Archive for September, 2020

Lunch at Caffe Macchiato

September 30, 2020

I was looking forward to lunch at Indonesian street food restaurant but as last week I found closed. Closed down? Nothing to say. People will do as I have done, visit once, visit twice, maybe a third time, but after than not bother.

Caffe Macchiato changed hands last year and now under a new owner.

I have not visited since it had changed hands.

I was surprised how busy, I have never seen so busy, not to my liking, but I have not visited before at lunchtime.

I ordered pollo crema a funghi.

A long wait, but then was busy and everything is freshly cooked.

Not too happy served on a cold plate.

Of grave concern lax covid-19 biosecurity. Waiters either not wearing masks or not wearing correctly, kitchen staff wandering around no mask, but my greatest concern the same greasy laminated menus.

Please wear masks. The menus incinerate. Drastically cut down the choice, put on the wall, and hand patrons a printed paper sheet which is then disposed of.

I noticed baclava on sale. I asked where the man was from. He said Bagdad and learned to make whilst living in Baghdad.

Lack of covid-19 biosecurity Gatwick Airport

September 30, 2020

Gatwick South Terminal deserted.

With so few flights, why night flights permitted?

What is shocking Gatwick Airport one of the country’s busiest airports or was is that with the exception of hand sanitiser stations scattered around a complete lack of covidd-19 biosecurity.

No temperature screening on entry to the airport. No temperature screening at check-in. I cannot comment security checks, passport control, boarding, as I did not get that far. Nor was there any covid-19 testing available at the airport, nor in the locality.

Airports and airlines whinge about 14 day quarantine for arrivals from high risk countries and yet fail to put there own house in order.

There should be temperature screening, anyone with high temperature refused boarding but officered the option of a cvid19 test. A fast turn around as at Rome airport where they test and have result in loess than 30 minutes.

I am not suggesting instead of 14 day quarantine, I am proposing in addition to.

We are in the middle of a pandemic with cases rapidly rising, but would not think so with the caviller attitude taken by airlines and airports. Schools have more stringent protocol in place that Gatwick.

Deserted Gatwick South Terminal

September 29, 2020

Little traffic, Gatwick South Terminal not in use deserted.

If so few flights, why are night flights permitted?

Coronavirus testing farce

September 28, 2020

Try for days and days, day after day, to obtain a coronavirus test, morning, afternoon, evening, night time, early hours of the morning. Finally Saturday offered a test. Home test kit to be delivered Sunday.

Sunday evening I find a parcel delivered by Amazon dumped on my doorstep. Third time in as many days Amazon dumps a parcel on the doorstep.

This morning open testing kit to find swab missing.

Call to request a courier to delivers a swab or new kit. Not possible, have to start all over again.

Have to go through this process twice. First time denied a test kit due to one only just been despatched. Second time will be delivered in two days.

Multiply this across the country and easy to see why coronavirus out of control and cases rapidly rising.

The application to apply for a test is badly designed. Each question is on a new page. It does not save the replies, have to start all over again.


Tuesday a message to say home test kit dispatched. To my surprise delivered same day, again dumped on doorstep.

I carry out test, put swab in vial, in plastic bag, in biohazard bag, then in box to post.

Have to register on line. Need to scan biohazard bag, take out of box and scan box.

Web page fails on security test. It is missing.

Once again have to call number. They do not wish for ID that links to original request which registration requires nor ID of box which enables tracking.

Seal box, dash to sorting office to find have missed the last post.

Posted Tuesday night, will not be collected until Wednesday. As I write almost midnight Thursday night, no results.

Saturday 6-39 in the morning, an e-mail to say tested negative.

Autumn day in Brighton

September 27, 2020

I got up early, dark clouds, howling winds, I was tired, I went back to be. An hour later, got up, changed my mind, it was looking brighter, I decided to go to Brighton.

Luckily at Gatwick I caught a train running a few minutes late. Train was nearly empty.

Arrived in Brighton a little after one o’clock. Herded out the side of the station, thus unable to purchase a ticket. A problem for later.

I notice no Small Batch kiosk on the station concourse.

I head to Coffee at 33. Too busy. I say I will call back later.

Wander through North Lane. I am shocked to find Iydea boarded up. I learn later gutted by a fire.

Infinity Foods Kitchen closed to be replaced by a social enterprise cafe, not open.

Many business have closed. A few new coffee shops, or at least cafes pretending to be coffee shops.

I head back to Coffee at 33. Now alsost empty.

