Archive for the ‘Uncategorized’ Category

Théodule Charles Cornu

November 11, 2018

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My grand-father went to war in 1916 when he was 18. Yes, my own grand-father.

His name was Théodule Charles Cornu. He was handsome, member of Lyon Bourgeoisie.

The day he had to go to war, his father brought him to the train station.

When they left the house, his father checked the mailbox.

There was a letter in it. His father took the letter, without showing it to his son. Then they walked together to the station. My great grand father put his son inside the train and said goodbye. Without saying anything about the letter. The envelope had a black bandstripe. It was the death certificate of his other son, the eldest.

Théodule was injured in 1917 and had to go back to war after a stay at the hospital.

My grandfather came back from war in 1919, traumatized, injured, decorated #croixdeguerre

He was over 45 when he met my grand-mother.

All his letters start with « I am well ». He never complains.


Mon grand-père est parti à la guerre en 1916 à l’âge de 18 ans. Oui mon propre grand-père.

Il s’appelait Théodule Cornu. C’était un jeune homme intelligent et beau, issu d’une famille bourgeoise lyonnaise.

Le jour de son départ, son père l’a accompagné à la gare.
En partant à la gare, son père a regardé la boite aux lettres et y a vu une lettre. Il l’a prise et mise dans sa poche sans la montrer à son fils.

Puis ils ont fait le trajet ensemble jusqu’à la gare, mon arrière grand père a installé mon grand-père dans le train et lui a dit au revoir. Sans rien dire de cette lettre.

Elle avait une bande noire. C’était l’avis de décès de son fils aîné.


Sur toutes ses lettres à ses parents il commence par « je vais bien ». Il ne se plaint jamais.

Revenu de la guerre en 1919, blessé, décoré #croixdeguerre, traumatisé.

A plus de 45 ans, il a rencontré ma grand-mere.

Alice Audouin


Afternoon in Guildford

November 9, 2018

Heavy rain during the morning, which luckily I missed. Afternoon grey, damp and cold. Luckily I left Guildford before the next wave of heavy rain arrived.

Cappuccino off FCB Coffee kiosk at Guildford Station. The house blend from Horsham Coffee Roasters.

Last week in Guildford I had guest coffee from Bean Press. It was weak and insipid, not suited to espresso, maybe ok for V60 pourover.

For once the guest coffee on sale. But ridiculously expensive, In tins, no roast date or weight shown, and the tin nowhere full. £18.

A woman, asked for her coffee from Costa to be hotted up.

I suggested, next time, pour the Costa coffee down the drain and buy a decent coffee from the FCB kiosk.

I thought the coffee stall had gone from the Guildford street market. No great loss as better places from where to buy coffee. Sadly not, today I noticed it had returned.

As always, excellent honey crunch chicken on brown rice from Bamboo Shoots.

As always Surrey Hills coffee empty. OK, one customer. The ‘barista’ as always looking bored stiff does not help. Neither does poor quality coffee and vegan cakes.

By contrast as always Krema busy. Why, because Krema has quality coffee and skilled baristas who know how to make coffee, and a willingness to invest in the equipment.

If opening a coffee shop, either got to be serious about coffee or do not bother. For people who do not care about what they drink, we have corporate coffee chains serving undrinkable coffee.

Coffee Lab closed

November 8, 2018

I to my great disappointment find Coffee Lab has closed.

I am shocked and appalled that Coffee Lab has closed. It opened a little over two years ago. It was a lovely little coffee shop that set a high standard. Next year Coffee Lab Academy, then this summer The Square, plus a number of coffee shops in other towns.

Closure of the original Coffee Lab is indicative of everything that is going wrong with Coffee Lab. Vulture Capitalists have been brought in to expand the chain, Vulture Capitalists motivated by one thing and one thing only, greed. They have managed to alienate staff alienate the customers.

Coffee Lab has grown rapidly and just as rapidly gone down hill. Coffee Lab closing at three, and now closed. The Square, dirty tables, poor service, poor quality coffee, kids who do not have a clue. Coffee Lab Academy closing on the dot, tables and chairs stacked around remaining customers. No atmosphere in ether.

The covering of the window at Coffee Lab is an eyesore, what it says insulting, shows the Vulture Capitalists have no understanding or do not care.

What is wanted is a coffee shop, not a coffee chain.

How is the cash flow? Cash is king. Without cash a businesses is finished. If focus is on growing a chain, then only one way it can go. If no cash, have to rely on ever more investors, not a good sign. And those investors wil try to screw blood out of a stone.

Coffee Lab looks like it is very rapidly becoming a case bsuinesses study on how not to. Excellent example ore giben in Business for Punks.

Little Coffee Lab, why close? It could have continued, owned by basrtas and customers as an open coop. Were thes eoptions explosred.

Coffee Lab is not the only coffee shop that has clsoed.

And just when it cannot get worst, landlord of the little wholefood shop has been bought out by the greediest of the Vulture Capitalists, a fool who is a style-styled entrepreneur, putting at risk this lovely little shop when the lease runs out.

— to be continued —

CUP Reading Town Hall

November 5, 2018

I looked in CUP behind Reading Minster to ask where their other coffee shop is.

I then looked for second CUP. I was given complicated directions. Had I been told outside Reading Town Hall it would have been easy to find.

I visited CUP, the original CUP behind Reading Minster a couple of times last year and found very friendly and welcoming. This one cold and sterile, a cafe where order and leave. The guy serving unfriendly to the point of being rude. My cappuccino not good, I leave half drunk.

Coffee from The Roastin Party should be better than this

This is what happens when open a second coffee shop, standards fall.

The two coffee shops need different names to avoid confusion, CUP Reading Minster, CUP Reading Town Hall.

No Caffeine in either.

Second CUP only a couple of minutes from Reading Station. A commuter grab it and go. Better coffee than any of the nearby coffee chains.


FCB compostable takeaway coffee cups

November 2, 2018

Takeaway coffee cups are a major source of litter and plastic pollution. What appears to be paper cups are a composite structure with an inner plastic lining thus cannot be recycled.

Any move away from this throwaway culture, a  throwaway culture encouraged by the corporate coffee chains, is to be welcomed, be it compostable cups, reusable cups for example keepcup or best of all options encouraging relax in a  specialty coffee shop with coffee served in glass or ceramic.

I am pleased to see FCB kiosk now using compostable cups.

But begs the question, what to do with the cup? Unless facilities to compost the cups, will go straight into the general waste stream.  As I was going to the market in North Street, I saved mine for the compost heap.

Aeropress cold dripped coffee at Coviar

November 1, 2018

What I refer to as Japanese iced filter, made using pour over for example V60 or Chemex, half the water as hot water poured from a swan-necked kettle, the other half ice in a carafe which instantly chills the hot coffee as it drips through, in Athens is known as cold dropped coffee. Not to be confused with a cold drip tower, where ice cold water drips through a bed of coffee at one drop a second.

In Coviar,  Christos Loukakis demonstrated a different method using an Aeropress.

The ice cold coffee poured into a glass containing ice, cloudy.

Why an Aeropress, why cloudy?

With the V60 it will not be cloudy, will be brighter. The Aeropress favoured as the cold coffee has more body.

In England, Aeropress rarely seen. Even less so in use. Are though starting to see more filter coffee.

In Athens Aeropress in use all the time, and for tea not coffee.

What is is called cold dripped coffee quite common.

Hill of the Muses

October 28, 2018

— to be continued —

Greek coffee at Just Made 33

October 28, 2018

— to be continued —

Green tea at Just Made 33

October 28, 2018

— to be continued —

Cappuccino at Just Made 33

October 28, 2018

— to be continued —