She started by asking what I wanted – a cappuccino. But then Jess, who owns the café, came up behind her and said, “William’s a writer!”
And then to me, “She’s a writer!”
No name, oddly.
But I think there’d been a conversation between them about writing. And I’d arrived just slightly after the right moment.
Anyway, She-Who-Remained-Nameless told me that yes, she did want to write, but that actually, she was a copywriter.
She writes copy for other people’s websites, but wants to write her own blog.
Then we talked about Ayurvedic personality types.
There’s Vata, which is air/ether, and there’s Pitta, which is fire/water. And then there’s Kapha, which is, um, She hesitated, probably what I am. “But you’ve probably got bits of the others as well!” Kapha is slow, grounded, earth/water. Not, you know, thin. Kapha people are more on the, ah, heavy side. Sort of, um, slow.*
My new friend and I got through the Ayurvedic personality-types conversation, and then She gave me a series of reasons why she hadn’t actually quite got around to blogging about them yet.
She just needed to spend some more time planning to do it, and getting ready to do it, and talking about doing it, and checking the alignment of the planets, and finishing the washing up, and Hoovering behind the sofa, and deciding absolutely one hundred percent what exactly she was going to write, and anyway, she was very busy…
I told her to fail.
I told her that it’s easier to succeed from failure, which is all about learning from experience, than it is to succeed from having a lot of perfectly convincing reasons why you haven’t started yet.**
I told her to write something.
She told me she couldn’t because she was going snow-boarding next week.
I went and sat down and she brought me my cappuccino.
I thought about fear – can’t do anything that matters, for fear of failing at it – and I tried to believe that the picture on the cappuccino (it was a tree) was a ski slope (it was a tree), and then I dawdled around the idea of having the ability to draw anything in the foam on a cappuccino. Not much of a story prompt, but good for a moment or two.
Then I went off into a proper daydream about the young writer I’d just met. Inspired by me (this was MY daydream), she’d forget about the possible cobwebs in the corners of the ceiling of the stairwell, abandon plans to buy pencils that she’d have to sharpen before she could possibly start tapping at her laptop, and actually start writing.
Her blog would be an instant, massive success. There’d be books, a TV show, merchandise, a biopic.
I’d be able to say, “I knew her before she was famous.”
Inspired by her example, I decided to go straight home and write something big.
And I will. Everything’s in order. I just need to tidy my desk and deal with that cobweb, and then…
*I should probably look them up, rather than reconstructing the conversation from memory. Mistakes and misunderstandings of Ayurveda – my fault. If only some young person would start a blog on the subject.
**You should have heard me. I was quite convincing, albeit in a self-help-book kind of way.
No idea. But that reminded me.
I went in search of my Fitbit, which I’d taken off in mid-December and forgotten to put back on again.
Found the charging cable. Plugged it in. Opened the Fitbit app in my iPhone. Clicked on Forgot my password.
Got that sorted out. But no, the app couldn’t find the device. Was it charged up? By now, yes.
Was Bluetooth on? Yes. Had I turned Bluetooth off and then back on again? Yes.
Tried Update device. No. Tried removing the device from the app and reinstalling it. Aha!
Agreed to the terms and conditions. Waited while the app updated the device.
Clicked through the introductory blah about how I can use the device to measure stuff about myself.
Spent a while looking at the app’s new dashboard.
Finally found the menu leading to the bit where I could specify that I would be wearing the device on my non-dominant wrist. Put it on that wrist – loosely, as reminded.
Worked out roughly how long all that had taken.
Went upstairs to my sock drawer – which is the one place in the house where there are no socks, given that I always start there when I’m looking for socks – and shuffled aside all the old manuscripts, notebooks, hats, gloves, until I found my old pedometer. Clipped that to my belt.
Went out to buy some birdseed. Success. 4,130 steps later, I have birdseed and I also picked up some birch logs.
My pedometer’s back in the sock drawer. Along with the Fitbit.
Very bright sunshine. Very clear air. Cold, but I prefer that to the rain.
Maybe I’ll go out for another walk later. Argal Lake, perhaps.
If I do, I’ll take one of my devices, just to know how many steps.
No, not that one.