cinnamon buns and blue walls

From me:

Only 4 more sleeps until we head to London for a long weekend. can’t wait, it’s been over a year since we’ve been in england and i’m dying for a real hamburger PLUS a real breakfast PLUS the sunday newspaper in English! we’ll also probably load up on cheese. and when I say ‘we’, i mean me, but he’ll carry it. Are you coming for tea and cake? there are 6 of us so far 🙂

I have to tell you a story. That this past Sunday we went out for ‘breakfast’ (which was really quite terrible). Across the street from the restaurant is a newly renovated teashop that has recently closed its doors. All closed up. All the glassware spotless, tables still set, blinds open … but there’s a chalkboard in the window that says giving up their lease due to health reasons. It’s so sad, someone’s dream is now just sitting there. empty.

I said to Mr. Belle:

“That’s what I want. I want a store. Look at her tea pots, aren’t they adorable? I want a bakery that’s open 7 a.m. to 2 a.m. with continuous production. I want a place where you can order a club sandwich with smoky mayo at 1 a.m. with a side of homemade potato chips. I want to have tea tasting and some non-boozing social events. I like her spot here, isn’t it perfect? OK, i don’t like her orange and the purple colour scheme, but look how spotlessly clean it is. I’d put the cinnamon buns right there. Look, the sound system and the candles and everything is ready. Look.  Look.”

[what is hilarious about this, to me, is that i always said i didn’t want a store. I didn’t want to grow the baking/catering any bigger than it is now. I said: i’m happy with my 3 different jobs cuz i like the variety. I said: I’m happy doing the catering when I feel like it. I said: i’m good staying small, it’s manageable, it fits nicely into my life.  And then boom, i see an empty store, two blocks from my apartment, on a corner, across the street from a late night pub that serves TERRIBLE food. and that’s it.  Now i think:  the people from the shitty pub will come here to get sandwiches. i could have takeout bagel sandwiches at 2 a.m.  with a side of cinnamon buns. And breakfast at midnight. and Jones Cola.]

I didn’t want a store, i was happy being small.

Until i got to 465 days sober and saw an empty store near my home. and now the possibility wheel is turning. I say to Mr. Belle: when we’re in london, i’ll take pictures of bakeries to get ideas. And hey, Mr. Belle, can we have blue walls? or do you think that’s too foreign-american-looking… can it look like this?


when we wanted to move to europe, it took 2 years to get the finances/plans/schemes/legalities ready. this may take about as long. i’ll start dreaming now. i’ll dream it into being the way i dreamed being in europe. except this time i’ll be sober. so i won’t waste as much time (or money) trying to dream into a bottle. there are no dreams in bottles. only heartache. there are no bakeries in bottles. only smelly bad sleep. there are no cinnamon buns and blue walls and the smell of coffee in bottles. only desperation, depression, and other d-words. disgust. disdain. disease. degradation. degeneration. dandruff.

From my inbox:

Erinup (day 93): “I’d think that I had a good enough reason to have a drink it might be today … but I know if I drink things will still suck, in fact the suckage will increase. So I won’t drink today and there is a pretty high likelihood that I won’t drink tomorrow.  This situation did get me to thinking about how I can always find a reason — slash that — excuse to drink. Bad day, good day, Friday, dinner with friends, celebrations, sad occasions. If I need an excuse to drink I can find one any day of the week. I can justify my way into drunken oblivion. At the end of it all the greatest excuse still doesn’t overcome the suckage the drinking will bring.  I’m good, I don’t need a reason to drink. I have plenty, but the thing is I don’t drink anymore.”

Reading Creature (6): “When I woke this morning I remembered the promise I’d made [to Team 100] and rather than feeling like a burden I suddenly felt relieved.  I didn’t realise how much of my mental energy was used in in the constant dialogue of ‘I want to drink’, ‘I shouldn’t’, ‘a drink would be nice’ ‘ I ought not’ ‘just one’. Round and round.  Today is simple.  The decision is made. I don’t have to debate it or worry about it or justify or rationalise.  I simply won’t drink.  I can get on with my day.  I feel like a burden has been lifted from me.”

The Soberist (54): “Today has been a little easier! I am beginning to see a bit of light peeking out of the clouds. I know that will probably come and go, but it is nice to see. I also realized that the way I deal with stress sometimes is to TOTALLY FREAK OUT! I got invited to a friend’s wedding in a few months and I began worrying non-stop about what to do … Ahh, Just calm down!”

Donna (day 1):  “I may email you twice a day for a while if that’s OK, not because I am craving a drink, but because I’m not. However, I know that Wolfie is a mother-fucking sneaky fucktard who is playing with me and will knock me on my arse if I become complacent, so rather than become less vigilant at my lack of cravings, I want to become more accountable. What I did last time didn’t work, so I need to do it differently this time (also good advice from you 🙂 Have a great day”


I want to put this online, to hold myself accountable. I want to document the noise in my head. I'm tired of thinking about drinking. date of last drink: june 30, 2012

  • I can see the little shop now “Belle’s”. And people talking about it… Oh have you been to the new shop in town…. You know, Belle’s Bakery with the Beautiful Blue Walls. Oh yes. Have fun Belle. xxxxx

  • I love how you think! Being sober makes ‘anything and everything’ possible, doesn’t it?! You are so right that there are NO dreams in bottles! Only false hopes and illusions in the bottle. You sound so happy to be sober and alive, doing what you love…baking! You so deserve the best in life. Go for it! Enjoy your trip to England!

  • Sounds like a great plan. As well, you could make pies and sausage rolls for the late-night drinkers. Or, better still, make them for the hungover people the next day. That way you don’t have stay open late to cater for the drinking crowd.. 🙂

  • What a great dream–I can totally see you working hard to make it come true–I’m not sure when you find time to sleep anyway so maybe you could have it open 24 hours. Will you ship to the states? 🙂

  • Have you thought of writing sober poetry? This post was downright poetic…”there are no dreams in bottles….” Lovely.

  • Dream on, Belle! A bakery like that would be so, so cool. You are inspiring me to start dusting off some of those old dreams of mine. You are right…being sober makes accomplishing them easier, too. We have so much more time now, it’s freaking amazing. Peace, Jen