Archive for April, 2017

Philip Higham in Farnham Parish Church

April 29, 2017

I came across cellist Philip Higham  rehearsing in Farnham Parish Church. He was very good, ideally suited to the church acoustics. I was tempted to buy a CD but at £20, no way. I left, returned, and bought. Had it been £10, I would have bought two. It was though a double CD.

Philip Higham was quite apologetic. He has to buy them. That is the disadvantage of being on a record label.

As the acoustics were so good, I suggested get hold of quality recording equipment, record, master and release as a live recording on bandcamp.

If lack the funds, crowd source.

Also consider looping the cello. I gave Zoe Keating as an example.

Or could do a duo with bass player Steve Lawson.

In the evening, was giving a cello concert hosted by Tilford Bach Society.

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Cappuccino in Krema

April 29, 2017

Krema, for a decent coffee.

For some perverse reason, everything came in reverse order, first a cappuccino, followed by a sausage roll, followed by soup.

Maybe my fault, as I ordered in reverse order.

I also bought a bag of coffee beans, Pioneer v4.0 from Horsham Coffee Roasters.

Afternoon in Farnham

April 29, 2017

This morning in the garden, pleasantly warm, the afternoon, chilly.

I had a feeling, being Bank Holiday weekend, then may be something happening in Gostrey Meadow.

I was correct. Racing plastic ducks down the river.

Stalls with tat. The only quality stall, Hobo Co, though their coffee was a disappointment.

I suggested they check out Godalming Food Festival, Staycation Live and Guildford farmers market.

It was then to Krema, for a decent coffee.

For some perverse reason, everything came in reverse order, first a cappuccino, followed by a sausage roll, followed by soup.

Maybe my fault, as I ordered in reverse order.

I also bought a bag of coffee beans, Pioneer v4.0 from Horsham Coffee Roasters.

Very sad to see the music shop in Downing Street had closed. End of an era.

Last year we lost the greengrocer.

I will not be surprised to see the Downing Street Deli close. The best thing that could happen to it would be someone else take it over and do a better job.  The Deli side is good, but the coffee undrinkable.

Philip Higham cellist rehearsing in the Parish Church. He was very good, ideally suited to the church acoustics. I was tempted to buy a CD but at £20, no way. I left, returned, and bought. Had it been £10, I would have bought two. It was though a double CD.

Philip Higham was quite apologetic. He has to buy them. That is the disadvantage of being on a record label.

As the acoustics were so good, I suggested get hold of quality recording equipment, record, master and release as a live recording on bandcamp.

If lack the funds, crowd source.

Also consider looping the cello. I gave Zoe Keating as an example.

Or could do a duo with bass player Steve Lawson.

I walked a little way around Manor Field, not far, not even as far as the river.

Dotted around Farnham tied yellow ribbons. A few had a blue centre with hashtag #freenazanin an imprisoned journalist in Iran.

Meaningless sign on the door of Costa, or at least a meaningless award, voted the best national coffee shop. Out of what, Costa or tax dodging Starbucks or tax dodging Caffè Nero, all infamous for serving undrinkable coffee in an awful environment that screams corporate.

Cappuccino at Madame Waffle

April 27, 2017

First time I had a cappuccino this style, was at El Café del Aguere in La Laguna.

Halfway through, add cocoa, note cocoa not chocolate, chocolate is dumped on a cappuccino to hide bad coffee.

This style delineates the art.

Excellent cappuccino, though given a choice, I would have preferred only coffee, to see what the coffee was like.

Interesting conversation with proprietor Bruce.

We were discussing coffee, what else, and he brought samples of arabica and robusta, to show the defects with the robusta. Defects being broken beans, fragment of beans, it could have been floor sweepings.

When brewed the robusta has an unpleasant bitter taste one reason for dumping chocolate on top, and why people add sugar.

Try a quality cappuccino without sugar.

Previous day we had discussed comparing coffee bought from a supermarket, no roast date, best by, which is meaningless. Why, because old beans are being sold.  Try a comparison with the supermarket beans to quality beans.

Grind the beans hours before, then compare beans ground fresh for each fresh cup.

When not ground fresh, laziness, could not care less about the quality of the coffee.

Occasional live music.

I suggested look out for a Polish guitarist Bartek Dabrowski I had seen playing in the street, invite him to play.

I also suggested, record live music, but would have to be high quality recordings, then release on bandcamp, CDs on sale downstairs, split with the participants.

Madame Waffle has free copies of  Caffeine and on sale Standart.

Cappuccino at Makushi

April 26, 2017

I popped in Makushi yesterday, their latest beans from Costa Rica not yet available, carrying out test roastings.

Today I received word, the beans from Costa Rica were now available.

Not as yet serving, still the beans from Brazil, but were available to buy as bags of beans.

I picked up two bags and had as always, an excellent cappuccino.

