Dr Nic says …
So, I put my macbook in my backpack, made sure my red penny was in the back of the car, and took the kids to school.
I was on my way to Manly again.
There’s a cafe I go to that looks out over the beach, in fact I wrote most of my PhD thesis there, and launched a few internet businesses.
There aren’t that many people there during the week, except for lunch.
So, as long as I pay my rent (by way of ordering cafe lattes and various carb free protein salads), I get to sit and work for a few hours before I get on my penny, have a skate, and then head back home in time to get the kids.
I look across to another table and see a familiar face. I didn’t recognise who it was at first. He had a macbook as well – ahh – immediate community (the PC users just weren’t in on the game). We nodded at each other, made some light remarks about apple computers, and that was all.
When Andrew got up to leave, that’s when I recognised him. TV celeb, speaker, and children’s book author superstar.
This scenario continued for about the next two years. We’d see each other every now and then, have some chit chat, and get on with whatever work we were doing. And that’s what it’s like for cafe dwellers. We don’t have a regular place of work to go to, and so this is our office. This is where we hangout, and talk amongst ourselves during our 5 minute brain-rests.
In fact, it’s one of the key reasons I like to go to cafes instead of working from home. You get to meet some ‘awesome’ people during the middle of the week in cafes.
One day, the idea for this podcast just came up in conversation. I already had the name, and a general idea for the format, and I knew I needed a co-host. Andrew was talking about doing a podcast, and so the conversation began from there. And it’s one of those funny things. I didn’t intend to suggest that we host this together … it just seemed like a great idea while we were talking about it, and the ‘obvious’ dawned on us.
Serendipity … yeah … that’s how this all came about. And I’m damn pleased about it too.
It does sound a bit rom-commish, doesn’t it?
Two people co-exist in a local café. They nod, they smile and occasionally say hello. Over the course of a couple of years, a thousand lattes, a PhD, some launched businesses, three picture books, a bunch of columns and two yet to be finished novels, the yards between them become feet, then inches and before you know it, they see the relationship that everyone around them had seen from the beginning.
More com than rom.
I had no idea Dr Nic was doing a PhD. I have no idea what any of the regulars do at our local, but they do the same sorts of things.
One guy eats grilled tomatoes and bacon – no toast, not ever. Another guy loiters until he gets the table closest to the power point. Four old blokes share one paper and talk about their best waves ever and everybody marvels at the ability of mothers’ groups to get so many prams into such a small area.
We all inhabit the same physical and spiritual space.
From time to time, creativity needs company. It needs new ears to listen and the eyes of others to see. Ideas don’t always need an opinion, but there are moments it’s nice hear one, anyway.
I think that’s what happened with Dr Nic and me.
We just seemed to be sitting in the right spot on that particular day and managed to let a few ideas slip in the right direction. It’s funny how that works with strangers, maybe it’s because they don’t seem to judge so harshly, they’re not saddled with baggage or history or anything.
Strangers’re just there.
‘I really want to get this podcast idea across the line with this big corporate,’ I’d said. And Dr Nic nodded, adjusted his glasses, nodded again and finally said something like, “I’ve got this idea…”
Funnily enough, the two ideas weren’t dissimilar, but Dr Nic had traction already. He’d started. He was off. He was after someone to come along for the ride.
I love rides.
How much fun would it be to make one together…