For the last few months I have survived the rigours of the basin – Paddington Basin, that is.
One of the little guilty pleasures which has helped me start and survive the day has been this little coffee cart that catches a unique mix of care and office workers as they walk over the bridge from St Mary’s Hospital in Paddington, London, to the corporate head offices housed at The Point, Waterside and Merchant Square.
The cart is run by one Edmundo Aldo Guevara De La Cruz – or Eddie for short. It is one of my favourite mobile coffee places – the other one being the VW Combi van with its couches which sets up under The Westway in Notting Hill – but it is the character of the barista, who markets himself as Mr Coffee, which makes me care for this cart in a way that no other coffee cart can.
Eddie brings some of the charm and great coffee to London which I experienced when I travelled to Peru back in 1998. In short, while contemplating a coffee here at the start of the day, your troubles seem to slip away, as he cheerily chats to you about football, ladies and life – assuming you have a few spare moments to listen – or otherwise simply serves you “your usual” with a rye and cheery smile.
Indeed, on Thursdays in summer when the market is on and the sun is shining there at Merchant Square, your can almost forget all your office worries and woes as you watch the canalboats go down the canal while you lie back in a deck chair with a coffee at lunch-time. Well, almost…..
In truth, while it is great that some of the office shoguns have shown some sensitivity to the sensibility of relieving stress of their workers through providing a pleasant canal-side setting, one gets the impression that few care to be out of the office enjoying such a scene.