Wishlist.

When I was younger, not one birthday would go by without me creating a list of all the things I would want. I used to spend hours thumbing through the Argos catalogue, dreaming of toys’r’us aisles and meticulously writing neat lists. I think it was almost as fun as the actual birthday!

Even though my birthdays usually didn’t bring me the items at the top of the list (find me someone who got a pony, because I certainly didn’t, and was rather understanding when mum explained there wasn’t space for one in the garden)  I always remember  the list being part of the fun.

With that in mind (and a couple of hours to kill between shifts in work) here is my 25th birthday list!

  • want want want

     

    Literary tshirt. awesome

    This would replace all the needles I lost when I moved...

    Think of the pretty things I could carry around!

     

    If only i was skinny enough for anything from Rebel 8...

     

    Aaaaahh. A girl can dream eh?

     

    Even though I know I’m not going to get anything off that list, I know I’m still going to get some bits and bobs I want (I’m probably going to cave in and buy some shoes!).

    The thing which I am most looking forward to though, more than anything else birthday related, is when all my pals appear at my flat and we drink and chat the weekend away. In a way I think my wishlist is probably closer to my friend list than any shopping list!

     

    Gay love,

    Laura xx

I Return!

It’s been a rather long time since I posted anything here. Sadly my old laptop was stolen when my flat was broken into, which meant that I was pretty much without the internet for a few months. It was a peaceful few month, but I did feel like I wasn’t getting much done, it felt like I was just going to work and going to sleep. I guess I hadn’t realised how much satisfaction I gained from fooling about on the internet, reading and learning as I went.

Fortunately my parents decided that a laptop would make a perfect Christmas present, and also that it would be cruel to buy one and keep it until December, so they gave me my present a few months early. So basically I have the most awesome parents in the world, ever.

What is also very cool is that this is the first time I’ve had a laptop which isn’t a hand-me-down, the one before this was my sisters spare one, and before that I’d bought a PC from my mate for £40 and added bits and pieces to it to make it work. It’s good to have something which is nice and working properly!

There is really no other point to this post beyond me being all “yey! I have a laptop again”. I was going to put down the blog posts I’ve thought of doing since June, but I don’t know if I’ll ever get around to putting up some of them. Perhaps I should go to town on the blogging while I am excited about having a new laptop. Although with that approach I am likely to post lots of drivel over the next fortnight and very little actual content…

Speaking of content, here’s picture of me and the cat-

Why do cats refuse to look at the camera?

I’ll leave you with that though, I have knitting to be getting on with🙂

Laura xx

Killing time

image

One of my favourite things about being an avid coffee drinker, fond of spending time in a coffee shop, and working for a company which offers worldwide discounts, is that should I ever find myself at a loose end whilst I am on my adventures, I always have somewhere to pass the time for a couple of hours.

Here I am in Leeds with an hour or two to kill before meeting a boy for a pint. I have a book (The Place of Dead Roads by William S. Burroughs which is fantastic so far) and an iced americano. Bliss.

Incidentally should you ever find yourself with lots of time to spend in a coffee shop, get a cold drink, you don’t need to worry about drinking them fast and feeling obliged to get  a new one!

Laura in Leeds! Xx

Adventures

I am going on an adventure!

Firstly to my friends sisters birthday in the Borders, then to Leeds for a couple of days, the too Download Festival, then Sunderland for a day, and back to Glasgow.

This is all the stuff I am taking, I think I have packed pretty light!

So bags are packed and I am off.

Yay for adventures!

Coffee- Organic Ethiopia Ky Kebero

Glasgow is a good city to be living in if you are a coffee nerd. I certainly appreciate all the wee coffee shops with their excellent cakes and their baristas who pull perfect espresso shots and steam fantastic milk. The big coffee chains also do their bit for the coffee nerds, the Bothwell Street Starbucks is the only store north of Manchester to brew Starbucks Reserve coffees, and it is one of only a handful in the UK.

Today I popped down to Bothwell Street to enjoy a sample to the new Starbucks Reserve coffee- Ethiopia Ky Kebero- with the ever lovely regional coffee master Chris Claud Day .

These particularly rare coffees are a double serving of amazingness for someone who loves exploring coffee. First off they are incredibly rare. Like most things, the less of it there is the better it gets. Starbucks reserve coffees are super limited edition batches from small farms (The Aged Sulawesi Kalosi is literally grown in farmers back gardens!) which makes their flavours very individual and special. Secondly the pour-over method is used to prepare them. I love the routine involved in brewing coffee, and the pour over method is a new and exciting one for me, after seeing it in action I want a kit for my kitchen!

As you can see from the video it takes some care and attention to do perfectly, but it is absolutely worth it for the end product. My preferred brewing method is a French Press, it’s how I grew up drinking coffee and it allows you to fully appreciate the flavours of the coffee. However after the cup of coffee today I think I could be a convert!

The coffee itself was fantastic, as I may have mentioned in previous posts, African coffees are my favourites. I find their light bodies and high acidity appealing and Ethiopia Ky Kebero did not dissapoint. It was so delicately balanced with citrus flavours and a subtle herbal smell, that my eyes literally lit up on my first sip. Lovely.

As you can see here it has lovely packaging. I know it’s not important, but I do like it when packaging is done well. I also find it interesting that it is in the older style bags from Starbucks, rather than the new ones which have a flat bottom and folded sides. I wonder why they chose that? Either way, as you will notice, the logo of the coffee is a wolf, the namesake of the coffee which is also the national symbol of Ethiopia- it’s nice to learn something about the country which a coffee is grown in, and is one of my favourite things about being a coffee nerd- my general knowledge is improving!

