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

It’s The Little Things

As we live our lives, from time to time it can feel like we’re treading water and that we’re surrounded by the same old ‘greyness’ and it’ s true that the world can be a terrible place for all kinds of reasons, however there is beauty and joy in even the little things we see and do every day if we are open to seeing it and don’t take it for granted.

For example, here are a few ‘little’ things which have struck me and made me happy recently:

    • the refreshing and calming sound of gently trickling water on a hot day

 

    • planes flying you from A to B still amazes me no matter how often I fly

 

    • a child running up and down the aisle of a plane with a big grin on his face loving every second of it

 

    • the somehow magical combination of pasta, garlic, chilli and tomatoes makes everything better for me

 

    • at a public gathering, when your partner walks past you and they catch your eye and smile or gently brush your hand as they pass by

 

    • morning coffee

 

    • doing ‘nothing’ on a sunny day

 

    • seeing how happy Mrs Cortado is walking the dog on the beach while beachcombing

     

    As I write, I’m sitting in the glorious May sunshine enjoying a morning coffee and tostada while the local birds are singing away and life feels good.  There’s nothing ‘big’ going on. Just a few little things.
     

    And maybe that’s the secret to being happy…
     

    What are the ‘little things’ that make you happy?
     

    Toothbrush turtle

    Could you be as happy as this little guy?

    Above image credit Toothbrush Turtle
    Main image credit – Girl Running On Beach

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…

Away From The Noise

The November Manifesto

Hi

There are many different reasons why we may want to get away from the noise of our daily lives and there are countless ways to help you do so. This blog is my way of doing that. I live in Granada in the south of Spain, write songs, teach English and now write this blog.

My name is Jason and although I only started this blog on 3 October 2014, it has already become an essential daily ritual to post and connect with readers and other bloggers. I have enjoyed writing it, getting positive feedback from people and generally interacting with lots of interesting people online. I’ve also enrolled on an online blogging course as you can always learn something new, can’t you?

So with this in mind, I’m committing to writing a new post every day for the next 30 days in line with the WordPress Blogging 101 series.

After living in London for 17 years, Mrs AwayFromTheNoise and I moved to Granada in the south of Spain in January 2014. It’s been a goal of ours to live somewhere warm, beautiful and interesting for a long time, so it’s been lovely having made that happen. In addition to writing this blog, I travel a lot around the south of Spain, teach English locally and write songs on my slightly battered acoustic guitar and laptop. But perhaps the question here is ‘why should you read this blog’?

On this blog, I plan to just enjoy writing about pretty much whatever inspires me, usually based on things I read, see or hear while out and about, which I’ve just realized is pretty much the same process I have for songwriting. Subjects include music, travel, minimalism, food, coffee, life as a foreigner in the south of Spain and generally escaping to a place of of tranquility because it’s a beautiful place to be – all of which I hope give people food for thought. So If you like the sound of that and you’re looking for a little inspiration or insight into life in general, then this could be the blog for you…

I have four primary objectives for this blog by 30 November 2014 :

– publish a post every day

– interact online with lots of new people

– have a total of 250 subscribers to the mailing list

– enjoy the process…

I hope this blog helps you to get you away from the noise.

Thanks for popping by…

Jason