One Christmas, my daughter gave me this book. An olive branch as I think it was the first Christmas without our family intact. Quick glance then, only to find it now, and how apt for the soul is calm and the journey to find these ‘quiet and restful’ places, wanting. ‘Quiet London’ by Siobhan Wall.
As I work without an office, I am free to write in the smallest niches, cafés and wine farms, city and landscape – and paddle in the most interesting of venues.
Today I find myself working at ‘The Wren.’ A cool, open and quiet space a mere stone’s throw from St. Paul’s Cathedral. Got the idea to come here from another lovely blogger, Charlotte, who places the crumbs on the path of ‘A Peace of London.’ for us to follow and I thank her for it. I wonder how many of us look for quiet places in our busy lives? I am fortunate not to have to work in a soulless office with drab interiors and artificial light, especially now that summer is here, so sitting here in a café/church: wood panelled walls and embellished lead windows, hit by a snazz of aluminium chairs and tables. Chatter, just like the chirping of birds fall around me, a word here, a sentence there, and laughter – the couple next table discussing a musical they were writing – pretty much leaned over a little too much to catch the title …
Writing about quiet places and chatter in the background seems paradoxical I know, but in a city such as this, total silence is rare. So quiet could be better described as calm. I like to work in calm spaces. The Wren is a calm space.
The Wren is housed in St. Nicholas, Cole Abbey. Not sure if it ever was an abbey, but the history goes back to 1144. Destroyed in the Great Fire, rebuilt by Wren and damaged in the war, I am sitting in a history lesson today, having coffee. On a church pew, with dead people below the floor, looking up at a golden ceiling, thinking what it must have been like during the bombing and how this place has transpired into a calm, welcoming, coffee shop to work in, in London.
There are many. Many visited and many to discover. Sort of partial to The Wren, it’s the space and my need for space is well documented.
Do you have a favourite coffee shop that gives you calm? Care to share?
Thank you for the book sweet darling, going to follow the green arrows to all the shady, green places …
Images: Daunt books