Friday 15th April
I have always been an early riser, from those long ago paper round days when I would rise (without an alarm clock, somehow my body clock knows), the whole house a-slumber and get dressed and cycle off to sort and collect my papers, to Thursday mornings here in Eymet. I even once had a job three mornings a week buying fruit and veg on Covent Garden market. I had a tiny 50cc motorbike and would get up at 2 in the morning and read my ansaphone with the chef’s orders then drive from Finchley to Battersea. Actually I loved it; I would go to my favourite stall and ask what was short in the market that day and hurry off and try to secure pineapples or passion fruit or whatever it might be, I especially loved the English temporary stalls located near the car park where farmers would come with whole lorries full of freshly cut lettuces or mountains of ripe strawberries.
For years I worked as a bookkeeper at a patisserie the other end of the Central line and would catch the first 5.20 a.m. train, huddled in jumpers and coats against the cold. Then I worked part-time for a pasta maker and again would start at 6 every day, walking up York Way from Kings Cross past the junkies and discarded condoms and needles on the pavement (I was also employed and was never late for that job starting at 9 when I had finished at the pasta factory).
But even when I didn’t have to start so early I used to get in a half-hour before time to read my e-mails and enjoy that early morning latte in the still quiet morning.
We open the Café every day at nine so I am up at seven to feed and walk the dogs and on Thursday an hour earlier as I open up for market traders at seven. I love it as the dawn creeps up and the dark blue sky slowly lightens up. We are coming into summer now and this is the best time to be an early riser, the very air feels fresher, especially after a hot night. I imagine that even if we one day no longer have the Café to run I will still be an early riser, old habits die hard.