Cyclists Sit in Cafés

The poem is about a winter bike ride in England, but all my café pix are outside on summer holidays.
The poem is about a winter bike ride in England, but all my café pix are taken outside on summer holidays.


Cyclists sit in cafés 

‘Nothing compares to the simple pleasure of riding a bike’

                                                                                    John F Kennedy


Cyclists sit in cafés and discuss

everything that makes a good café.

‘The bacon.’ ‘Oh, bacon’s all the same.

But what do I know? I’m vegetarian.’

The price of tea. ‘And in a proper mug.’


Enough chairs. Warmth and cheerfulness. ‘Not posh.’

‘The all-day breakfast, three-fifty for

the small one.’ ‘She’d bring a teapot over,

and the beans! You couldn’t see the bread.

Proper bread (fingers spread) that thick.’


Fluorescent queue, flamingoes clacking restless

legs. Upturned helmets crowd the table,

Beached turtles filled with stuff: gloves and sleeves and

Glasses, buffs and beanies, phones and purses.

Rides we’ve done, rides to come and other riders.


Short today, a winter ride. ‘Were you out

yesterday?’ ‘Just three of us, Trent Lock

and back.’ ‘There’s that two hundred this weekend.’

‘Forecast’s bad, they’ve given rain.’ ‘Wind on the

nose on the way back. They’ll have to dig in.’


Outside steamed up windows, bikes lean, cabled

up to railings with café locks. ‘Come on.’

‘Sup up.’ Mount up and ride away.

Wind’s on the nose again.

The Journal Shelf


Journals, far too many of them. Who’s ever going to read them? They go back to 1965, skip the lost decade of the 70s, then plough on to the present as I get ever more detailed and obsessive about only Black & Red hardbacks. I buy them in packs of 5, I index each book when I finish so I can see at a glance what events it covers.

Sometimes I do Morning Pages religiously and a book is filled in 3 months, other times it hangs around for ever.

I had this brilliant idea that I would feature ‘The Random Journal’ on this blog. Pick a date, find the nearest journal entry then offer the pearls therein to the world. I tried it, and there’s an awful lot of dross and maundering self obsession.

What’s a journal for?

  • If you’re in the habit of them, a journal is a great comfort – the friend who’s always listening
  • It’s a very selective and partial record of events
  • A way of dialoguing back with books I’m reading
  • A place to put anger and self-pity instead of dumping it on others
  • A place to try out parts of my own writing and reflect on it