This morning, however, I had to get my car across to the other side of town for its annual service and MOT.
This meant quite a few niggles all piled into one:
1. I was just getting into my writing-stride when I had to leave home.
2. I had to head out into rush-hour traffic.
3. I was going to a garage and whenever I go to garages, owing to my complete lack of car knowledge, I tend to get treated like a moron.
4. My little car, whilst good and faithful, is really rather old….
Chances were, it wasn’t going to be the best of days.
But as I packed up my laptop so that I might work whilst waiting for my car, I comforted myself by thinking how amazing it is that we can do that. That we can just pack up our office and take it with us wherever we go.
And yes, there are times when I’d rather not be so connected all the time. But there are other times, such as the days when my head is full of picture-book text I just want to keep playing with, that this ‘modern technology’ is GOOD.
The reason I had to drive all the way across town to get to the garage is because I’d chosen a new garage in the hope of finding some good old fashioned decency (see point 3 above), which I consider far more important than convenience. So there I arrived, armed with my talisman laptop and ready, if necessary, to point out that lack of knowledge does not equate to stupidity.
My hackles came down at once. I was met by a gentle-voiced man with a rather calming pattern shaved into his already very short hair, who recommended a nearby café for me to work in with those magical three little words: ‘It’s nice there’.
He wasn’t wrong. Light and airy, and reminding me somehow of the cafés in the travels of my past….
I settled in only to discover the plug sockets were up in the ceiling. No matter! The ladies there couldn’t have been more helpful. They set me up on a table near a staff-only door, opened it a little, and fed my cable around the edge to one of the sockets on the other side. And when they saw that my work-spread left little room for my breakfast plate, they simply pulled over another table. It was perfect.
I worked at the café for the best part of all day (they didn’t mind in the least), collected my car (which ‘almost’ passed first time), was dealt with (caringly!) by the garage proprietor and headed back home. Just a day in the life….
So why am I posting about it?
Maybe it’s because I’m a writer, or maybe it’s just me, but I’m so very sensitive to the energies of my surroundings when I’m trying to work. A bad day, a bad word, grey skies, unresolved tensions: they all make it very difficult for me to write. But a good day, a friendly smile, sunshine, unexpected kindnesses: these are the things that fuel my ideas.
These are the things that my stories are built on, and I’m always grateful when they come my way. So this post is a thank you: to the mechanics and staff members who today helped build a story with their kindnesses and decency.
These things are appreciated.
W. Lever & Sons / AJ’s Café
Albert Road, Farnworth