The pleasure of deprivation

If this were any other Saturday I’d be writing this while having my breakfast somewhere in the neighbourhood. Maybe down at Kitchen & Pantry off Portobello Road. Especially since I was up early enough this morning to have got a good seat, maybe even one of the sofas.

The trouble with Kitchen & Pantry is that it overlooks Lutyens & Rubinstein which tends to open around about the time I’d be finished blogging and having my coffee. And Lutyens & Rubinstein is currently my favourite bookshop in the world.

But since I am one week into my ban on book buying and “writing meals” (i.e., going out for breakfast, lunch or dinner by myself to write), I am instead sitting at my desk at home eating hard boiled eggs and sipping my black coffee with cinnamon.

I don’t know … somehow this feels more writerly to me. Surely writers throughout history have had black coffee and eggs for breakfast?

Lately Londoners have been complaining intensely about the extreme lack of summer, but from where I sit now with my breakfast and laptop, the blustering tree-swaying morning is the perfect start of day. Despite all the complaints, the sun is breaking through and here and there leafy canopies are sparkling with crackling rays.  A dog down the street is barking and the bells of a nearby church are tolling — so all must be well.

That said, I still have two full weeks of no solitary excursions to my local restaurants and no book buying to survive so it’s possible my good mood will wane.

Plus I’m going to be in New York next week which means I shall have to forgo my ritual pilgrimage to Union Square to raid the multi-story Barnes & Noble for crisp new paperbacks.

I met with my writer’s group on Wednesday night at our usual place and they said they were worried that the Counting Zeros ban on books and writing meals would jeopardise my productivity.  I’m not worried about that — no, my concern is that life can quickly become drab and mean and pencil grey when you deny yourself favourite pastimes.

But so far I’m getting a kick out of it. I might even make more elaborate plans for tomorrow’s breakfast — though I can’t think what. Maybe I could walk all the way to some far-off & exotic market and buy take-out coffee and breakfast supplies and walk them all the way home. In some sort of beautiful basket? I don’t think this breaks any aspect of the ban. As long as I don’t stop at Lutyens & Rubinstein along the way.

For those of you actually hoping to learn something in today’s post — here are two items sent in this week from fellow blog followers. One an article about John Spooner, Boston’s money expert, a man “so engaged in the world around him that he prefers to write his books (longhand) in bars and restaurants.” [is the universe taunting me?]. The other this clip from the latest TED hero, Susan Cain, about the fabulousness of introverts.

Back tomorrow with next week’s assignment.

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