Just a post of things that I’ve been thinking about over the last few days and wanted to get off my chest somewhere. No football to be found within.

I’ve always been a coffee drinker; it used to be a real event of my Friday evening, something I looked forward to. Sit down with a cafetiere and watch Frasier, it was lovely.

Eventually, I moved on to a stove-top moka but after bad advice, I ended up with a 9-cup one, which increased my tolerance for both strength and taste of coffee to a point that I don’t really taste anything in the regular cups of coffee, and only really drink espressos or ristrettos when I’m out and about.

As such, I notice the development of varieties of coffee and the way the liquid is manipulated in so many different ways. A large part of that seems to be dedicated to making the coffee sweeter, adding syrups, or cream, or blending it with milk in a different way.

It all feels a little bit like people who don’t really like coffee are beginning to drink coffee but, because they would rather have hot chocolate, the drink is gravitating towards that.

On walking into, for example, a Starbuck’s, one is faced with a great many choices that have only come to exist because of these
developments to the coffee trade. I view the ordering process as a flow chart, and find that, if I want something as basic as a black coffee, or an espresso, I have to refuse a great many ‘add-ons’ in order to get something plain. It shouldn’t be so.

The add-ons should be add-ons, to be requested, rather than offered and turned down.
The world of coffee is, of course, entirely different to the world of tea.

Tea is tea. You can dress it up however you want, but the principle is the same. You put leaves in hot water and let them stew. Add milk (or lemon) if you wish, but then drink up and get on with your life.

The differences between coffee and tea, I have realised, are just the same as the differences between male and female underwear.

The eagle-minded amongst you may remember a Punt and Dennis skit from the mid 1990s in which Hugh Dennis raises, rightly, a point about how the world of underwear is so unfeasibly skewed in favour of women. The variety in a Knickerbox or a La Senza is astounding, all sorts of materials, shapes, linings and colours.
Men, as Hugh so accurately indicated, get a ‘rack of pants’. Times have changes slightly. There’s tighter and looser boxers, and y-fronts, but the ranges are just not there. The variety of materials is not there. Even the colours are fairly standard if they’re not based around cartoon characters.

Every time I buy a coffee out of doors now, I always think of the pants differential, and realise I’m eschewing the Ann Summers’ window of coffee and heading straight for the M&S standards.

Meanwhile, I caught Nigel Slater on TV the other day. Now, don’t get me wrong, the man can cook. He can’t, however, shop.

Everything he did was with ‘leftover’ food, which (in theory) is a noble way of going about things except…. people don’t have two duck legs left over (for example). It doesn’t happen. If you’ve got two duck legs left, you’ve bought too many duck legs, they’re not left over.

Everything he goes through and uses is as a result of flagrant overshopping, buying far too much food in order to show off because he can do things with it. His expenses bill must be sky high, all the ‘spare’ food he buys. I might, if I was feeling generous, assume he buys large quantities of food in case people visit him in the week.

Except he doesn’t. I’ve never seen him speaking to another human soul.

Slater’s a fraud. Instead of using ludicrous products that simply aren’t in a human beings kitchen at the end of a week, I’d like to see ‘Nigel Slater on the breadline’, where Slater has to budget for a week and buy food accordingly. I’m sure he’d rustle up some decent stuff, but it would be the purpose for which it was intended, not two-thirds of a ‘left over’ salmon.

Unrelated to all of this is my plan, should I get enough funds together, to gradually drive somebody mad by ensuring that their peripheral vision is regularly (though not constantly) filled by a person in a Hermann Goering mask. Not somebody they see directly, but maybe sat a few rows back in the cinema, or at an adjacent petrol pump.

Always, the plan would be, to use different people in the same mask. Keep that up for a few months and, because Goerings are so
inconspicuous, the victim would begin to doubt that it was happening at all, despite the nagging sensation that it was.

Not entirely certain if it would be legal, but I can’t see anything obviously wrong with it.