Posts Tagged ‘books’

The North and North Wales Independent Coffee Guide

September 18, 2017

I had popped into Madame Waffle and noticed that not only Standart on sale, they also had The North and North Wales Independent Coffee Guide on sale.

Now in it third edition, what was the The Northern Independent Coffee Guide  now includes Wales, hence the change in  tittle.

Inclusion of Wales  a huge mistake. North Wales is not the North of England. Why not a guide for Wales?

A new editor, and I guess to justify her existence the format has changed.

Moot point whether for the better or not.

The maps are now associated  with their relevant entries, which is an improvement.

Gone the information about coffee, which is a great loss.  Instead, a brief sketch of key coffee people.

Noticeable by his absence, Bruce Whetton at Madame Waffle,  like Monmouth Coffee in Covent Garden, a pioneer of speciality coffee before it became trendy. Hopefully an omission to be corrected in the fourth edition.

A noticeable increase in the thickness. Whether due to an increase in the speciality coffee scene or being padded out with North Wales, I do not know.

Several entries, light text on a  dark background, not a good idea, as nigh unreadable.

A noticeable absence from the first edition, was Stokes, included in the second edition, now relegated to the footnotes, and deservedly so.

From Christmas to New Year, a noticeable loss of quality. Several months later their house blend undrinkable.

Stokes need to decide what they are.

Are they a supplier of catering supply coffee to greasy spoon cafes, bars and hotels, in a race to the bottom with local supplier Lincoln Tea and Coffee, that bag from bulk roasters low quality commodity coffee, over-roasted, defective beans with an unpleasant aroma? Or are they a supplier of speciality coffee? At the very least, form a separate and distinct division, Stokes Speciality Coffee, with its own distinct packaging, and show case at The Lawn.

A shame to see a fourth generation family coffee business fall by the wayside.

Stokes have recently relocated their roastery and offices to The Lawn, and opened Stokes Lawn Cafe at The Lawn, though Stokes at The Lawn would have been a better name. At The Lawn they have three excellent baristas, have invested in top quality equipment, the ambience is pleasant, as are the staff,  then let themselves down with poor quality beans.

I am pleased to see Madame Waffle has now been included, a noticeable omission from previous editions.

But why no inclusion of Makushi, a coffee shop and roastery half way up Steep Hill?

Another addition I would recommend The Little Tractor Coffee Shop, hidden within Bird’s Yard, a junk shop at the bottom of Steep Hill.

Coffee trails are new for this edition.

My suggestion for a Lincoln Coffee Trail (starting in the High Street where the River Witham flows through the town centre): Stokes on High Bridge,  Coffee Aroma, Madame Waffle,  Stokes at The Collection, The Little Tractor Coffee Shop, Makushi, Stokes Lawn Cafe. [see Coffee culture in Lincoln]

Personally I would not use a guide, I prefer to see where my feet take me, wander around, discover for myself. I did though find interesting, the various coffee shops and if I was in one of these towns, then yes, I may be tempted to pop in.

The downside  of taking me where my feet take, may have the advantage of discovery, but too many bad coffee shops, too much bad coffee.

I have never understood why anyone opens a coffee shop to serve bad coffee, though too many do. If I wanted bad coffee I would frequent the chains.

There can though be no excuse for drinking that undrinkable yuk in Costa or tax-dodging Starbucks or Caffè Nero, when armed with a copy of The North and North Wales Independent Coffee Guide it is easy to find somewhere that serves coffee worthy of the name, and once tried, you will never go back.

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Coffee

July 1, 2017

I often find interesting books in Cafe Mila, not the rubbished hyped by marketing.

It was in Cafe Mila, I picked up and had a browse of Coffee.

A glossy picture, with facing page text printed on glossy paper making difficult to read. The two contributors not experts  on coffee.

Not a book I would recommend.

For a brief introduction, cannot go far wrong with How to Brew the Perfect Cup from Union Hand-Roasted Coffee.

For something can easily read in afternoon, or browse in a coffee shop, Coffee and Cold Brew Coffee.

For something more substantial, the definitive guides to coffee, but still can be browsed whilst sitting in a coffee shop, The World Atlas of Coffee, The Best of JimSeven and Real Fresh Coffee.

To curl up and read, God in a Cup.

