Sunday, January 30, 2011

Bertie and Boo's

In Calgary there was a little tea shop I visited frequently. Oolong Tea House served as my sitting room away from home, my personal office space and my writers studio all in one. It is, in fact, one of my favourite places on this planet. I would arrive first thing in the morning, just as the staff were taking chairs off of tables. I'd take my place at the table in the front window, leaving my rucksack on my seat, before going to the tea wall to peruse the selection. They divide their tea into green, black and herbal. I'm not a fan of herbal as it usually smells delicious but tastes bitter or sour. I am a fan of green tea when the mood strikes me. But it's black tea that I adore and black tea I would order most often. I tried every flavour I could - Raspberry Black, Market Spice, Pacific Sun, Earl Grey Cream, Russian Caravan. Each pot was enjoyed over a conversation, the writing of a blog entry, editing of a novel or investigation into other artist's blogs.

I have been on the lookout for a similar space here in London since the day I arrived. I figured it would be an easy task as the requirements weren't terribly great. A tea shop with a nice atmosphere, excellent selection and free wireless.

I can't say I've been successful with this mission but today I did find a place that met quite a bit of the criteria. Bertie and Boo is a cafe, not a tea shop. There is a tea selection but it's your standard fare of Earl Grey, Darjeeling and green. But the staff are friendly and the space is cozy. There are a few sofas and some counters with high seats at them. The tables that dot the space are old wooden hinge-top desks. Today I ordered a Darjeeling (They were out of Earl Grey.), perched myself at one of these tables and pulled out Sheffield.

The writing course I'm on is less about editing and more about mini assignments to help work on your writing. I really did want something more editing based as I don't really need to explore how to write a conversation or create a character. I have a lot of characters and a lot of conversations. I have entire journals full of biographical information on the characters I've created. Most of my writing is about relationships so conversations are frequent and varied throughout. But from six to nine every Monday I'll be sat in a room with a group of fellow creatives and forced to focus on just one of my novels. In the remaining five weeks I plan to get this book completely filled out and edited to my own satisfaction, so I can then pass it along to someone else to edit. Today I began that editing.

It was lovely to sit there in that comfortable, cozy space, feeling the buzz of community around me whilst my written words held my attention. I'm starting to really get into this editing thing. It's far less intimidating and as I re-acquaint myself with a book I finished writing about three years ago I'm finding myself able to be critical when necessary and appreciative of what I've written really well. I'm also pleased that I've found a space in London where I feel comfortable working on my writing. I can hardly wait to go there again.

1 comment:

  1. Darjeeling tea lover in Calgary :) Glad to know that :)


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