Non-Decaffeinated Coffee (huh ?)


I love the brave new world of coffee.

Coffee Art.  Fantastic.  I’m like a kid in a candy store when my coffee arrives with a fern or a swan on the top !!   I go all childishly over-enthusiastic… so excitable… gushing.. “Oooooo, a swan, I loooooove it”.

When I first moved back to a small town in Devon, England, my ma and I went out for coffee.  In a pub.  This was some 15 years ago.  There were NO coffee shops.

We asked what kind of coffee was available – there was no coffee menu three feet long.

The waitress’s glazed expression said it all, and then she did.

She didn’t bat an eyelid, in fact not even the tips of her eyelashes twitched.

“Black or White”, she said in a monotone, whilst distinctly not smiling (one got the impression that smiling was not something she was terribly familiar with).

I think I laughed.  It was one of those split-second moments where you think someone is joking and a burst of spontaneous laughter escapes you, only to realise quickly, that in fact, they are not !!

Having stifled my guffaw… we ordered… “Um… Oh, God the decision is soooooo difficult… I’m going to live on the edge and go for the WHITE coffee.  No Black.   No White… Oh I just can’t decide”.

So, it arrived … it was very bad coffee… VERY, VERY BAD COFFEE… clearly drip filter stuff, that had been made in the same coffee machine since the 1970’s when it was chi-chi, around the same era when cheese and pineapple on sticks was “exotic”.   In fact, it’s possible that this coffee had actually been brewed in the 70’s and had been stewing ever since.

There was no-one else in the pub… so there was categorically no-one else drinking Coffee in this pub in this small town in the middle of Devon.  Why was the coffee stewed ??!!!  I guess that was the waitresses first job every morning… to put the coffee on… just in case a couple of unsuspecting non-locals walked in from the cold wanting some.  And then leave it there, for hours and hours.

Good, it wasn’t.  Fresh, nor was it.

The coffee revolution has been happening in places like Sydney and London for a very long time… but it was only just making it to the deepest, darkest parts of the universe… like the middle of Devon.

(Dear friends who live in Devon… Oh come on, I’m just kidding… I love Devon… I am Devonian… hundreds of years of my ancestors were Devonian… I think it is quite simply one of the most divine places on the planet… but (excluding major centres)… sophisticated… it ain’t, an early adopter of trends cuisine and cultural is isn’t… and that’s OK, that’s part of it’s charm  !!)

I drink Decaf after noon, because otherwise I’d be so wired, I wouldn’t sleep.  The other day – mid conversation –  I found myself using the words “Non-decaffeinated coffee”… bloody hell, how back to front is that !!!

God, I really need a double-shot decaf soy latte with honey…. and a swan on top…. NOW.

Next week my lovelies, SOH bypass.


rooshkie. x.


Hermit Age?


Am I a hermit?  Um.  Not sure.  Do I like spending time by myself?  Yes, I do.  Does this become increasingly important to my psychological well-being as I get older?  Yes, it does.

When I lived in London, I’d been there about a year (that time, I’ve lived in London 3 times so far), and was working for a large corporate.  I walked into the office one Monday morning, and one of the blokes I was working with asked me a bizarre question (I thought).

He said, “What happened?”.  I said, (confused), “Um, nothing, um, I dunno, what do you mean?”.  He said, “Where have you been?”

Which, far from elucidating his original question, just flummoxed me more.  I said, “Um, I don’t know what you mean, where have I been?  Why do you want to know where I’ve been?”.

I looked confused.  I’m a pretty transparent person, fairly easy to read, when I’m confused, I look confused.  So he finally realised that I really didn’t have the foggiest what he was on about, and he said, “You’re an hour late!”.

I said, “Don’t be silly, it’s nine o’clock”.  He laughed, “No it isn’t, it’s ten o’clock… the clocks changed on Saturday night, didn’t you know?”.  I was totally gob-smacked for a second, and then I replied, “Well no, patently I didn’t”.  Getting a bit snarky now.  He laughed again in utter amazement and enquired, “Did you not have any contact with other human beings yesterday?”.

I retorted, “Well, no actually, I didn’t, I didn’t go out”.  I neglected to add that I hadn’t ‘been out’ all weekend… from Friday evening till Monday morning, I had not left the house.  So he laughed, and I laughed, and he realised that I wasn’t trying it on (why would I bother for just an extra hour of freedom).

This situation was a one off.  Not knowing that the clocks were changing never happened again.  But the fact that I had spent all weekend with NO CONTACT with other people at all struck me and I needed to ponder it.  Was I a loser?  Was I friendless?  Well, no, I wasn’t.  But I chose to stay in that weekend.  Totally.  And have done the same on many occasions since.

For some, this would sound like it’s a problem though, an issue, not normal.

I’ve never really had any hang ups about being “not normal”.  And I find solitude comforting.  Not all of the time, but certainly a proportion of the time, I like being alone.

I don’t do bored.  I am never bored.  Only boring people get bored.  I love to sit and read by myself, or cook, or listen to music, or watch a DVD, or watch TV, or go for a walk with ma doggie… (yes, I realise there may be some danger of meeting other people when out walking, but I’m prepared to take that risk.)

I’m perpetually astonished by people who seem to spend no time at all alone, and find alone-ness and loneliness to be the same thing.  They most certainly are not.

Next week my lovelies, coffee two ways.


rooshkie  x – thank you for image of hermit crab !!