Yanis Varoufakis discussing Adults in the Room

May 1, 2017

Yanis Varoufakis and Paul Mason in conversation at Union Chapel to discuss Adults in the Room, an account of the European Deep State.

Larry Summers asked Yanis Varoufakis, are you in the inside or the outside?

In other words, are you one of us?

Christine Lagarde, after hours of fighting with Yanis Varoufakis, relaxing afterwards, admitted, he was right, and what was was being done to Greece was wrong, but it had to be done to satisfy the political establishment.

In discussion with US Treasury, they admitted, what was being done by the EU to destroy Greece, they were not happy with, but Greece was Germany’s sphere of influence, and they could not interfere.

Yanis Varoufakis was then  warned, be aware, in a week, a smear campaign will be launched against you by the EU.

One week later, that was what happened, a smear campaign was run. Lazy journalists, with ties to the Deep State, were briefed, they print their lies, and the rest  of the media regurgitates. Lies become facts.

If Yanis Varoufakis attempts to correct the lies, it is then reported as Yanis Varoufakis denies he said. That was never said, not reported.

Until that is he was interviewed by the New York Times, and said it was all a  pack of lies. Who should we believe, it is your word against theirs? Ah, yes, I recorded the meetings.

Not all journalists are of the calibre or integrity of Paul Mason.

Greece was neither here nor there. Greece had to be destroyed to serve as a warning to others.

We are seeing the same with Brexit. UK cannot be seen as being better off outside the EU. It must be punished to serve as a warning to others. That this will destroy Europe is seen as irrelevant.

Yanis Varoufakis set up the Untouchables, a secret task force to deal with Oligarchs and tax dodgers. They obtained records from the banks to show where the money was flowing, then compared with tax receipts. They then offered an amnesty, declare and we will tax you at 15%, we are letting you off lightly, fail to declare and we will bring criminal prosecutions, and by the way, we know who you are.

This programme, which would have brought in billions of euros, was scrapped by the Troika.

The Troika was supported by the Oligarchs, the Troika in turn supported the Oligarchs.

When Greece held its referendum, the media campaigned against No to the Troika. The media owned by the Oligarchs. The Greeks showed courage, they voted No, even though they knew there would be a price to pay. They were betrayed by Greek politicians.

A condition of the next bailout, was to scrap the programme to claw back the tax that had been dodged.

Know who is your enemy, the enemy within. In Labour, those who sabotage the leadership of Jeremy Corbyn.

In Brighton, it is insanity for Labour to oppose Caroline Lucas.

Everyone urged to join DiEM25 to form progressive alliances across Europe.

We have to transfer power back to nation states, back to town halls, back to people, at the same time, network and cooperate.

When Greece needed help and support, they were betrayed by politicians across Europe, politicians who pretend to be progressive.

When someone says they want to be a politician, want power, they are the people not to vote for.

Cappuccino in Makushi

March 21, 2017

Last week, a lovely sunny warm spring day. Today, first day of spring, bitter cold wind blowing.

Today a different barista, moonlighting from Coffee Aroma.

Makes the point, little independent coffee shops cooperate.

Makushi is one of the coffee shops that has Standart, an excellent  quarterly journal devoted to coffee culture.

I would have liked to have been able to borrow a copy to read, bring back, but no can do.

Back down in the town, I popped in Coffee Aroma and picked up a copy of Northern Independent Coffee Guide.  Served by the same barista who had served me in Makushi.

The Alchemist: three hundred and ninety seven weeks in New York Times best-seller list

March 28, 2016
The Alchemist three hundred and ninety seven weeks New York Times best-seller list

The Alchemist three hundred and ninety seven weeks New York Times best-seller list

Congratulations Paulo Coelho, Sunday The Alchemist three hundred and ninety seven continuous weeks in New York Times best-seller list.

That is an amazing seven years, eight  months and one week.

And it is at No 8.

What a way to end March 2016.

Not bad for a book that was first published twenty seven years ago.

Good books spread by word of mouth. Only rubbish needs marketing hype.

And many thanks Paulo and Christina for the St Joseph’s Day Party in The Lobkowicz Palace in Prague Castle the weekend before.

And many thanks Paulo for taking the trouble to sign books as you were leaving.