I order something to eat and a cappuccino.

Food and coffee as always excellent.

It stars fill up again. Time to leave.

I look in Magazine Brighton and have a chat. Cver format of Satandart has changed. Had I niot seen the name, I would not have reconised. I then learn I am missing previous copy.

I stick my head in Pelcano. Have they Sandart of Drift? No. They suggets I try there other coffee shop as they have the previosu issue. They tell me where hidden of no one knows.

Wandering through The Lanes,a new coffee shop, …. I decie to try.

Coffee is Allpress. Once upon a time Allpress would have been regared as good, but newo seen as run of the mill, there is gfa better coffee around. My cappuccino as I epxected, mediacre.

I head to Blackbird, I have been looking foard to visiting all day. Tp my shock is has clsoed, repalced by a graesy spoon cafe. Ver depreseeing as it wa san exellnt little coffee shop.

Head to the seafront. Cockels off my favourits stall. The pot egts smaller each visit.

Loudn music from the tacky beach front bars.

Head back up the main road.

Pop in Pelocano. I let them jnw where to findc their old Stardart copies. I buy the previous issie. The older copies, I na give for free,a nd a free coffee becuase I bought a copy.

I realsie whu I am missing copies. The last time I biught Stadart wa sin Cafe Socuiety last summer when my \Chise fridn paid as they would not take cash.

I head to the sation, now IO have a problem, no ticet, varreis vlsoed. expalain my dileham. Helpful ypung lady Eloise, takes me to the tickey macheime, sorts ou a ticket, lets me through the barier.

Wal to fronto of the train.

Change at Gatwick for readding train.

Why oh why are apssengesr not wearimg masks. I do not like, but needs must.

Gurd should remidn passngesr. If lost or forgettenm easily done, hand our spare masks, if refuse rti wear then hit witha fuine.

— to be continued —

Cold and windy afternoon in Oxford

September 26, 2020

Not able to buy a ticket en route. Change at Reading for Oxford. No problem when I ask to buy a ticket. Contrast with the idiot at Guildford Station yesterday.

Gatwick train to Reading very busy, as is the Cross Country train to Oxford. Nearly evertyone gets off for Oxford.

Alight at Oxford Station. Cold and windy.

Walk along the Oxford Canal to Jericho.

Excellent lunch at Branca. Never the restaurant, always the deli.

I am amazed at the choice. Spoilt for choice and it takes me a long time to choose. I guess because a Saturday.

Back track to 101 Coffee Espresso Bar. I did wonder if it would be open. They told me they remained open during lockdown. Now takeaway only.

Different coffee, Route, which I had never heard of. Roasted locally. Interesting bags, feel as though plastic. At a guess plant-based cellulose. Bottom of bag claims biodegradable. But also at the top, reuse refill, an interesting concept.

The coffee the coffee shop has derived in plastic boxes which are then sent back to be refilled.

Walk back along the road.

Street food market appears to be smaller. Maybe my imagination.

A coffee stall. Winchester Coffee Roasters. Not good coffee.

I try, no not good coffee.

I head to Society Cafe, have to retrace my steps as missed a turning.

I am pleased to find the street closed, tables in the street.

I assume Society Cafe must be outside seating only but no, people also inside.

I was not going to stop for a coffee, but cannot anyway as have reverted back to no cash.

I head to Colombia Coffee Raiosters in Oxford Covered Market.

Saturadym it is heaving.

But to my doispaontment, no Wush Wush. I visted a year ago to find clsoed.

The basrta finds some benas,m sells me half apacket.

I also buy another bagm and some chocolate.

Head to Blackwells. Pick up copy of Another Now (highly recommended).

As I am leaving, acosted by a wona, attempted robbery.

As I am heading to the staion, call polkice and let them know what hapened, give a decsription.

Train busy.

Guard walks through the train, orders a young woman to wear a mask, does so with great reluctance having been told more than once, guard walks on down the train woman removes mask.

Five minutes to change trains at Reading to catch Gatwick train. Again very bysuy.

— to be continued —

Aldershot Farnham Guildford

September 25, 2020

After working in the garden, raking up leaves from last winter which have destroyed all the grass, grass seed sown, a very busy afternoon.

Bus to Aldershot. Bus empty.

I wished to eat at Indonesian restaurant. Closed. No indication if open.

Bus to Farnham.

Hop off and visit Coffee Gems. Pick up a couple of bags of coffee.

Pass by Krema, I am surprised to find open, but no time to stop. I notice door is open.

