24 October 2013

You drink your coffee and I sip my tea

For the past few weeks I’ve been earning my crust not far from Dr Johnson’s house, and he would feel at home with all the coffee shops that are dotted in and around the area, although the coffee costs more that a penny nowadays. Most of these establishments are of the dastardly untrustworthy type; you know, the ones who forget to pay their taxes, but it seems that caffeine addiction is stronger and longer lasting than public moral outrage.

In a couple of million years time, archaeologists, probably alien archaeologists, will be excavating skeletons and scratching one of their two heads, puzzling as to why 21st Century man had their left arm permanently locked at a 90 degree angle, the hand frozen in an open grip. I understand why people want a decent cup of coffee in the morning although my addictions lie in a different direction, but why walk down the road carrying it in a waxed cardboard cup with a plastic lid?

Get up 20 minutes earlier, stroll down to the nearest café, sit down and drink from a china mug. Surely coffee tastes better if it’s not filtered through polystyrene. And as we all carry masses of technology around with us, you could get your coffee in a mug, sit down, check emails before going to the office and dare I say it: read. A free newspaper, a magazine or a book.

Most of us have to make an appearance at the coalface every morning and push our faces closer and closer to the grindstone, so why arrive rushed and stressed with half a litre of South America’s finest?

Earlier on this summer, I was keeping the wolves from my door near J M Barrie’s house, which meant that could spend lunchtimes in Kensington Gardens, spending half a hour in the sunshine reading, mainly of The Second World War or 1st Century Rome rather than of a boy who never grew up, instead of munching a Ready-to-Eat sandwich in front of the same computer screen that I’ve been staring at all morning.

Working on the cusp of The City of London where everybody is in a hurry and nobody has time to relax unless it’s outside a pub in the evening, and even then the smartphone is still in use, the laptop available. So I think it’s time to expand my Railway Station Lending Libraries idea to include Coffee Shops in the scheme to encourage harassed workers to sit and read a bit of Ray Bradbury in the morning while sipping a frothy coffee. I’ll be the one in the corner with the green tea and a Kindle.

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