Paulo Coelho books signed in Prague

Paulo Coelho books signed in Prague

The Alchemist: seven years and one month and one week in New York Times best-seller list

September 6, 2015
The Alchemist seven years one month and one week New York Times best-seller list

The Alchemist seven years one month and one week New York Times best-seller list

Congratulations Paulo Coelho, today The Alchemist three hundred and sixty-nine continuous weeks in New York Times best-seller list. That is an amazing seven years and one month and one week. And it is at No 3.

Not bad for a book that was first published over twenty six years ago.

Good books spread by word of mouth. Only rubbish needs marketing hype.

Manual of the Warrior of Light

June 7, 2015
Manual of the Warrior of Light

Manual of the Warrior of Light

Paulo Coelho has always been a maverick in the world of publishing. But he has also been able to see much further than others.

He does not mind if his books are pirated.

A couple of years ago he released his entire e-book back catalogue at a book for the price of a song.

His argument then, and my argument too, e-books are obscenely overpriced.

He has now done it again. He has released Manual of Warrior of Light as a free e-book. Better still, he has released as ePub, which is an open source format.

Note: If you require in Kindle format (which is a propriety format of Amazon), download Calibre.

Note: To download the free e-book, click through the book.

A pity more writers do not have the vision of Paulo Coelho.

But at the end of the e-book, instead of a link to Amazon, iTunes et al, it would have been better to have encouraged to go out and buy Manual of Warrior of Light in an indy book shop.

If I buy a book, a physical book, why is there not a code, that lets me download the e-book for free? I prefer real books, nevertheless I would find useful, to be able to access all my books as e-books.

The Way of the Bow has been produced as a collaborative effort. People can download for free. If they wish, they can make a donation to support the kids in a favela.

Try before you buy, is not unique to books. Bandcamp you can listen to entire albums, pay what you think it is worth.

Selling Right Now: Monsters sold for £25, £20 over the asking price.

Selling Right Now: Monsters sold for £25, £20 over the asking price.

Jewelia did this with her album Monsters.

The Sunrise

May 24, 2015
ghost city of Famagusta seen from the sea

ghost city of Famagusta seen from the sea

1974 Turkey invaded Cyprus.

Today the island of Cyprus is still under Turkish military occupation.

In 1974 the tourists were oblivious to what was going on, as they are today.

Cyprus was betrayed by many people. Greek Cypriots who were killing fellow Cypriots and mounted a coup against their own government. Greece under the control of a Fascist military dictatorship that helped to mount the coup. The British guarantors of the independence of Cyprus failed to intervene.

The Sunrise tells the story of these turbulent times from the 1960s when Cypriots were killing each other, the 1974 invasion, as seen through the microcosm of a hotel in Famagusta and three families associated with the hotel.

Turkey used the coup as a pretext to invade, they were there to protect the Turkish Cypriots (most of who have subsequently fled). Prior to the invasion Cypriots lived together, not separated by a Green Line guarded by the UN, the island divided, one half under illegal Turkish military occupation.

Famagusta is a ghost town, sealed off by razor wire. It can be viewed from the sea from one of the boats that sets sail from Protaras Pier.

San Pablo Librería

March 21, 2015
San Pablo Librería

San Pablo Librería

A wonderful bookshop.

Emphasis on religion, El Camino de Santiago, Santiago de Compostela, the region, Catedral de Santiago.

A large selection of books by Paulo Coelho, including a window display.

But not only San Pablo Librería, the cathedral shop and the pilgrims shop, also had Paulo Coelho books.

Further down the street, another bookshop, with interesting books to read in the window display, Paulo Coelho, Naomi Klein, like bookshops used to be, books you may wish to read, not hyped celebrity crap.

British Heart Foundation: Where have all the books gone?

February 11, 2015
British Heart Foundation Aldershot

British Heart Foundation Aldershot

The British Heart Foundation shop in Aldershot always had a good range and an excellent display of books, albeit overpriced.

That they had a good selection, was down to the hard work of one volunteer.

Where have all the books gone, few now on display?

An overpaid idiot, at regional or head office, trying to justify their existence and salary, has decided books do not sell, and has drastically reduced the books on display.

Upon what do they base their crass reasoning?

They have decided, based upon no evidence, books do not sell as people read e-books.

Maybe the books are not selling because they are overpriced?

And books do not sell if not on display.

Now have a ludicrous situation, few books on display, but a large number of books in a back storage room.