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…

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Been A While…

Some of you may have noticed that this blog has been quiet for a few months. This because I went travelling across Spain, the USA and Cuba for a few months. Mrs Away From The Noise and I had an incredible time and now we’re back home in Granada settling back into everyday life again.

While I was away, I continued podcasting and posting, however after a while, I sensed the need to just be wherever I was and enjoy the experience without writing about it at the time. That was right for then, however I did make notes and take pictures on the way, so from now on I will be incorporating some of this into future posts.

It’s the end of the year and I hope you have had a good one. And if not, I hope that 2016 will be full of joy and opportunity for you. Thanks for reading my blog and for sticking around while I’ve been away. It’s always greatly appreciated. I’m looking forward to writing more posts, reading more blogs and more importantly, connecting with all my readers again.

Happy New Year!

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. 

The Serenity Of The Long Distance Bus Traveller

Am travelling on a bus on a gorgeous, sunny day from Granada to Madrid.

 

There’s nothing much going on. I’m staring out of the window and this is what I can see and feel:

 

– The sun is shining

– The colours are soothing

– The gentle contours of the hills are beautiful

– The music in my headphones is calming

– The simplicity of the campo is just there doing its thing

 

Nothing much. It’s a lovely day. That’s all.

 

(I accept a 4.5hr bus journey isn’t exactly long distance but you get my point) 

What Are You Looking Forward To?

Given the combination of the gorgeous sunshine today in Granada mixed with a lovely mojito, I was reminded of a fantastic holiday I had with Mrs Away From The Noise a few years ago in the Seychelles. It was absolutely beautiful and my first holiday on a tropical island and we even went to the beach where they filmed the famous Bounty advert. Two weeks of blazing sunshine, white sandy beaches, beautiful clear blue ocean framed by palm trees and local exotic birds. What’s not to like?

The Seychelles

A few days after returning back to London where I was living at the time, there was that dreaded sense of getting ‘back to the grindstone’ of daily life, work and sardine-can commuting. I recall feeling quite overwhelmed and slightly depressed about things but everybody gets that post-holiday blues thing, don’t they? But what could I do about it? How could I turn this into something good? An opportunity even?

I remember being so excited in the weeks building up to the holiday in the Seychelles, so maybe I could arrange something else to look forward to? To help get me through the ‘down’ days. I love visiting new places and remember a trip we’d planned to Whitstable in the east of England where we mooched around and had fish and chips on the beach at sunset. Not as grand or exotic as a tropical island perhaps but we had the loveliest time nevertheless.

What are you looking forward to doing?

It doesn’t have to be fundamentally reinventing your life with a grand gesture. It just needs to be something.

An evening class? A weekend away? Seeing friends or family? Sitting in the garden reading that book that’s been lying on the bedside table for weeks? Your something could also of course be taking a trip around the world or moving to another country if that is what you really want to do.

Reading In The Garden

It may have been a couple of weeks ago now, but the thousands of runners in the London Marathon could only do what they did because they had something to look forward to. The finish line. Some of them may have spent time visualising themselves crossing the line, while others may have constantly pushed themselves to finish by repeating something motivating like ‘I can do this!’ Whatever they did when they ran their race their own way, they looked forward to achieving their own goal. And to knowing that they had set their mind to something and achieved it. However painfully it may have been at times.

We can do that in our daily lives too, can’t we? Yes, of course reality and obstacles have to be addressed, however whatever we like doing or want to do, we can make happen. What’s stopping us? However supposedly big or small.

Now where did I put those travel magazines?

Thank you!

I’ve just noticed that this blog has just had its 200th subscriber. Thank you. All 200 of you. It’s a lovely Christmas/New Year gift to know that you have taken the time to read, like, comment and subscribe to my blog which is only (almost) 3 months old.

It’s hugely appreciated. Really.

Happy New Year…

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