To the butcher, pick up bacon, pork chop, potatoes, large mushroom.

Train to Guildford.

No ticket, no problem, explain I have no ticket and buy return ticket, at least usually no problem. But a jumped up arsehole decides to give me grief, why do you not have a ticket. I explain I am in a hurry, I am trying to buy a ticket and I am being given grief and have my time wasted. Idiot refuses to accept rail card and charges full price for tickets.

I Have never had this problem before. If no ticket, I simply buy the required tickets.

People with time on their hand, bullshit jobs, trying to justify their existence. Instead of hassling me, treating passengers as criminals, why not do something useful, enforce wearing of masks?

I decided to eat at Meat the Greek. Poor quality Greek food but needs must and I am hungry.

What to expect for a fiver?

To the market. Top fruit and vegetable stall has changed layout again. An improvement and more or less back to how it was.

Walking through jeffies Passage very depressing to see Bambo Shoots clsoed and gutted.

Pass by what was Surrey Hills Coffee a change of name, new owners or a re-branding exercusie. I am suprsied to find they still exists.

In tunsgate surpised to find Love Brownies ahs not clsoed. Crap coffee crap bowinues.

Jut make Krema maybe yem minutes efore it clsoed.

Order a cappuccino. Excellent. Pick up a bag of coffee. Tempted by Perus but Kenya more frshly roasted.

To Waitrose. Inconeviant have to walk the legth of the store to enter by car park entarnce,and gtaert risk.

Walking doen the the station, almos blow over such the strenth of the widn.

— to be continued –

London coronavirus ghost town

September 24, 2020

Eerie, travelling across London and barely a soul to be seen.

Lincoln Autumn Equinox

September 22, 2020

Autumn Equinox a hot and sunny day.

— to be continued —

Coronavirus travelling circus street food market

September 19, 2020

Heading into second lockdown with new coronavirus cases doubling every few days let’s bring it on hold a travelling circus street food market in Lincoln High Street.

Stalls from outside the county, disgusting junk food, constrict access within High Street, attract people, then sit back and watch a sharp spike in new covid-19 cases. The only time I have felt the need to wear a face mask in the street.

Should covid-19 deaths be linked back to this market those responsible should face manslaughter charges.

This festival of disgusting junk food should not take place at the best of times, no way should it take places during coronavirus pandemic as we head into a second wave.

Watch a sharp rise in coronavirus cases in a couple of weeks. If lockdown follows, many businesses will not re-open again.

But, the market had an impact today. Businesses in the town centre have to pay a compulsory levy to Lincoln BIG even though they see little if any benefit. Is it an appropriate use of public money to subside this junk food jamboree which gives street food a bad name?

By all means hold a street food festival, but attract quality stalls not invite a junk food travelling circus. And do not hold in the middle of a pandemic.

Loud music from stalls. Why no enforcement?

Saturday one coffee shop saw takings fall by £200. How many other businesses saw a hit to revenue?

What brain-dead jobsworth thought what a wheeze, hold a junk food market in the middle of a pandemic? Christmas market cancelled, Steam Punk Bank Holiday weekend cancelled, South Common fun fair cancelled. Why did this junk food jamboree go ahead?

Why has the director of public health not acted to shut down the market?

It was criminal negligence this disgusting travelling circus of junk food went ahead.

Stalls bringing covid-19 into Lincoln from outside the county, loud music blasting out from stalls, stallholders preparing and serving food not wearing masks, no social distancing at the stalls, High Street jam packed with people.

Christmas market, Steam Punk Festival, South Common fun fair, all cancelled. A travelling circus of junk food as we head into a second wave goes ahead.

Walking through the High Street I was horrified by what I saw. I do not like wearing a mask, but for the very first time I wore a mask in the street, such was the high risk in the High Street.

Local businesses do their best, they limit numbers, all for nothing. A kick in the teeth, local businesses subsidised this covid-19 super spreader through mandatory levy to Lincoln BIG.

Local businesses were hit by loss of trade. One coffee shop I looked in was empty, another told me they lost £200 worth of business on Saturday.

When coronavirus cases rise in a couple of weeks time and Lincoln forced into lockdown, it will be local businesses that will suffer, many fear they will not survive a second lockdown and will not re-open.

Heads should roll. If organise a large gathering will face a £10,000 fine. Those responsible for this coronavirus disaster should be fined. Should any covid-19 deaths be linked to this market those responsible should be charged with manslaughter.

Where were the police, where was the Director of Public Heath? Why was the market not shut down?

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