MAX BARRY TOPIC NO 3: The Coffee Shop: What: You take your laptop, order a coffee, and compose your masterpiece in public

The Coffee Shop

What: You take your laptop, order a coffee, and compose your masterpiece in public.



Totally didn’t go to a coffee shop today with my laptop or anything else. Wimped out completely. Didn’t even move to a different writing spot. I could at least go out on the verandah but I probably won’t. I have been writing in other places all week because I have been staying with family and that has mean the corners of unfamiliar rooms and on my bed.

In addition, I did go out for the day today. The power was off here. We had forgotten that. They sent us a message before Christmas but we forgot about it. That sent me scuttling out into the world. The world today was a pleasant place. I visited Kati B and the baby and we went to Gleniffer for a swim. Its also known as the Promised Land out there and the Creek is the Never Never.

Its not a coffee shop and I didn’t take my laptop out anyways. I did take my camera. I still like the coffee shop idea. Perhaps I shall trace my internet usage over the years – briefly – within the coffee shop framework. And also, the motel.

Way back, when the Net was new, I stayed from time to time in Sydney. I used to take the bus to Glebe and use the computers in an Internet Café. Did the same thing in 2001 in Coolangatta,

Before laptops were common that was.

Libraries gave free Net access and community centres provided it cheap. All the writing and searching was then done in  public. With tight time limits on it. Once I had  a full on dispute with a librarian in Tweed Heads who wouldn’t let me use the computers due to not being a local.

Then dial-up came in Meant I could write at home but slowly and with no phone access while doing so.

These days are good days for me.

Laptop. Mobiles. Good times. Might find some pics of me out and about with laptops. No, I shall look for images of places in which I have done my writing. Usually at the window watching the passing parade.


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27 Paxton Avenue. Belmore, Sydney. I grew up in this house and began writing at the windows on the far right.

In 2002, I was driven to living in shared accommodation in Tugun on Queensland’s Gold Coast and my writing was restricted to my one room. That’s the windows there.

cut table

2005. In Bilambil Cottage.

Looking North to Queensland.

The outdoor writing table at Bilambil Cottage. 2005.

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The LINDEN GALLERY where I sold fine art and did my writing standing at the windows which overlooked the pool.

The spare room in Camperdown where the computer was kept.

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The Camperdown setup. 2006.


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The LINDEN GALLERY setup. 2006 Bilambil.
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2006 Bilambil

2007. Sharing resources due to Gold Coast Resort having no net facilities.

The new ACER laptop. 2008 With mobile broadband. Vodafone (which sucked but freedom had begun). AND the cordless mouse.

That will do me for today. The Coffee Shop assignation is still with me. I will close with some feedback from Bellingen Writer PIP WILSON.

Pip Wilson

Julia, a writer herself, ages ago asked how I’d actually written a very long novel (Faces in the Street). My strategem had been to set myself 1,000 wds/day, 7 days/week. I had a ball, and liked the result. Now, after searching, & heat, I’m about to start that easier thing I mentioned here recently, my memoirs, at one par a day. Fun for me, easy, and a wonderful part of my healing process esp. vis-à-vis memory.

Day 31: Epilogue: Write a letter to yourself.

That’s it then. The DANA CHALLENGE  completed.  Just the letter to myself to write at the end of this first month of 2011.

Dear Self,

I have been watching closely as you moved into this New Year. Trifle hectic. Seems to me that you are doing OK so far. No reason you won’t continue to do so. Don’t forget that this is one freaky period in your life and take a look now and then at the Cainer Horoscope for 2011 and pay attention to it.

You’ve taken years becoming who you are. This is not the year to rattle and shake that too much. Its solid. Leave it standing. There’s enough outside variations going on. Hammer the tent pegs in a little more firmly. Dig the trench a little deeper and stay where you are. Stay where you are, doing what you’re doing with the people you’re doing it with.

That’s one month passed. Whatever happens during this time, keep it relational to what’s happening in Port Mac. Acknowledge the impact. Even if something doesn’t appear to be connected to Port Mac, it most likely will be.

Hang in. Hang in. Hang in. Add some more Meetings. Walk. Talk a little more. Buy a gas heater. Allow the panic to wash over you. You won’t drown it.

Laugh a lot.  Roll around on the floor laughing. Apologise for nothing. Nothing at all.

Hmm. Hmm. Forget the Variations and enjoy the Unvarying. That’s an art form in itself. Check in at the end of the coming month.

Fear nothing. Regret less. As the Urunga Nippers say.

Yrs, L.

Topic #31: If you had your own reality show, what would it be called?

Topic #31.  Here’s today’s topic, brought to you by

If you had your own reality show, what would it be called? What would it be about? Who would the main characters be?

The new reality Show.


2 Racehorses and a Red Pony.

I shall provide you with some links and leave the reality to you.

There you go. There’s the name of the Show and the Characters and some Music. I leave it with you.

wwswf The Australian Women's Weekly , Wednesday 1 May 1968