Coffee in Madrid (Motteau)

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If we were having coffee it would be at Motteau on the corner of Calle de San Pedro. We came by it by chance, it didn’t feature in any guide book and if it did it would spoil it. The place has three/four tables, and comfortably sits 10 folk at a time.

The coffee came just as we like it, a nice big mug and although I’m starting to get used to a espresso, I still don’t think you can beat an Americano with your cake.

All the cakes are made on the premises in the kitchen right next to the seating area. The chef’s are in full view separated by glass and a marvel to watch in there confined space that is kitted out for all manner of creation.

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Today we have a choice of things to eat. A white chocolate, pistachio and rose candy pastry, a slice of carrot cake, a walnut brownie and a meringue and caramel twirl.

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It’s a shame we only managed to find this place on our last day!  If this was going to be our vocation it would be the sort of place we’d liked to run…….to dream!

Thanks for joining me for coffee, thanks to Nerd in the Brain who hosts the Weekend Coffee Share.

Coffee and the Pentlands

Coffee and Brioche in the Easter spring sun. Mid way stop.

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If you can keep up with a 10 year old on his big brothers bike, coffee is served from a flask out in the open with Brioche from the Konditor in Bruntsfield no less.  

We made a slight detour to pick these bad boys up. An amazing sweet bread that never fails to cheer me up.

This cycle has been calling out to me for a while. A nice 11 mile circular, traffic free, with a bit of off-road, water and hills. A few miles outside of Edinburgh the Pentlands have the ability to make you feel like your in real outdoor territory from the moment you leave the car park.

This route marks the passage of time, and a measure of current fitness. I’ve done it a few times over the years. Once with a trailer on the back of the bike….the two munchkins side by side (4 and 2), an uphill struggle when the four year calls out that he’s tired sat there like a lord!

With just the two of us we got a good pace going. The 2 year old now 10, setting the speed just ahead of my fitness capability! This was good though and exactly why I was here. Today there is no arguing, no sibling rivalry, just a dad and his son cycling together. Happy days.
Thanks for joining me for coffee, thanks to Nerd in the Brain who hosts the Weekend Coffee Share.

Coffee and a 97th birthday

Enjoyed today's blue sky, Lakeland fells from Morecambe bay

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Hello and what can I get you, we meet for coffee at the service station. We are out and about this weekend, one of those weekends where events collide. My grandads birthday and the UK’s Mothering Sunday with really no excuse to go see both.
Time to get the wheels out and stretch the vans legs. It does feel like the first journey of the year, a cob web in the window confirms my suspicion that it needs a sweep out before the first camping trip. Today though not so important, just me and my youngest. His face is beaming, he gets to sit up front without the usual tussle with his brother and he’s chosen the playlist on Spotify. Two hours of nonsense pop, what have I let myself in for?

The drive is one of those unique blue sky days, a transition from winter to spring. The green in the grass changing tone with daffodil bulbs aplenty along the embankments. We spotted the odd baby lamb barely able to stand.

170 miles later, we were early so I decided to take us to Morecambe, a nearby seaside town where I spent many a day trip as a child. All the store fronts had changed, some boarded up, the pier gone, the fair no longer there. A sad shell of a place from my memories. There’s been some investment though in the car parks and the sea front promenades.

I’d brought the skateboard and my son was happy enough with the miles of flat surface that laid before him, no burden of the memories of the long distant past.

What I hadn’t realised as a child was the view of the Lake District that you get from Morecambe. The snow on the tops adding that extra bit of definition to a landscape that is already known for it’s wonder.

Great Grandad as we call him, was in great fettle for a 97 year old….again a strange day for me. Memories of a man so strong and proud to someone who struggles to see and needs help to walk. This was the man who played cricket with me, chased me up the fells and raced me at eating scotch pancakes. Amazingly happy with life, a real lesson on how to be content with his lot. His goal to make it to 100!

Thank you to everyone who popped by last week and wished me well with my cold. I’m on the mend and looking forward to a week without a headache and a box of tissues by my side! Hope you have a great week and that the weather is bringing you happiness as well.

