coffee shops for sad people, cont'd

In the previous installment of this ramble, I alluded to the intention to write a different post: this is that.

It's hard to be an insomniac in Edinburgh.

When the urge to avoid sleep grips me, prefer not to mope around the flat if I can help it. I've certainly spent more than a few mopey evenings listening to music and working on nothing in particular, but in general I prefer to get out of the house and go somewhere. The problem comes when this urge strikes at 1am and I have nowhere to go.

I've lived in Edinburgh for just over a year and I have yet to find a coffee shop which stays open later than 8pm, let alone one in which I can curl up and and work well into the early hours of the morning.

I'm currently sat in the Auld Hoose; a small bar in central Edinburgh which I've been spending far too much time in recently. It's not the quietest place to be and they're only open until 12:45am, but I've made a habit of taking the table at the back, donning my headphones, and nursing a wee one for an hour or so whilst I work on whatever takes my fancy. They know me by name now – I'm not sure if I should be proud or ashamed.

I get it: It doesn't make sense to pay somebody to work the night shift just to brew me a mug of coffee every few hours, but I can't help but wonder how many other night owls Edinburgh has – how many other insomniacs share my desire for somewhere to be?

I want to gaze through grubby first-floor windows and drink burned espresso whilst the last drunken partygoers stumble home, and everyone sensible has already been tucked up in bed for hours. Is that too much to ask?


Listening to my “Music to be Sad to” playlist whilst writing this, I was reminded of “Skimming the Fractured Surface” from Kaki King's “Glow”, an album I discovered in my mid teens. I'll write more about what exactly this album means to me someday soon – I promise.