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…

Art Deco, Aluminium And A Bar In Madrid

Walking to the lovely Cafe San Gines in Madrid last week for their famous chocolate con churros, I was listening to one of my favourite bands The Aluminum Group. One of their songs is called ‘Without Erté’ and to be honest, I’ve never known what the title meant but always liked the mystery of the song. 

Wherever I am, I often like taking different routes each day to where I’m going as it makes each day interesting. One morning I turned right into a new street and ‘Without Erté’ came up on the headphones and as I looked up listening to the chorus as he was singing the word ‘Erté, I was standing in front of a bar called ‘Erté’. I swear to God! 

It was a bit of a weird moment as it’s not the most common word in the world and certainly not in Madrid, but it was such a coincidence that I started thinking about what it all meant.

It could mean that the universe is trying to tell me something or all kinds of different things, but perhaps we like to see more in things than there really are. 

I like to think of it as simply both an amusing and strange coincidence, as well as a reminder that there are moments which are out of the ordinary that we should never take for granted. 

Moments such as these can freak you out or they can make you smile, you choose. Either way perhaps it’s a reminder to always be open – to new ideas, surprises and early morning coincidences involving Spanish capital cities and bars specialsing in foreign beers. 

(FYI It seems the song ‘Without Erté’ is based on Russian-born French Art Deco visual artist and fashion designer Roman Petrovich Tyrtov, also known as Erté.) 

Now where’s that bar in Madrid?

PS… For those who are more grammatically inclined than others, The Aluminum Group are from Chicago, hence the American spelling. I’m English, hence ‘aluminium’ in the title of this post. 

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!