Thanks for joining me for coffee, thanks to Nerd in the Brain who hosts the Weekend Coffee Share.

Coffee and Lurgy

Cycling round Arthur's seat today. The gorse is on its way!!

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Urgghh is how I feel at the moment, broken, my head in a fug. My nose starting to feel raw and most definitely glowing despite the tri ply platinum luxury deluxe balm laden tissues one can treat oneself to when you feel like this.

So come on in the coffee is brewed just don’t get too close, this one came out of nowhere and grabbed my throat in the night and the last thing I want to do is give it to you.

The week has flown by and I’d just thought I’d started to get somewhere health and fitness wise. I’d had a great weekend though, set me up for the week ahead. I’d managed a run round Arthur’s seat (first time this year) and then the next day a cycle round with the youngest.   A tough weather week came in though! The kind that tries to break your will and hold you back, to control ones will, to get out and exercise….I swear it was out to get me personally.……I changed my approach though. I said fine if that’s the way you want it I’ll take the bus in and run home.

Which I did, but don’t feel too impressed though it’s only a couple of miles.   It does get the heart going though and I feel much better for it………I think that’s when it got me!   And the idea of a run at this moment though….urghhh.   Which is how I normally feel it has to be said!

So today, I’m not expecting much of the day. A cup of coffee, two cups of lemsip a bit of food shopping. Nothing that takes up too much energy.   I’ve got a Chicken pot roast planned for two. Something that we can bang in the oven and take our time doing something more productive instead……like managing man flu.

Thanks for joining me for coffee, thanks to Nerd in the Brain who hosts the Weekend Coffee Share

Coffee, Lasagne and the Bullet Journal

I skipped coffee last week, I’m sorry I was caught up in crazyness and wondering what it was all about.  One of those why am I doing this stuff kind of moments.  That and time, where does it all go?

This week I came across Ryder Carroll and his Bullet Journal Technique…..he has a TEDx talk on ‘How to lead an Intentional Life’

 

I love the quote: ‘You can’t make time, You can only take time’

I’m 3 days into using his framework and really trying to adopt some of the techniques to manage my time, to take the time to manage my brain.  Just google Bullet Journal and all will be revealed!

So today I’m taking time to share coffee…..good morning!  Thanks for popping by.  I’ve got a fuzzy head this morning, the coffee is strong to help break through the fug and give me a chance of making the most of a Sunday.   No Sympathy is requested, a self-inflicted one glass too many on the wine front and a nice little night cap of Whisky.

We had pals round for dinner, long standing friends that have followed my wife and I round all our various tables through the last 20 years or so.  Sometimes the same table different location.  Always good to see them and aside from the 5 minute blip with the kids getting too excited which resulted in me reading the riot act.  We had a great night.

We served up a Veggie Lasagne and a Cranachan Cheesecake (A Scottish twist on a baked cheesecake).  Home-made Lasagne is a real labour of love and I always under estimate how long it takes especially when I choose to make the pasta as well.   I can’t find a link to the cheesecake recipe….but the Lasagne recipe I based mine on can be found at chez Jamie Oliver’s.

Last nights #lasagne

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I learnt a few things making this recipe and definitely a keeper…..but it definitely needs to be doctored to make it your own and the way it’s laid out really frustratingly for finding one’s feet as you try and find where you are.

Just written in my journal…… write up my version, see if I can make it simpler!

Thanks for joining me for coffee, thanks to Nerd in the Brain who hosts the Weekend Coffee Share and for relieving my writers block this morning by reminding me of my organisation discovery this week.

Coffee and the Storm before the Calm

Time for #coffee

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Just made myself a cup of steaming coffee.   The sun is shining, but don’t be fooled though. There’s a bitter wind howling around the place. Showers of icy cold rain come and go despite the brightness and the defiant Daffodil buds that are emerging. Winters last ditch attempt to hang on. I know spring is around the corner, I’ve smelt it in the air in a calm moment between winds.

The daily commute to work has been put to test. Managed to cycle in 4 out of the 5 days with only one bus journey and a walk home. A couple of morning runs trying to break through the muscle pains of the previous weeks skiing and an attempt at trying to remove the spare tyre around my waistline. Progress is slow.

