I’d like to thank the cafe

There is a cafe in South Bristol, where I like to go. Often enough for it to feel familiar, to feel like a regular. But not too often, that it becomes an everyday. I like the trip to the cafe to feel like a treat, an indulgent change of scene. It is my favourite local cafe.

It’s built on a corner and in the evening it becomes a bar. The layout is long, tables nest in a long row, blonde wood, to match a scrubbed wooden floor. Minimal decoration, but plenty to look at, a constant traffic of people and cars through big windows on two sides, views across a busy street. I like sit at the back, by a window, with a view of the tables ahead of me. Better to ‘people watch’ the other customers and the street. Sometimes, I sit and watch the world go by. Other times, I’m so immersed in what I’m doing, that I don’t notice the comings and goings of the cafe or the road. The cafe is a good place to write, not every post on this blog, but every now and then. When I need a some of inspiration. Easily time slips by. The staff are very patient and don’t seem to mind that I can make one small pot of tea last and last.

The cafe is where I went when for a bit of ‘think’ when I was fed up with blogging and not really sure why. Actually, I was less fed up, more a little bit lost. Blogging can be very noisy, lots of blogs all jostling for space. Coming back to the cafe, letting go of distractions reminded me that actually, Helloitsgemma set out with the intention of connecting and every comment, every person I’ve met virtually is what I love and appreciate most about blogging. This blog provides a little outlet for self-expression and I cherish that and cherish those that take the time to visit.

The spaces I inhabit on the internet have got smaller as the community has got bigger. I’ve taken a small step back and realised that for me, less is more. That said, in this last year, I’ve found some great new spaces, returned to old favourites, lurked here and there. My interest is still the windows on the worlds of other bloggers, their passions, their thoughts. It’s an inspiring space and inspired me to continue doing what I enjoy. Because my space got smaller, it was (and I know everyone says this, but really it was) a surprise to be shortlisted to the last 16 of the Brilliance in Blogging awards.

This is, of course, one of those awkward ‘Please Vote for me’ posts and I would, obviously (who wouldn’t) love to make to the final 6. I am really grateful, honoured, thrilled, to be in the category of writer. I am among a group of wonderful writers, some of whom I consider friends, friendship founded through blogging. Each worthy winners in their own right.

Of all the nominees in all the categories, I am very proud to be amongst you. Some of my very favourite friends and very favorite blogs are there.

Whatever happens next for me is a positive outcome, I am really pleased to be where I am today and if I don’t make it forward, someone I really like will.

Thank you to the people who got me to this point and thank you to everyone who continues to support Helloitsgemma. I’d like to thank the cafe for the inspiration and for a good pot of tea and cake.

If you’d like to take the time to vote, then I’d be very, very, grateful. Simply click here (awkward).

I will, gladly, buy you a tea and share my cake. Come find me in the cafe. I am the woman at the back, drinking cold tea.



  1. headinbook

    Really well deserved – good luck in making it through to the final six

    I love your blog and you have always been so kind to me with mine (even though I really do sit at the back of the room, largely avoiding eye contact)

  2. Narrowboat Wife

    Well done Gemma. I will vote for you 🙂 I’d always fancied myself as the kind of blogger who might hang out in cafes with a lap top occasionally but it rarely happens these days! Must make myself some more ‘me time’.

  3. Sarah Miles

    My youngest starts school in September allowing me a day and half to myself each week. I have already ear-marked my cafe of choice…

    …I have a secret fantasy of opening up a bloggers/writers cafe one day. With free prompts around the room for the uninspired and congratulatory cake for the very inspired and, of course, free wifi for all!

  4. Jess Paterson

    Congrats on getting into the final 16! This is a lovely ode to your special space outside the home – I agree that it’s good to get away from the sound of the washing machine sometimes to find a new perspective. Good luck, hope to meet you at #BritMumsLive.

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