Located half way up Steep Hill, Makushi is a coffee shop worth visiting.

Word seems to be spreading.  Earlier in the year, I was often the only customer, this month busy, today very busy.

Makushi is a definite candidate for inclusion in the third edition of Northern Independent Coffee Guide when published.

Cappuccino at Makushi

April 25, 2017

As always, excellent cappuccino at Makushi.

I had hoped they would have had their latest beans available, but sadly not.  Test roasting to determine optimum roast profile.

Cappuccino and latte at Stokes on High Bridge

April 25, 2017

Stokes used to set the standard for coffee.  Either they are going downhill or my taste is improving, not sure which.

A cappuccino that looked yuk, the taste was not great either.

I checked the beans on sale in jars, none had a pleasant aroma.

I was told the light roast not suited for espresso.

Not true. Try telling that to Makushi, single source, traced back to farm, light roast.

The least worst was beans from Nicaragua.  Medium roast

I was told roast earlier in the week or last week.

Then when they were weighed out, I checked again, told roast 17 February.

No way.

I settled for a blend, that is meant to emulate Blue Mountain.

They offered to grind.

No way.

As I write,  the aroma fills the room.

My cappuccino, and I assume the latte too, was from an espresso blend.

I headed up Steep Hill to Makushi, looking in Madame Waffle on the way where they source beans from Square Mile Coffee Roasters.

Knight of the Skies

April 23, 2017

Last year, cows started appearing all over Guildford. In Brighton it was snow dogs. In Lincoln it is Knights.

Bomber Command Memorial is rarely open, as work is still ongoing. Today was one of those special days when open.

Today a very special visitor, Knight of The Skies, kitted out as aircrew in WWII Bomber Command.

Designer of Knight of the Skies Rosie Ablewhite could not be present. Had she been, I would have complimented her on her interpretation.

I will not describe, other than to mention the sword, look carefully and will see it is the Spire, look again, and will see it is the same as the wingspan of an Avro Lancaster.

The sword is covered in corten steel, same material as the Spire and the concentric Memorial Walls.

Knight of the Skies is signed by the sole surviving member of the Dambusters Raid.

Knight of the Skies will move. He will be found at the top of Steep Hill, in Castle Hill, outside Lincoln Castle where he will be part of the Knights Trail.

Lincoln Knights’ Trail – 36 knights across Lincoln city centre – to celebrate the 800th anniversary of the Battle of Lincoln and the sealing of the Charter of the Forest.

According to Professor David Carpenter:

The Battle of Lincoln, one of the most decisive in English history, meant that England would be ruled by the Angevin, not the Capetian dynasty.

The Knights in Lincoln, cows in Guildford, snow dogs in Brighton, are part of a much larger project, Wild in Art.

St George’s Day at Bomber Command Memorial Spire

April 23, 2017

When I last visited Bomber Command Memorial Spire, it was an unpleasant cold March afternoon. Today, by pleasant contrast, although a chill in the air in the morning, a pleasant warm sunny afternoon, especially if got out of the wind.

Daffodils were still in flower. The variety I learnt, a very pale yellow, almost white, is Lady of Lincolnshire.

There are areas of grass intended to be regularly cut, others are of rough grass. I would strongly recommend, the rough areas, sow wild flower seeds and manage as a traditional hay meadow. Allow the grass to grow tall, wait until seeded then mow some time late June. It may even be possible to find a farmer who will be interested in the hay. Then once the hay cut and removed, mow regular, but not short. Ideally once cut for hay, graze animals, rare breeds

There needs to be access to the South Common. If not open access, then a fence or a wall, with a gate, that leads direct down from the Spire, where a path runs along and a path or steps leading down into the common, all it would require are steps leading down to the path.

Today we were honoured with Knight of the Skies, one of a series of Knights dotted around Lincoln. He will then, I was told, move to Castle Hill, top of Steep Hill, outside Lincoln Castle, where he will form part of the Knights Trail.

Bomber Command Memorial was due to officially open in September. That date has now been put back to next year, when it will coincide with 100th Anniversary of the founding of the Royal Air Force.

Painting the ‘Knight of the Skies’

April 23, 2017

Rosie Rockets

You may remember the Lincoln Baron’s Trail in 2015 where I was fortunate enough to have a couple of designs chosen. Well this year, there’s yet another ‘Wild in Art’ trail to celebrate the 800th Anniversary of the Battle of Lincoln and the sealing of the Charter of the Forrest. This time there’ll be 36 Knight Statues around the City of Lincoln, from May 20th – September 3rd 2017. At the end of the trail in October, they’ll once again be auctioned off, raising money for the Trussell Trust.

As soon as I heard news of another trail I submitted designs straight away, bearing in mind there were a few briefs for Aviation themes – a specialty of mine. I was delighted to hear that once my design was shortlisted I was able to produce a mini Knight, giving myself a much better idea of the outcome. Good news kept…

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