Friday, January 12, 2007

On saturday we went to the shopping centre to do our fortnightly shop, and as usual had a cup of coffee at the food court first. DH always has a cappucino, whereas I like plain back coffee with skim milk on the side. Simple, surely.

I cannot begin to describe the difficulties I have encountered over the years with my simple request. Plain black coffee, cold skim milk on the side. Coffee nazis at their machines have refused to serve it to me, have torn their hair out because they don't know what to call it on those cash registers that have a button for each menu item. I have been told that 'Management don't allow us to give out Milk!' One weevil sneered 'Just the way you have it at home I suppose...' Well yes, actually. It's my coffee, I am paying nearly $3.50 for it and I want it the way I want it!

This morning DH came back, after a very lengthy wait, with a cappucino and what looked suspiciously like a latte. It was. I would never drink that much milk, cold or hot, so I took it back. I explained to the serving lass that my husband had asked for 'Plain black coffee, cold skim milk on the side' and got this instead. 'That's a latte' she offered brightly. 'It's not what I wanted' Utter consternation on her part; I was given an expresso and a large takeaway cup full of milk. Still not right. She whisked away out the back to ask someone with more coffee seniority. Bedlam! No-one could get their heads around it. I said very carefully to the whole assembly of them 'Give me a long black, leave enough room for me to put some milk in please'. Ohhhhh! A long black!

You have to talk the coffee language to be understood apparently......

I quite like going shopping and stocking up the cupboards so that DS can't complain 'There's Nothing To Eat.....'. ($280 later and there's still Nothing To Eat? I don't think so!) But as we have 4 cats we have to spend a while in the pet aisle, loading up with tinned food. There are ridiculous conversations about whether they prefer pate to casserole, and was the lobster and crab mousse popular last time? It's not like we buy expensive catfood, but even processed abbatoir refuse and fish scrapings are labelled like human food. I don't know why we bother, because they seem to exist on dry food anyway. And what they can filch off the benchtops as we prepare the evening meal. 'Max, that's a Carrot....'

I'm working on website stuff and catalogue stuff and tax stuff and all of it is nasty. But the only way out is through, so I keep plodding away. I went to the local patchwork shop last week, to talk about class schedules etc, and discovered I had left four quilts there 18 months ago. Several things struck me about this. I had no memory of leaving them there. I had not been back for 18 months. They were not labelled, and the shop had sold in the meantime, and if I didn't know the new owner and she showed me the quilts then I may never have known where they ended up. I had been about to search for one of them in my house, and it would have driven me mad not being able to find it, and I could never have guessed where it was. Indeed, one I had written off as lost already, after weeks of turning the house upside down searching every place it could be.


And keep a log book of where they go to. I have quilts in shops all over Australia, and a couple in America as well. I need to track them down and keep tabs on them in future. Doesn't this go without saying? I should take a little more care of the things I put so much work into.

One of my favourite sayings; the price of beautiful things is loving care.


The Calico Cat 5:36 AM  

After you lable them, you can share them on your blog... :o)

P.S. I too have coffee difficulties... They never leave me enough room... I like almost 50/50 proportion, but I prefer to add cold milk, not the steamed stuff... I want a warm drink, not HOT.

mereth 1:56 PM  

I have my coffee exactly the same as yours, and have the same difficulties. One girl scratched her head over the cash register then finally said "I'll have to call it a "White Black."" Whatever you like darl, just give me the cup!

And the line "The only way out is through..." comes from a Robert Frost poem, and has frequently been used over the years, tax time or no.

meggie 2:49 PM  

Oh Keryn, thank you for this post! I enjoyed every word of it!!
I just have 'long black' so no dramas, but I rarely drink it out these days. I loved the weevil comment too!

Yes, you must label your gorgeous quilts!

Anonymous,  10:23 PM  

Great post Keryn! Brought back memories of trying to get a "flat white coffee" in the USA! DH still gets enormous enjoyment of being able to go into any Aussie Coffee shop and say it and get it with any explanations! The exact opposite of your experience.
And yes, you must post piccies of these quilts that have had a little sabbatical.

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