Started reading the 8 Week Blood Sugar Diet purely out of interest and as a way to look at my health differently. As a guy who likes good food this has an interesting take on the science behind low fat meals vs low sugar.

With it being such a turbulent weather weekend, my weekend cooking exploits have been put to full use:

This weekends exploits in the kitchen #cooking

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The veggy box this week had a huge bounty of root veg.   So I thought I’d put the Farfalline we had left over in a Minestrone soup. Tonight’s tea a Nigel Slater Root veg curry (a couple of searches on google turned up a mention Two Hungry Boys and Four Cooking together).

I tried the chocolate pots from Anna Jones Guardian Recipe, The boys not too keen and a bit disappointed so definitely for adults! Not sure where they sit in the whole blood sugar diet scene! It was Saturday treat tea after all and was served with a Tuna and Orange Salad beforehand.

So as Storm Doris finally dwindles out, I’m hoping for warmer and longer days a chance to ride to wide to work without worrying about the wind speed and whether I’ll get blown off my bike.

Good luck with your week and thanks for joining me for coffee.

 

With thanks to the part time monster, the weekend coffee share used to be hosted by the Part Time Monster Blog, it’s now hosted by NerdInTheBrain.

Coffee and Blue Sky for the Soul

Too cold to be hanging about, couldn't resist getting my hands cold for this. #valthorens #skiing

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If we were having coffee it would be in the airport lounge, we’d be drinking out of need a shot of some caffeine to aid with the shock to the system of being up so early (A 3am start).  The coffee is rubbish (I’m sorry), it’s what’s on offer and I leave it half way through. Like wine life is too short to drink bad coffee!

It’s ski holiday time, our chosen resort this year is Val Thorens in the French alps, the highest ski resort in Europe.

We’ve not been skiing for two years, the boys are excited and armed with their new Pokémon games that I managed to get them to pay for themselves alongside getting them to wait for the next big journey since its release in November!

I’m excited but apprehensive I hate the airport piece, the stripping down of oneself to walk through an X-ray machine that you hope doesn’t go beep. This time my boots and belt had to come off. If I could persuade my wife to go by train all the way I would…although deep down I know this is the fastest route.

Val Thorens is a purpose built ski resort that’s grown and evolved since the 60’s, part of the Les Trois Vallées. We picked it because of the number of runs, the height, the glacier and the prospect of guaranteed snow. This can have its downside though. We’d been before, 10 years ago and it was brutal…6 days of solid snow!

This time though we arrived to winds and blue sky, chilling to the core, this time though we had our two boys with us and the adventure was out there. Our youngest typically up first, dressed and ready with all the gear. If he could skip breakfast I’m sure he would.

We know many families who put their children into ski school, for us though it’s time to bond as a unit. A break from the norm, no jobs and nothing but snow to occupy our minds. Skiing with children brings another dimension to a father though. One of safety, one of caution at the same time one of letting go. The giving of freedom, speed and the learning of a skill.   My heart is in my mouth as the youngest weaves in and out of the poles, taking jumps without fear. It’s amazing to watch.

For those who don’t Ski, it’s a strange thing to fathom. The strapping of planks to ones feet, pointing them down a hill for enjoyment. I myself whilst sat on a chairlift reflected on the number of ants partaking in this past time and wondered what it is that drives this sport.

For me it’s the colour of the sky against the contrast of the snow. The spectacle and majesty of the land before us, covered in a blanket of white. The fresh air and a feeling of high speed freedom as you forget about everything back home. The worries and the pressure of everyday life don’t exist as you shift the weight from one leg to the other concentrating on the hill, the trees, the ground and become one flowing movement.

We’ve returned in one piece, our muscles a little tired. We’ve had six solid days of fresh air and blue sky. My mind renewed for the next chapter.

With thanks to the part time monster, the weekend coffee share used to be hosted by the Part Time Monster Blog, it’s now moved and hosted by NerdInTheBrain.  Thanks to both as they inspire me to write.