Once upon a time, there was a girl who started a business. She had an office off the main road, behind a building, down an alleyway, up some stairs and straight on the left. She would work late into the night, sometimes stopping for dinner or meeting a friend for a drink.
She always bought her coffee from the same place just in the block she called home, she believed in local economy. And so, one night whilst thinking about a work project and meeting friends for a catch up drink, she found herself downstairs from the office and just on the corner, sitting in the corner bar of the block she called home.
Although a whisky drinker from way back, her palette was mostly developed around wine – but with a fondness for the refreshing sting of Stone’s Ginger Wine, she ordered the Whisky Mac and a love affair was born.
It was born in first impressions, then in suggestion and appreciation of her palette – it’s developing preferences always given room to fly. It began with the slightest remembrance of her name and then a smile. Not a slick, keep’em happy kind of smile, but a genuine, good to see you again kinda smile.
Hospitality is the most important gift of all the gifts. It’s the one that builds communities and shelters people from the storm. That smile has been my shelter from the storm on plenty of nights. A friendly drink became a regular watering hole for all our friends. A pre-gig pizza and drink, a post-gig cocktail meltdown and mostly, for me… a late night place to hang my hat once or twice before bed. A place to never feel lonely, despite being alone on the other side of the bar.
It’s a place where I have experienced and been blessed enough to experience the height of hospitality, the beauty of friendship birthed in creative respect and mostly, I have been loved and connected, by the grace of a welcoming face and listening ear.
There are plenty of people who pride themselves on all sorts of things, that will never tend to my heart or my head or my soul, the way that he does. I go to the bar because I like the people but mostly – I like to drink well. My tastebuds have learned new songs to sing, which has made me a better writer and musician. I’ve learned so much about people from watching them and listening to them. I have become friends with someone who inspires me. It’s a gift. I’m so grateful to believe in someone and their creative ability. I’m so overjoyed to delight in their passion for the craft.
I have been buoyed in the middle of cold, long nights with foolishness and punk rock songs, with crisp beer and sarcastic gin & tonics.
I have finished my first book, much much sooner than the book I thought would be the first one… I have been inspired. I am ever grateful.
I wish I had the gift of hospitality the way that he does.