This is Da’ Funk.

The month is December. The year is 2016, not so long ago.

I have finished work for the year and am going to spend the holidays in New York. I am in my room, it feels like it is snowing outside or at least we are all hoping it will be soon. I have plans for the two weeks off, mainly to go kickboxing every day and carry on exploring the city as rapacious as I had been doing since September. I am playing this song repeatedly because it has a cool vibe. And it captures how I to an extent feel.

Free.

Music has the ability to take me back in time.

The Yard Café. The Best Coffee Shop This part of town.

The Yard Café. The Best Coffee Shop This part of town.

It is Friday afternoon at the start of April. I am sitting at the communal table in this petit, coquette and extremely lovely coffee shop located fairly close to where I live. It is called The Yard and it lives inside Alexandra Palace train station.

You would never expect a place of this kind inside a train station, however this is one of the reasons it is so special. An unexpected and tiny oasis of coffee, croissants, homemade food and cakes (including chocolate cake, that I’ve just had a big piece of) as you are walking into the train station, swiping your Oyster and rushing down the station to catch the next train to King’s Cross or up north.

It is really difficult to pass it by, as it feels part of a different world and something that is out of Alice in Wonderland (or your favourite magical land).

It also feels like it belongs in a different part of town, perhaps a cul-de-sac in South Kensington, and a street around Brick Lane or Shoreditch altogether. It brings with it the vibe of a cool place, a cool part of town, a cool era –

and as I sit here writing this up and listening to what sounds like interwar jazz, I find myself thinking of the streets of Paris around the same time in history or a reclusive attic in New York where all the artists used to gather, discuss the arts, sip whiskey and smoke cigars or some of the rom-comedies that thrilled us all in the 90s.

A lovely ending and experience to a week full of ups and downs.