Coffee Shop Cliché

If I could give you all a perfect representation of the stereotypical depiction of white girl in a coffee shop, I’d need only turn on my laptop’s camera and you’d have the complete visionary right in front of you now.

However, for the sake of my hate for selfies and generally all photos of myself, I’ll leave it to your imagination. But here’s an edgy photo to portray said situation…


Plus, when I went to (try) complete said selfie task, only double chin prevailed, and I was not about to set about finding the perfect angle through means of a laptop camera in a public place. That, and the fact that sweaty, helmet hair and wind-flushed cheeks are in full force right now, seeing as the second segment of the cycle ride to get here has just been completed. So let’s just say, I’m not looking at Activewear’s best.

So yes, I am white girl in a coffee shop with a fully functional, open MacBook to just add to the visionary and did I mention I’m also wearing activewear? The Macbook FYI, that was supposed to remain a tool for work, but when your personal laptop is HP’s first released version in 1999, that weighs more than a small human, this sleek device I’ve been forever missing out on sits much more comfortably in the depths of my super cool rucksack than what the other laptop would. Apparently, the only aspect actually missing from this visage, is that of the white, sugary coffee to complete the Frapalapacapuccino they serve nowadays, where I’ve instead settled for a single espresso – how it should be on Coffee Tour 2k17 (I’ll get to this shortly).

So maybe it’s not quite the stereotypical, white girl visionary I was intentionally heading towards – that obviously just comes naturally – but instead more just a dorky cyclist that’s decided to spend a rare, free Saturday stamping two of the independent coffee shops in London’s Coffee Guide Book, 2017.

I’ll first touch on ‘rare, free Saturdays’, then the exciting and thrilling journey that this ‘Coffee Tour 2k17’ is going to take. Let me stress, this isn’t actually its given name, I’m not sure I’m that sad…

After a truly wondrous (think I can still say that) afternoon was recently spent, Boris Biking through the not so bike-friendly roads of London, demolishing chocolate, on top of chocolate mochas, I’d never felt more of an incentive to finally side step trying to do a full-time Monday to Friday job, as well as a weekend job elsewhere. However, when you want to live and work in London and still afford to eat (yes I actually do that shit now), sometimes having a life gets somewhat sacrificed in the process; hence the 7 day working weeks.

But as of August, this will be no more! As I’ve finally bitten the bullet, realised I liked life on weekends, and instead sacrificed the extra dollar for a bit of caffeine, cycling-filled fun… You’d have thought I’d want to start potentially weekend city jetting to make up for all those lost weekends, but no; just bikes, brews and solitary bantz.

Combining this new found love I’ve got for cycling my way around London, with my love for black coffee – a love that was only really discovered because I’d run a terrified mile away from any added calorie during the worst parts of my eating disorder, I’ve now formed this somewhat ambition to try every independent coffee shop mentioned in ‘The London Coffee Shop Guide’, which was recently passed on to me. The cycling only comes in as a means of transport to get between said coffee shops, where each week I will visit two more located in opposite parameters of London.

Though I by no means claim to be a coffee connoisseur, I can at least pluck out the instant coffee from the Barista-brewed (I think?), even when you are paying top dollar for the Nescafe Gold Blend coffee from Tesco. So although some form of rating system would be a top notch addition to these little weekend adventures, I’ve decided I’d much rather just soak in the atmosphere, the people and the achievement of actually making it alive to the coffee shop without being knocked off my bike en route. That and the fact that I’ll probably be paying a small fortune for each one of these little gems so that will no doubt influence my tasting thoughts.

So with full explanations in order, I sit now in coffee shop number 149 in the book, ‘Coffee7’ (Forest Gate), after previously sitting in coffee shop number 3, ‘The Borough Barista’ (Marble Arch), with my MacBook in hand and a slightly worrying shake in my circulatory system. I am fully kitted out in activewear, probably looking like some sad, lonely (slightly creepy), spinster and I could not give two shits because I am feeling super liberated… and maybe possibly a bit too caffeinated.

Coffee and cycling are a great combination in my eyes and I’m pretty damn excited for the next one. So from the corner of a cosy seat in East London’s Sebert Road… Bottoms up!


That’s enough caffeine for one day.

Sorry I was late…

You’d have thought after a few weeks that the novelty of the London commute would’ve worn off by now and it’s only upon reflection do I question why it hasn’t yet. Apart from the people that insist waiting an extra minute for the next Victoria line train is far too long, so decide to squeeze in to the already rammed carriage and ignore all warning of the closing doors, or the passengers that lack a serious concept of urgency (or general lack of fitness), that can’t move any faster for people like me that insist I WILL make it to the overground with 3 seconds to spare, I really actually don’t mind the commute. So much so, that I was still planning to have my birthday on an actual tube… except it’s not really a tube, it’s called Cahoots and it’s a restaurant and it’s just designed like a tube.

Embarking on the commute comes with having started a new internship in recent weeks. Commute aside, I’ve had to take on several other new challenges: the hardest being to try and overcome the anxiety that has aroused when eating lunch around new people followed by the awkward explanation to the mass of confused expressions of why I’m not indulging in the mouth-watering pizza that everyone else is eating in the office. I’m fooling no one when I say that my banana is more appetizing.

Food aside, I’ve also faced the almighty challenge that has come with deciding what outfit to wear each morning. Though I could undoubtedly rock up in just a pair of jeans and a baggy sweatshirt due to the nature of my office, if I’m going to blend in with the general persona of Knightsbridge, you bet I’m going to strut my stuff in Primark’s latest office wear collection.

Where I’ve been so used to wearing a uniform that is as unflattering as ever, having worked in a leisure centre before this internship, I’ve long forgotten what it’s like to have to ensure you’re looking at your clothing best every day. This hit me at its worse last week, where the eating disorder desire to constantly hit perfection and not have a shred of evidence that I have any fat anywhere on my body and I was late for work.

Though I blamed it on train delays – which if you’re travelling on the London Overground, it pretty much guarantees you aren’t lying anyway – I was in fact rushing around the nearest clothing retailer looking for clothes. I felt so fat and so hideous in what I’d chosen to wear that day, that I’d almost considered turning around and going home after almost breaking down in tears on the train.

Perhaps I looked fine in what I was wearing, perhaps there wasn’t really that much excess back fat hanging over the side of my bra and perhaps my arms didn’t look like someone had attached a hammock to my tricep and was swinging merrily in the wind.

The point being that an eating disorder can still creep up on you at times where you still just don’t expect it. When I thought my confidence was on an up-turn, you’re taken 100 steps back because anorexia says you’ve gotten too fat. Sod you!