Hampstead poet reunited with his beloved writing table
A Hampstead writer who suffers from mental health problems was heartbroken after a writing haven he called home for 17 years was temporarily closed for refurbishment.
But Adnandus Dyzantae, 35, was left speechless when, just hours after bidding farewell to the table and chair where he penned countless poems in a quiet corner of Caf� Rouge, he was reunited with the treasured furniture at his home.
His mother Shireen Jamil had bought the table, all four wicker chairs and even the reserved sign – a permanent fixture at the spot where he regularly wrote – and surprised her son.
The 56-year-old, also mum to Channel 4 presenter Jameela Jamil, said: “He was totally distressed about Caf� Rouge closing down for three weeks. I thought, ‘What can I do? I cannot bear this.’
“That was his safe place. He would write at that table for three hours every night – he was possibly their most loyal customer.”
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She set up the table in the foyer of her son’s building in Belsize Grove, Belsize, complete with the teapot, cup and saucer and sugar bowl before he arrived home last Thursday.
“The look on his face – my heart just broke, that something so small could mean so much,” said Ms Jamil, of Fitzjohn’s Avenue, Hampstead.
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“He said, ‘In my 80s, when I am still sitting here writing, I will think of my mum and all the things she did for me.”
His mother now hopes her son, who has battled with neurosis, anxiety and depression in the past, will be able to write from home too.
Mr Dyzantae, who only writes at his mother’s house and the cafe in Hampstead High Street, said: “It was amazing. She was sitting there at the table, with the candle lit and the pot of tea.
“It was very special because it has been my haven for the past 17 years. I feel joined to the table by an invisible thread.”
The writer first set foot in the cafe when he was 18 with his friend Bronco – a tramp known affectionately as the “The Barred of Hampstead”. The two would drink tea at a table outside since Bronco was not allowed in on account of his stench.
Mr Dyzantae wrote a book called The Ill Literate, which included his memories of Bronco.
He is busy editing a play called Those Heavenly Brothers and has also scribed more than 400 poems.
The French brassiere chain, currently refitting its Hampstead restaurant, has donated Mrs Jamil’s �250 to the Rainbow Trust, which supports families of children with life-threatening illnesses.
General manager Tugba Acikel also donated the picture which sat above the writer’s favourite spot.
The 30-year-old manager said: “We all love Adnandus and always give him a hug and kiss. He is just part of the furniture here.”