Size does Matter at Timmy’s

Yes, we Canadians do  have big issues.

Last Thursday I challenged myself to not be a coffee snob and write in a Tim Horton’s coffee shop (Can I Write with a Double Double?). My adventure was more than a little interesting. For thirty minutes, early on Saturday morning, I soaked in the culture, drank coffee and enjoyed the view.

This Timmy’s is open 24/7,  but dawn was a good time to be there.

The sun was rising over the coastal mountains peaking above  clouds in the distance ( not visible in this photo ),  the harbor is in front.

I found “Timmy’s” a place of inspiration, a place where  ideas about characters and dialogue  flow… but it’s not “a get down and dirty” writing place for me. That is, I didn’t’ crack my laptop.

Standing in the coffee line-up at 7:40, I listened to one man ahead of me greet a friend and tell him about a curling tournament he was in. (Can’t get much more Canadian than that, eh.) In a voice laced with humble pride he explained he’s  going to the Nationals this year. The friend acknowledged this information with a few manly nods, but was more concerned about the trailer parked in front of the guy’s house. “Is it for sale?”

A group of twelve senior men sitting at two tables near the washroom talked loudly, too loudly, and laughed a lot. I sensed the loudness of the banter signified something, but I’m not sure what.

I sat down with a “medium coffee double cream” and a breakfast sandwich, which I later regretted.

The woman opposite me looked to be in her forties, plain looking with stringy hair and a weathered face that spoke of a difficult life. She was someone to watch. She started with arm stretches in the air like a cat flexing its claws. She greeted four people who came through the door and chatted with each one. For her the place was like “Cheers” in the TV show, a place where everyone knows your name. She read a newspaper over the shoulder of a man sitting at the table next to hers. I was waiting for him to complain, but after a few minutes he turned and smiled at her. They started a conversation about the headlines. She said, “You’re a stubborn man aren’t you. I feel sorry for your wife.” Go figure.  She tried to make eye-contact with me. I put my head down and scribbled. I wanted to be an observer, not a participant.

The coffee line up was steady, men of all ages wearing ball caps, two children in toques, Mom’s looking tired. A large man in a Hawaiian shirt and cowboy hat sat in the corner taking in the scene. A woman sewed feathers together as she drank her coffee. Was she making a dream catcher or a headpiece?  A petite blonde woman in scrubs bustled in.  Her shift at the medical clinic down the street must be starting soon. A west-coast Canadian Montague, a place where you feel like you’ve stepped in from the cold to join your people. …and I sat there scribbling, as weird and wonderful as all the rest.

At 8:10 the line-up lengthened, the room filled. It was time for me to move on. I walked a few blocks to “Serious Coffee” and spent two hours on my laptop. It was a great morning and I think the stop by Horton’s got me going.

Go figure! I’ll definitely stop by again.

Author: Jo-Ann Carson

About Jo-Ann Carson Where magic happens … Reports of Jo-Ann Carson’s death on a Gulf Island are greatly exaggerated or, at the very least, premature. The eclectic crew of ghosts that haunt her head spill onto the page in two series: The Gambling Ghosts and The Ghost & Abby Mysteries. A Viking with existential issues, a broken hearted Highlander, a Casanova man-witch and a Pirate with a secret are just a few of the males her strong heroines encounter in tales of fantasy, adventure and romance. A firm believer in the magic of our everyday lives, Jo-Ann loves watching sunrises, walking beaches near her home in the Pacific Northwest and reading by the fire. You can visit her on social media: Website * Blog * Twitter * Facebook

10 thoughts on “Size does Matter at Timmy’s”

  1. I love Tim’s and I love writing in coffee shops. Don’t know if I could combine the two, though. For people watching, Tim’s is great — lots of loud chatter that more “serious” coffee shops don’t get.


    1. Alice
      I agree Timmy’s is great for people watching. I think it could become habit forming. Thanks for stopping by and commenting.


  2. Does this mean that they have removed the 20 min -no loitering signs?
    You do see some interesting stories at Timmies.
    Once Hubby and I wanted to go fishing the next morning so we took ourselves to his brother’s backyard(the leafpile there yields the best fishing worms). Afterwards it was late so rather than disturb the family we just went to a nearby coffeeshop. Hubby went to the washroom while I ordered. The girl was friendly, she poured our coffees and said since it was late our doughnuts were free. She and the few people in there seemed to be staring at me but I sat down. DH came over and asked me why people were staring at him. Picking off the slug that was crawling up his face, I said I supposed that was why him, but why were they staring at me. He picked the dried leaves out of my hair and muttred, ” probably this.”
    I wonder what they thought we had been doing. I don’t think we ever went back.(lol)


    1. Dory
      Loitering signs? Do tell.
      I love your slugs and dried leaves story. The best stories are always about ourselves making fools of ourselves. Too funny. …and so Timmy worthy.


  3. Certainly a place to get characters, Jo-Ann. I like to watch people in an airport. Going to have a 3 hour delay at LaGuardia in August on our way to Maine. I’ll have my lap top out for notes for sure.
    The slug and leaf story was so funny, Dory!


    1. Marsha
      The airport! What a great idea. I watch people, but I’ve never taken notes. Thanks for stopping by.


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