full Of Morning Stars

It’s 6am on the first day of November and quite dark outside. I couldn’t sleep and so I tiptoed through the house so as not to wake Mrs Cortado and our dog Grace to go outside and get my phone which I’d left in the car. On my way back, I promptly dropped it (clearly no coffee yet having an impact) and happened to look up to see an incredible sky full of stars.

I’d never really thought about there being stars in the morning and don’t ever remember seeing them at this time of the morning, but of course one of the lovely things about living in this part of the countryside in southern Spain is that there is no light pollution and so the darkness of the sky is beautifully and very brightly illuminated by thousands of stars. And all you have to do is drop something to see it…

Just think, if I didn’t drop things, I wonder what else I’d miss noticing?

Photo by sergio souza on Unsplash
(I tried to take a picture this morning, but there’s only so much you can do with an Iphone. I much preferred this shot.)

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Nothing Like A Coffee And Some Time

I’m sitting on a lovely, ever-so-slightly battered brown sofa in my favourite bar (Cafe Cyrano) in Almería, my recently adopted ‘big city’, listening to my new favourite album (‘Hey Mr Ferryman’ by Mark Eitzel) with a cortado coffee and an orange juice.

Lovely & slightly battered old sofa

I’ve just put my car in for a service. Not a big deal for most people, but not having owned a car until recently, it feels like a strangely grown up thing to be doing. I dropped the car off at 9.30am and am told it will be 3 hours, so I’ve popped into the city to mooch around and am really enjoying it as it’s not something I can really do in the village where I now live.

I’ve been walking around for a while enjoying the buzzy morning atmosphere of a working day here. As with many cities, there are lots of ‘things to do’ here, some of which I’ve done and others that I will do, but as is often the case, I find myself doing a similar thing ie ‘not very much’ to some people.

But the joy I get from simply sitting in a bar with a coffee, listening to music on headphones, writing, reading and reflecting on nothing in particular is immeasurable.

Some people these days might call this being mindful. I don’t know why doing this works for me and maybe it’s best I don’t know, so in the meantime, I’ll just enjoy the positive and calming energy it gives me.

Hope you’re having a good day too…

If We Were Having Coffee… What’s Next Is Now

If we were having coffee, I’d say that moving to a new area where you don’t know anybody can be a challenge and moving to a new country even more so. Although my Spanish is reasonable, there can still be a language and cultural barrier at times which can be frustrating, but that’s part and parcel of moving to a new country. There are inevitable a few downsides, however there are also enormous advantages and fundamentally, this is the choice we have made and we are very happy in our ‘new’ home in the south of Spain.

 

One of the most challenging things about moving to a new place where you don’t know anybody is getting to know people and socially ‘starting again’ which can be both a hugely exciting and challenging prospect. We’ve made a few (Spanish and English-speaking) friends in the 18 months we have been here which has been lovely, although sometimes there are good days and bad days, but that’s life and happens wherever you are regardless of your location.

 

Moving to Andalucia has been a dream for such a long time and now we have realised it, I’ve recently been struggling to see what’s ‘next’, but the more I think about it, the more it seems to become clear that the ‘next thing’ is in fact now. Right in front of me. Really obvious perhaps, but there you go. I got round to it eventually. In my own time.

 

So, unlike other times when I’ve looked beyond now and today in favour of a supposedly more exciting and interesting tomorrow, I’m choosing who I am, where I am and with who I am here and now. Maybe there are benefits in getting older after all.

 

And now I know that what’s next is now, I wonder what’s next?

 

The Smiths never wrote a song called ‘What’s Next Is Now’, but they did write the glorious ‘How Soon Is Now’. Enjoy…

 


 

The title of this post is from something I saw on Suzie81Speaks. The ‘If We Were Having Coffee’ series was created by Part Time Monster. Share your coffee posts on Twitter every Saturday with #WeekendCoffeeShare

Clearing The Cobwebs

After going to a bar for breakfast this morning, I went for a walk in the crisp December sunshine. I’m not sure why but I often find that going for a walk with no particular destination somehow recharges my batteries and helps me to clear the cobwebs in my head to come up with ideas for writing. Maybe it’s not ‘doing’ anything in particular that helps, either way it always works for me.

It also got me thinking about the end of the year and how today’s walk was more of a clearing of the cobwebs to prepare for a new mindset, a new day or even a new year. In January this year, Mrs AwayFromTheNoise and I moved to a new city in a country with a new language and all that entails and it has been an incredible experience with lots of new and exciting things mixed in with some that are less so, however all in all, it’s been what we wanted, an invigorating change with new challenges which so far has worked well for us.

With the impending end of one year and the beginning of a new one, there is always that sense of new opportunities with countless new year’s resolutions being made with all the best will in the world when they are made. As an optimist (most of the time at least), I find this time to be very hopeful with people wanting to do new things, challenge themselves and not only wanting to be better people, but also believing that they can be which is often the most difficult part.

Reflecting on the last year, the good and the bad and then clearing the cobwebs by going for a walk or whatever works for you, can help to create a new foundation for whatever you want to be or to do next. Either way, whatever you do, I hope you have a wonderful holiday over the next couple of weeks.

Merry Christmas!

Where Everybody Knows Your Name…

After seemingly years of spending time in anonymous (inter)national chain cafes, bars and restaurants, it’s such a pleasure having your favourite place where everybody knows your name – though admittedly, Jason often causes a few challenges for the Spanish tongue…

It doesn’t matter whether it’s for breakfast, lunch, dinner, tapas or just a coffee, the principle is the same. The staff are welcoming and friendly, the service is excellent and what they serve is wonderful. It’s a deceptively simple formula. So, when I go to one of my favourite bars (note that you go to a bar for breakfast in Spain as opposed to a cafe, just in case you were thinking I like a whisky or two with my toast…) for breakfast, It’s a lovely feeling of belonging first thing in the morning.

Do you have a favourite place ‘where everybody knows your name and they’re always glad you came’? Note that this can be a literal idea or not. The staff don’t have to know your name nor anything about you except how you have your coffee in the morning, but there is still that warm welcome.

Am off to one of my favourite bars in Granada now for a copa and a tapa, Los Tintos (read review here on my other blog Cortado Ingles)…

Cheers!

Minimal Coffee

I Love Coffee (And Gertrude Stein)

Sometimes someone says something and you just think ‘that’s exactly how I feel’. This is one of those times.

“Coffee is real good when you drink it. It gives you time to think. It’s a lot more than just a drink. It’s something happening. Not as in hip, but like an event, a place to be, but not like a location, but like somewhere within yourself. It gives you time, but not actual hours or minutes, but a chance to be, like be yourself, and have a second cup.” (Gertrude Stein)

Thanks Gertrude. Couldn’t have it said it better myself.

Have a good weekend…

Gertrude Stein

Gertrude Stein – write and appreciator of coffee as a metaphor for the important things in life…

Cortado

How Spending Time In Cafes Adds To Your Life

It’s Tuesday morning, the sun is shining and I’m spending time in a cafe near my flat watching the world go by. I’m not doing anything else per se, but this ‘freedom’ helps my mind to wander and think about new projects. I always find new ideas come to mind spending time in cafes because I’m kind of giving myself the space and ‘permission’ to empty your mind and ‘just be’. I don’t meditate but perhaps it’s my way of meditating.

Some people prefer to go for go for walks, run, cook or got the gym, it doesn’t really matter what you do but what does matter is to give yourself the permission to spend just a few minutes ‘doing nothing’. Go on, You know you want to. And to quote L’Oreal, ‘you’re worth it’. And if you do, you’ll be amazed how much you end up getting done…