Monday, August 13, 2007

Let this be a warning

I have just finished reading an amazing story about a girl who suffered some kind of overdose after taking SEVEN double espressos. Now, even as a man who likes a coffee, I would stop short of such a quantity.

Indeed, I have never actually seen the point of a double espresso. In fact, I might go further and say that I have only ever seen it ordered by show-offs. You know the kind of people - I am so tough I can drink three coffees at 3am and still get a perfect night's sleep. Balls.

Anyway, apparently this poor girl was unaware she was drinking double measures. Mind you, I think even seven SINGLE espressos during a day would give you a bit of the shakes. I remember daring a friend to drink freshly ground coffee and he had the jitters for about 48 hours.

The main lesson, however, is clearly that such an exploit should not be undertaken without the obligatory espresso companion, a grappa. If the girl had taken a glass of our favourite tipple with each shot of coffee I am sure she would have been fine. Or, alternatively, she would have passed out until the effects of the espressos had gone. Or possibly passed out before she got to the seventh coffee...

Thursday, August 09, 2007

A question of style

One of my new reader posed an interesting query recently. Not about the quality of grappa nor its quantity but rather the manner in which it is delivered. Namely - do you prefer a shot glass or a long-stemmed affair?

My gut reaction (how appropriate is that?) was to say long-stemmed. Having recently purchased one for a good friend's birthday and also received a set from my fine father, it seemed the only possible answer. It seems a fine way to take a grappa, perhaps with a pinkie pointing provocatively in the air.

But then I reflected for a moment on how it is dished out in the mountains. The rag is dragged from the top of the bottle and then any receptacle will do. A shot glass, maybe, the dirtier the better.

Still, I think, on balance I have come so far down the road of the long-stemmed glass that it is too late to turn back. I like the grappa that arrives like that. You can hold it up to the light, perhaps contemplate its colour - and then get fired into it. Some, of course, prefer a pint glass but there are very few of them alive to tell the tale.

Monday, August 06, 2007

An auld acquaintance

I bumped into an old acquaintance at the weekend. I would say friend but that would be putting too strong a term on the relationship. Someone I used to work with, socialise with occasionally but who, I eventually realised, I didn't actually like all that much.

We had a brief conversation which I will relay as best I remember.

Me: So, what you up to these days?

Him: Trainee manager, mate. Tesco, mate.

Me: (Wondering why it was said with such pride) Oh!

Him: Be managing my own store in no time.

Me: I'll watch out for their shares plummeting, then.

Ah, it was short but sweet. I set off with a spring in my step...

Wednesday, August 01, 2007

Potter envy

I never thought it would come to this but blogging elsewhere and wandering around bookshops I have had a strange feeling. It has come over me slowly and I have tried to deny it. But the time may have arrived to come clean - I'm a bit jealous of adults who read Harry Potter.

It's not that I like the books - I read the first and found it completely put-downable. However, I am envious of the excitement they generate. I also turn a bit green at the sheer collectability of the series. It's a bit like Panini football stickers, although obviously not quite.

Having said all of that, there is little or no chance of me trying to recoup my losses and starting out on the whole lot of JK Rowling's works. I already have a book which I almost completed on holiday but have read not one page of since I got back to work. Maybe its this darn blogging that gets in the way...