Brew with a view

A lot of us can’t face the day without first facing a cup of coffee. But what if that coffee featured a famous face — perhaps even our own?

(Tub of Butter, Dubai; Instagram)

Special stencils for commercial coffee machines now mean your latte can feature just about any design. And in Dubai — where else — you can see yourself, or your favourite photo, in your cup the day after emailing an attachment to the barista.

Continue reading Brew with a view

A day to remember



I once had a colleague who had an aversion to stories about anniversaries and contrived annual events.

Someone would say, for example, “It’s World No Tobacco Day, perhaps we should write about that”, and he would reply: “Well, somewhere in the world there’s probably a National Pickle Day. Would we write about that?”

He didn’t know it at the time, but there is a National Pickle Day, in the United States (of course) on November 14. But I’m not going to write about that. Not today, anyway.

Today I’m writing about International Coffee Day, which is — depending on where you are in the world (and, of course, when you are reading this) — only dawning, currently in full swing, almost over or just a sweet memory.

Why it’s on October 1, I’m not sure — perhaps all the other days were  taken — but I don’t have a problem with there being a day dedicated to coffee.

It’s a mostly harmless substance — although I have a friend who once gave it up cold turkey and suffered withdrawal symptoms as a result — that’s a perfect pick-me-up and a great conversation lubricator.

So if you happen to be having a conversation around a cup of coffee, perhaps you might also contemplate that October 1, 2015 is also the 51st anniversary of the first trip by Japan’s famous Bullet Train; the 69th anniversary of the convictions of Joachim von Ribbentrop, Hermann Goering and 10 other high-ranking Nazis at the Nuremberg trials; and the 107th anniversary of the debut of the Model T Ford.

And, on this day in 1918, Arab and British forces commanded by Lawrence of Arabia captured Damascus from Turkish forces.

There’s plenty to talk about there.

PS: Today is also Vegetarian Day, but I have no interest in that at all.