JK Rowling wrote the first Harry Potter book in a café while her baby slept next to her in a pram. Well, I have a baby and a pram. I could pen a novel like that...couldn't I?
Thanks to JKR I was inspired. Carpe diem! Today was the day! The toddler was at Nana's for the afternoon, so it was just me, baby, and buckets of inspiration.
Armed with a posh new notebook, I headed to Costa. Today, I would begin my Great Novel... Here is what I wrote...
MY GREAT NOVEL (WRITTEN IN A CAFÉ JUST LIKE ROWLING)
OK, this is not a brilliant start. I had nappies, rice cakes, bum cream and wipes, but I did not have a bloody pen. I just asked the Costa boy if he had one I could borrow but he actually looked at me as if I was mad. I strongly suspect he thinks a pen is a kind of Italian biscuit. I explained I needed to 'write something down' (I even mimed writing) but he just shook his head apologetically. Does no one use actual pens any more?
Bugger. I spilt coffee on my new notebook.
A lady at the next table took pity on me and has given me a grubby biro (definitely stolen from Argos before they switched to pencils) from the bottom of her bag. She said I could keep it. I told her I would dedicate my first novel to her. In hindsight, this may be a bit of an extreme way to thank someone for the loan of a dirty pen. I really want to give it a wipe with my antibacterial gel but I don't want to appear rude.
Right here goes...
The good news is the baby is asleep, but the bad news is I am finding it really hard to start my Great Novel as the pen woman is staring at me. Does she think I lied about needing to write something down just to get a free pen? Costa boy is also watching me, I suspect to see what one does with a 'pen' but it is all very off-putting.
I bet Rowling didn't have this problem. I bet she had a pencil case full of pens. Brilliant, now I can't concentrate as I am starting to panic. It is race against time before the baby wakes up. I'll just write anything while pulling my best 'deep in thought about something really important' face, until I am ready to begin.
Costa is very noisy. I bet Rowling didn't write Harry Potter in a Costa. It was probably a lovely quiet little tearoom full of little old ladies and spare pens.
Pen woman is still staring at me. Maybe she is waiting for me to ask her name for the novel dedication.
BABY IS AWAKE. DAMN IT.
Fobbed her off with a biscuit. It seems she does not want to sleep in the pram like Rowling Junior so I will have to feed her stuff to keep her quiet while I start my novel. Child two = another victim of obese Britain.
Ok here goes...I have half a Farley's to write the opening paragraph at the very least.
Baby is looking at me covered in rusk/saliva paste. She does not look happy. She threw the remaining rusk on the floor so I gave her a rice cake. She threw that on the floor so I gave her some of my Costa lemon cake. She seems happy with that. She should be for £2.99 a slice.
Right here the hell I go...
Or not...baby has finished the cake and is doing her poo face.
Baby is now covered in cake, screaming and smells like shit.
I think I better go.
To be continued. Maybe. One day.
Not quite Harry Potter. So I left and the baby was asleep as soon as we walked out of the door. Typical.
I have since tried to write my Great Novel at home but it is pretty hard to concentrate with a toddler trying to brush your hair with a fork and a baby demanding your attention every five minutes. Some days I can't even urinate in peace, so I guess it was a bit ambitious to think I would be able to write a book.
In conclusion, JK Rowling is clearly one of those annoying smug types whose babies fall into a long, deep slumber anywhere, any time, day or night. But don't get me started on them...
Oh well, on the bright side, I am now the proud owner of a dirty Argos pen.
I am a freelance journalist and mother to two sleep hating girls aged eight months and two years old. I feel like I have spent the best part of two years getting babies to sleep, trying to get some sleep or looking after babies on hardly any sleep. These are my confessions...