Here is another blog from one of our Officrèche members, Danica Appolline, author of The 7 Magic Keys of a Wonderful Life.
“Is that a……..?” Elizabeth asked, pausing with surprise, as she walked in to find me typing away on my laptop, upstairs at Officrèche.
“A measuring jug of tea, yes” I said, completely expecting the quizzical look that flashed across her face.
“I forget to drink,” I began to explain. “I think seeing lots of tea in a measuring jug helps me to remember to drink. I don’t see tea in tea cups and hours will go past and I won’t have drunk the tea.”
Elizabeth didn’t know that it was the first time that I brought my little peculiar drinking buddy with me into Officrèche, but she didn’t ask me to leave, or call the men in white coats, so I think I’m OK.
I’m a writer. I can spend hours and hours tapping away, without looking up – not properly anyway – and will skip eating and drinking just to make sure I don’t lose the words that are trying to tumble out of me onto a screen. So my £4 Pyrex measuring jug, and its room for 2 of my fave herbal teabags and half a litre of water see me through.
That was the first time I had met Elizabeth, and it was also the day that I finished formatting my second book, The 7 Magic Keys to a Wonderful Life, sitting upstairs in Officrèche, typing away in the morning light shining through the big bay windows.
“Genius!!!” I first thought when I realised how Officrèche is set up. I couldn’t work out how no-one else had come up with the idea. My son had been in a nursery before, but trying to find a way of building in flexibility and great childcare I could trust for him, that he liked, that meant lots of other children around seemed a bit tricky.
I know I am not the only one. Brighton is full of us “creative” types; sometimes we are in the creative flow, have lots of work to produce, and other times things are quiet and we spend more time focused on our life at home. Sometimes the money flows more, and sometimes less, so having the flexibility of being able to find childcare that our children are comfortable with but can work with our changing working patterns is wonderful.
I have loved having access to the space upstairs, so that sometimes I could be in the warm and the dry, with a kitchen, but not at home or in the same cafes.
Knowing my son is in a place he loves, with other children he loves, with a team of people who are really lovely, and kind and present with him, means that I can relax when I am not with him – and let the ideas flow through my writing.
I have finished my second book with the help of the unique combination of excellent childcare provision and facilities at Officrèche – but, like Elisabeth’s reaction to me and my measuring jug of my fave herbal tea, there is a flexibility, an openness and a sense of building community that I love at Officrèche, not just with the parent volunteers (another genius idea!), but generally, there is a sense of everyone working together somehow to meet everyone’s unique and individual needs – all of which have been an invaluable part of being a typical Brighton creative trying to finish her book!
Thank you Elizabeth, Michelle and the whole team
The 7 Magic Keys to a Wonderful Life is now available on Amazon