There are always new coffees being brought out in the Reserve range, and I am excited to see what is next!

Laura xx

Architecture.

I really wish that when I was a teenager I knew how much I would like buildings as an adult. If I had of known then I would have tried much much harder with art and design. I know that having artistic skill is one of those things you have or you don’t, but I can’t help but think that as a teenager perhaps I could have learnt? Either way, I don’t have it in me to be an actual architect, infact I suspect that it might actually be rather dull once it becomes an actual career, like many things are prone to be.

All that aside, what is true is that I really enjoy looking at buildings and trying to find out when they come from, and learn a little about their style. Having the internet at my fingertips really helps with this interest, as does living in a city like Glasgow. It has a lot of its old building still intact, unlike big cities in the south which flattened during the war. It was a port town in the industrial period, and I’ve heard it called the second port of the empire, which means that there has been a wealth of global influence coming into the city for years and years. It’s these old buildings which usually make me take note the most, I live in a tenement building which I think was built around 1890 (judging by this one nearby) and walk by buildings of a similar age on a daily basis. When I first moved to Glasgow I was particularly taken by buildings designed by Alexander ‘Greek’ Thomson 

Recently, however, it’s the more modern buildings which have been catching my eye. The other day I found myself reading about a building called St.Peters Seminary at Cardross, just outside Glasgow. Before I knew it I was stuck in a wikipedia chasm, it was midnight and I’d been reading about modernist architecture for hours.

I ended up reading about one particular architectural firm from Glasgow which was active between the 1920’s and 1980’s called Gillespie, Kidd and Coia. This firm had a deal with the Roman Catholic church to build the new churches which would be required for the new satellite towns of Glasgow which were built to house the cities growing population and to get families out of inner city housing. They built churches in Cumbernauld, East Kilbride and Dumbarton to name but a few places, also the schools and hospitals which these growing towns would need.

From my very limited and internet based (read: dubious reliability)reading of modernist architecture of that era, it would seem that buildings were often designed to perform a function, without unnecessary embellishments. They had clean, smooth lines and were made using modern materials, in keeping with a general theme of modern art. To me, this seems completely at odds with what a church should look like. However I can’t help but think that this approach to building churches is fitting to the era in which they were built. People were moving to new towns, away from inner city squalor to fresh modern buildings, and it seems fitting that their churches, schools and hospitals should fit in with this change. A new building, within a new town, to fulfil an age old function.

Another reason which I ended up reading about the buildings around Glasgow by Gillespie, Kidd and Coia, was because the Cardross Seminary is a particularly interesting derelict building.

I found that photo at http://www.glasgowarchitecture.co.uk where you can read all about how Cardross Seminary, how it got to be so derelict and what is going to happen to it.

I generally like derelict buildings, there is something wonderful and ugly about them. Also they tend to be home to plenty of graffiti, whilst sometime totally crap, sometimes it is amazing. I spent hours on Flickr looking through the photos of Cardross Seminary which you can find here: http://www.flickr.com/groups/stpeters/pool/.

Also, the website about Gillespie, Kidd and Coia (http://www.gillespiekiddandcoia.com/home.html) provided me with lots of interesting information, including that I had missed out on an exhibition. Damn! However, more exciting was the realisation that some of the buildings designed by them are very near to where I live, or where friends of mine do. Perhaps, on one of my days off, if it doesn’t rain, I might take a wander to see them, and appreciate something which I have been reading about on the internet.  Maybe on my way there, I’ll see another building which piques my interest in architecture.

Laura.

Going Up.

Going up! yeah that’s me! Going up in the Coffeebucks world… to supervisor.

So no longer am I a peaceful coffee loving barista, I’m a stressed coffee loving supervisor in training and soon to be peaceful coffee loving shift supervisor. It will be nice once the terror subsides. I got thrown in at the deep end on Saturday.

Saturdays aren’t known for being easy if you work in the service industry. It’s busier, longer, louder and that bit more manic. There may be more staff, but there are more customers. I used to just accept Saturdays- I knew what was coming, and I knew it would end. It was knowing what to expect that made it bareable.

This Saturday was totally different. I didn’t realise how much unknown I was facing. I now work in a different shop, with different people, different customers and different ways of doing things. Not only that, but I am trying to take on a different role, one which I know I am completely capable of, and that I need to prove to the people around me that I am capable of.

It was an operationally tricky shift, and not helped by having a newbie at the helm. Everyone was patient with me though, and I know I learnt a lot. Not so much in a official training program kind of way, but less tangible way. Things to do with people, how they work and when to panic. I know I am prone too loosing my cool if put under unexpected pressure, but I think I now know what to expect. I could have avoided that situation, but then wouldn’t have learnt anything. Sure, I’d have cash handling protocols down, and I’d have the orders sussed out, I would know what people should be doing and where I would like to be. I’d know the health and safety guff, and the cleaning process. But I think now, I will be able to  do all that with confidence, knowing that I can make it happen, and that I will be able to relax into it.

Once I am more relaxed and more in control I can bring the coffee back into my day. I love the coffee aspect of my work. I love chatting to people about it, both staff and the public. I like people to know more about what happens before they get their morning coffee.

Anyway. I am rambling here. It was a stressful shift, but I am not perturbed, I am confident that I will grow into my new role. And I am excited about getting there.

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