Puzzles, Wordsworth and attention to now

Coffee shops are to us what daffodils were to Wordsworth. Which sounds like one of those maths puzzles from school:

If John is 6ft 4 inches and takes a size 11 shoe how old is Martha’s sister?

For whilst we rarely lie on our couch thinking of coffee shops they are a place that fills our heart with pleasure and a space that sparks creative thoughts and actions.

Look! A host of vegan coffee shops! Ah, so very Brighton.

We were thinking about Wordsworth and to a lesser degree maths puzzles the other day when we sat and people watched. Such enjoyment for the price of a Flat White and a Skinny Cappuccino. Who was the lonely man with a suitcase, he remained staring straight ahead as if shell-shocked and then left, preoccupied and clutching his bag and a rolled up newspaper. Maybe he had just arrived in Brighton or was wasting time before catching a Gatwick flight? As a character from the narrative of our own personal coffee shop novel he was a puzzle as were the couple who arrived in silence, drank in silence and left without a word. An aftermath of an argument or a simple, companionable peace?PeopleWatchingTheBigForest

We turned our thoughts away from the cast of characters to more pressing matters  – Christmas goods. We are getting better at thinking four months ahead but it sits uncomfortably with our intention to live in the moment.  John Lennon famously said ‘Life is what happens to you while you’re busy making other plans’ so we are consciously making thinking about the future part of the pleasure of now.

Rather like the maths puzzles it suddenly spins from being a challenge to being too much for our fuddled brains.

“Pa Ha!” says Benjamin “Lets forget about Christmas and mystery folk in coffee shops and have a slice of cake….and another coffee”. Good thinking that man!

About TheBigForest

TheBigForest. A silly artist maker creating in felt and paper construction. Like us on Facebook: TheBigForest. Find us at Twitter : twitter/TheBigForestuk


  1. Answer: Martha’s sister is old enough to know better : )

  2. I had to memorize the daffodils poem for a class many years ago. I love the start of your version.

    • We had sort of half remembered the poem until I wrote this post and searched it out. It really is wonderful. Memorising poems always reminds us of the film Farenhiet 451 where each person memorises and becomes a book. We are not sure which poems we would be but I Wondered Lonely As A Cloud is a pretty cool poem/person to be!

  3. I really don’t do enough people watching, cake eating and coffee drinking in coffee shops, sounds lovely. I’m going to try and change that…

    • To be honest Im not sure we do enough either – maybe we would be a super creative powerhouse if there was more coffee shops and less Sainsbury’s and getting an MOT and service for the Van and a million and one other things 🙂

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