Friday, October 15, 2010

Friday Chat

What, you lot have never had tummy troubles? I can't believe it! There was I expecting at least some empathy for the dire predicament in my last post and the only person who coughs up the truth was Mr Davison (Admittedly, it was on behalf of his mother so I'm not sure she'd be exactly pleased with him.) Anyway, despite the reticence of you Readers to come clean I had a couple of emails about this delicate subject and one was from Mrs S from the Book Club whom I had mentioned in my previous post. Was there empathy and understanding in this email? No! What can I say? I was shocked, deeply shocked....

"We went for a walk on the Downs at the weekend and played our new family game of "spot Jane's ****". We did find a likely candidate but it was right in the middle of the path and having read your blog I know this wasn't yours. We also found some interesting fungi on a patch of vomit. A long discussion followed between Ben and I about whether or not you had been sick as well as being "caught short" and how long vomit mould takes to grow."

You see Readers this is the type of lady I have to deal with at The Book Club. There I am, every evening dutifully discussing the intricacies of Plato and Aristotle with the Young Masters and Mrs S is discussing the intricacies of vomit. Why 'tis insurrection indeed; I am going to oust Mrs S at the next book club and call for a vote on her competency!

On an entirely different matter, does anyone know if you can get a GPS satellite navigation system on an IPOD? I don't mean just a map - I mean exactly like a sat nav system which tells you which road to walk down? (ie..turn right, walk 300 paces, arrive at destination on right - it has a blue door which reads no 31 on the central panel.) Now, I haven't got an IPOD but I'm thinking about it and if it had an application like that it might clinch the deal. You see, I keep getting lost lately - on foot. I know, I know- it's pathetic but I just have no sense of direction at all.  I can find my way home by just sniffing the air for the charcoal remains that are attached to the inside of my oven - but away from home it's an absolute nightmare!

So on the weekend I got lost in Cheltenham. This all started when I put "Drive" instead of "Road" into the Sat Nav so I found myself in the wrong car park having lost my bearings and with only 25 mins (which theoretically was heaps of time) to find my way  to the Arts Centre to see Andrew Motion. In the end I got there 10 mins late, after quizzing 3 residents (one of whom sent me on a wild goose chase) and a car parking attendant. I was hopping mad with myself but, unfortunately, when I look at a map my brain just goes _________________.

That's right - dead.

Yep, me and maps do not go together; I think I have map reading dyslexia. I can stand for hours rotating the map into every conceivable direction trying to establish where I am and the truth is I'm never really sure- it's all guesswork. Even when I am given the most specific directions as one Cheltenham resident gave me "It's a about 600 metres - you can't miss it." (Well yes I did actually)  I still can't find places! Blimey, it is just so embarrassing when strangers stop me in the street and ask if I need help believing I'm a confused  American tourist  - and it turns out I'm a posher Brit than they are.

Yeah, so I got lost in London as well yesterday. And  I used to work there! It's pathetic - in the end I went and bought a map of London for my filfofax (so I could pretend I wasn't really lost and just needed it in case I had to make a rare sojourn to the suburbs where the plebs live.) Then, after securing my purchase - I stopped at Costas for a coffee, did my usual amount of hopeless map studying - and then asked the barista where the hell I was.

Easy. Or not. Depending on whether my brain is plugged in.

Isn't "barista" a funny term? In fact, I've only recently come across it - it's what they call those young ladies and gentlemen who make the coffees in coffee shops. Gez, I thought they were waiters or something simple like that.  Oh dear, how terribly unpc of me! It sounds good though doesn't it? I mean, I'd rather say I was a "barista" than a "barman" or "waiter" or such. It's been quite a fashion to upgrade the status of jobs by renaming professions - sales assistants and now "consultants," personnel assistants are now "human relations," loo attendants are "hygienists" etc etc. Hmm....well I suppose it is good to make people feel valued in their jobs so maybe that's a smart move - but I kinda feel left out as a mere Housewife Extraordinaire. I feel I ought to be something more significant.... Domestic Specialist perhaps? Executive Cleaning Professional? Chief Bog Cleaner and Floor Swiller? I dunno folks give me some ideas.....I feel a little insignificant....

Anyway, talking of coffee shops, can anyone tell me why it takes soooooo long to make a cup of coffee at these coffee bars? I mean it tastes great but after all that PZZZCCHHHHHH..SSSSSSSSsssss noise and steam flying off everywhere for about 10mins I'd expect a coffee the size of  The Flying Scotsman to turn up not a teeney weeney cup. It take simply which time I can usually feel my hair turning grey and new wrinkles forming. Cripes, I only want a cup of coffee not a lesson in steam hydraulics!

Oh and why is it that just when you think your coffee is ready and you stretch out your hand to get it off the counter do the baristas say...

"And what was your's again Madam?"

Oh God here we go again......


Oh, for the simple things in life. (And a chauffeur obviously.)


  1. So that's what 'barista' means! We have an Indian coffee bar chain called Barista and I wondered why. Now I know. Thanks Mrs. T.
    About GPS and such, can't you get google maps on any phone which has the internet? You probably need the GPS too though, to tell you "you are here" on the map.

  2. Believe me I discovered the barista terminolgy quite by accident Sue - I was in a cafe where the assistant had a t-shirt on which read in a large letters - "trainee barista" - even I couldn't miss it!

    I know you can get google maps on an Ipod but what I need to know is whether it talks to you - otherwise it would just be another confusing map:))

  3. Did you not wonder about the Barista Sisters in LB then Mrs T?

    But yes, takes an age in the caff queue at work now that we have an industrial sized gaggia and a couple of baristas who also have to man the till for the food. I rush down to get a sandwich with minutes to spare only to find myself behind someone doing their office tea run...2 cappucinos, one skinny flat white, a decaff americano, one fairtrade tea, one chai latte (whatever that is) and on it goes for about 30 mins...

  4. It never even crossed my mind Mrs A.. Just thought it was a family name like Jones & Son! I'm a bit thick like that as you know:)

    So just to add to my reputation as being stupid...a gaggia is a big coffee machine then???

  5. I so agree. I can make chicken, chips and peas quicker than they can make a simple cup of coffee. You feel a right eejit standing there for 10 minutes, and what else is there to do in the queue but look at the cakes and wonder ...

  6. Kind of the Rolls Royce of coffee machines.
    You can also get small ones for the home.

    If you don't know what else to do with your money...

  7. Fran, you know it's probably just a ploy to cutomers to buy more cakes anyway:) Gez, I love those granola bars.....

    Mrs A,

    You know when I was in Bedford last week at the uni sports hall..I saw a miniture Costas in the foyer! Unbelievable! No wonder students have massive debts... to think how we scrimped by....

    I'm quite happy with my little purchase I bought for Mr T's birthday. It's a shame he doesn't really like coffee though:))


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