Am I a writer or a pretentious coffee drinker?

There’s a little café called the French Tarte.  Some weekend mornings when Cygnet is with his Daddy I take my laptop and have breakfast in this café.

Pretentious coffee drinker

This Morning in the French Tarte.

It is my chance to do something that is quite difficult to do with a one year old who currently has an aversion to sitting down. He just doesn’t seem to like bending at the hips, which can, on occasion, be a little inconvenient.   It also enables me to live that romantic dream of sitting, wasting away the hours, with a coffee and just writing.  Maybe this makes me a writer.  Maybe it just makes me a pretentious coffee drinker.

The French Tarte also makes me a bit nostalgic for the time when I lived in Paris, many moons ago, one University summer.   Moons ago in Paris, I never used to sit and drink coffee in cafés.  I couldn’t afford it. I did used to walk past the Café de Flore in Paris (the café where Jean-Paul Sartre, the French existentialist used to spend hours chatting, writing and philosophising).  I used to walk past Café de Flore and dream of going in to spend a morning just observing the clientele.   Making up stories about them. I am glad I didn’t really.  It is full of tourists now and wouldn’t have lived up to the romance in my imagination. 

This morning in the French Tarte there is a Spanish speaking family with a small boy, who, at a guess, I would say is about two years old.  He is being very well behaved and will actually sit on the seat for his mother.  After a while, he starts to get a bit irritable and wants to get up and walk around.  He does for a bit, but gets in the way of the waiter.  The family realise it is time to go.  There is a commotion as they leave: coats are put back on, along with matching hats, scarves and gloves.  It is not that cold out, but matching winter wear has just arrived in the shops.   Calm descends again once they leave. 

This morning in the French Tarte there is a very attractive couple who appear to be planning a kids’ party of some description.  They discuss the number of burger meals they are going to cook and how they plan to decorate the garden.  Their food has just arrived.  He is having egg on toast and she is having a croque Monsieur.  He says ‘gracias’  (Spanish for thank you) to the waiter.  The waiter isn’t Spanish, neither is he, this is a French café.  This guy is a bit of a…   

This morning in the French Tarte, there is a father with his teenage son.  The likeness is staggering.  The son is wearing a lumberjack shirt, chinos and trainers. So is his father.  He doesn’t look like a rebellious teenager, he looks quite geeky, but also very bored to be sitting opposite his father eating breakfast on a Saturday morning.  They both have the continental breakfast: croissant jam and butter with a coffee and orange juice for £4:20.  This son will turn into his father.

Pretentious coffee drinker

Continental breakfast at the French Tarte

This morning in the French Tarte, a couple of girls who are, at a guess, in their late twenties, arrive in their sports wear.  Both are wearing tight black leggings and fluorescent trainers in many colours.  They take medals out of their bags.  The lady on the table next to them asks what they received their medals for:  ‘a 5k run’.  They are now here for a snack and a gossip. They both order the salad of the day: butternut squash with blue cheese and pine nut.  They both order a skinny latté.  They both sit on the same side of the table, on the soft seats next to the wall, so that they face in and can surveil the room. 

This morning in the French Tarte, people flow in and out of the boulangerie and patisserie at the front of the French Tarte.  They buy their baguettes, croissants, desserts for their Sunday evening dinner parties.  Music plays gently in the background.  The waiters whizz round.  Everything is nice, everything is pleasant and everything is happy in this café.  Nothing bad ever happens.   

Except it does, because this is life, and in life bad stuff happens.  In the French Tarte we are all just too polite to talk about it.  In the French Tarte we hide the unpleasantness away.  In the French Tarte we only permit sweetness and light, quaintness without plight. 

Mami 2 FiveKeep Calm and Carry On Linking Sunday


  1. November 1, 2015 / 11:49 am

    It is nice to watch the world go by and forget about our own problems once in a while. We all know the world is harsh and bad things happen (a lot), but I like the idea of sitting in a cafe and just watching. (and forgetting for a short while).
    Amanda. #kcacols
    Amanda recently posted…Book Review: Death by Dangerous, by Olly Jarvis.My Profile

    • thesingleswan
      November 1, 2015 / 10:30 pm

      Hi Amanda,

      it is nice. It is really difficult not to spend a fortune on coffee though… #kcacols

    • thesingleswan
      November 3, 2015 / 11:33 pm

      Well you probably can follow them home and try looking through their windows, but you’d probably get arrested. Oh well. Thanks for your comment. #justanotherlinky

  2. November 3, 2015 / 3:22 pm

    I love this post!! It really transported me to that cafe and I felt like I was also watching these people (like if I was actually watching a movie!!) So lovely!! I think the feeling of just siting down watching other people and forgetting all your problems it is sometimes so refreshing! Thanks so much for joining me at #KCACOLS. I’m so happy to have your posts here.! I hope you can join me next Sunday!! 🙂 xxx
    A Moment with Franca recently posted…Celebrating Halloween!My Profile

    • thesingleswan
      November 3, 2015 / 11:32 pm

      Hi Franca,

      thanks for your comment and it is a pleasure to be part of #KCACOLS. I shall get writing and will see what I can come up with for Sunday. x

    • thesingleswan
      November 3, 2015 / 11:28 pm

      Great! thanks for your comment. x

  3. November 5, 2015 / 8:40 pm

    Great post. I love watching the works go by and watching other people in cafes. Thanks for linking up to #justanotherlinky xx
    Something Crunchy Mummy recently posted…Throwback Thursday #5My Profile

    • thesingleswan
      November 5, 2015 / 8:41 pm

      THanks! #justanotherlinky

  4. November 6, 2015 / 9:30 pm

    Loved reading this post and love the way you wrote it :)!
    thank you for linking up with #justanotherlinky

    • thesingleswan
      November 13, 2015 / 1:41 pm

      Great. thank you for reading and for your comment. x

  5. November 7, 2015 / 12:03 am

    I love people watching, I could spend hours listening to random snippets of conversation and seeing people interact with each other. Thanks for linking up with #sundaystars
    Katie recently posted…Sunday Stars Linky 01/11/15My Profile

    • thesingleswan
      November 13, 2015 / 1:40 pm

      I know, people watching is one of my favourite past times. Thanks for your comment. x

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

CommentLuv badge