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.


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 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.

New Knife, New Me and the Coffee Share


It’s with some trepidation we meet for coffee, it’s been such a while.  I’ve missed you and I know I should have been in touch sooner.  So many things got in the way.  Presented with a blank page and Auld Lang Syne ringing in my ears (Should old acquaintance be forgot, and never brought to mind?).  I’ve sat down at the PC with the sole intention of thinking about my blog.

Amazingly meeting for coffee is opening the words in my head.  I’ve been procrastinating around for ages. Staring at a blank screen with so many things to say, my head brimming with ideas but choked at the thought of there materialisation.

I know at this time of year it’s a great opportunity to close things off for 2016 and I already feel late to the party, the opportunity has passed.  I’ve decided I’m just going to close it down as the year that we finally moved into the house and things started to settle.  Soul searching, turning things over and looking at the past isn’t where my heads at after the Christmas break.  There just didn’t seem time for all the things I needed and wanted to do by the turn of the year, it all collided with guests, the odd bit of work and I’ve now got a sinking feeling that the year has started without me!

Drinking our coffee we’d get round to talking about Christmas presents.  You would tell me about your main gift and I’d tell you about mine…..a new knife.  Not just any knife, this was a knife I’d been coveting for a while.  Not just as an implement to prepare food but as an item of beauty not quite forged in the breath of a dragon but as the Excalibur to both mark the turning point of my cookery and something to cut through the invisible ties that have been holding me back mentally on so many fronts.  To cut through my procrastination.

It might sound daft, but every time I get a hold of my new knife (I’m going to have to find it a cool name)  like a scene from a fantasy movie it’s going to jolt me with a burst of energy, drag me through 2017 kicking and screaming with a new wave of positivity to get things back on my terms.

The Weekend Coffee Share is hosted by Part Time Monster

Coffee #7, EU, Rome and Dads Football


Coffee this morning is served before breakfast today breaking my normal ritual of a cup of tea first thing.  I like my cup of joe mid morning and today feels like a requirement for a double bagger, perhaps we’ll catch up later.

Today we’d talk about the EU referendum, I find myself reflecting, searching for another answer but all the news can offer up is discontent in politics, and talk of leavers regretting their protest vote.  I know there must be people who are happy with the result, but here in Edinburgh there is a feeling of dismay.   A city that celebrates being continental in every way.  I sigh and we move on it’s a topic that is going to distract and dominate for some time and my disappointment is that all the money that goes into (in my opinion) a crazy separation that destroys unity is not being spent on the things that need fixing.

Lack of a real central base in the house is dragging on and frustrating.  I know we are close to the end with discussions taking place around the plasterer coming in.  The shell has started to form to which the kitchen furniture will be attached and hope starts to kick in with dreams of all culinary events being solved.

The dreams are aided by Rachel Roddy’s book Five Quarters, which I’m dipping into every night, working through it from start to finish.  As you’d expect with a cookery book it’s broken into the usual sections however to my delight it’s more than a bunch of recipes, it very much follows the style of her column in the Guardian.  I find myself transported to Rome,  and a real glimpse of someone who is on a journey of discovery with food.  It makes we want to do better, to write more from the heart and to savour moments.  I skip the how to cook an Octopus section and how to fillet Anchovies, it’s just something I won’t do and somehow they feel out of place in the book, more a novelty at the same time it’s the authors experience, a moment shared.   At the heart of the book is a real get back to understanding you ingredients ethos and I can’t wait to get going on making my own tomato sauce, or to try the minestre.

My exercise this week has been hampered by a stinking cold that appeared out of nowhere.  Gradually it eased off and I was able to make my sons day by taking part in the end of term coaches + dads versus the boys football match.  A game worthy of an entry on match of the day.  15 young no energy restraints scamps versus 7 middle aged wannabes.  Thankfully the 15 didn’t have the ability to organise themselves and chaos ensued after their first goal.  The dads picked themselves up, took a breath and started to pass with the score finishing up 5-2 to the dads.  The muscles feel a little bit achy today I have to say!

The Weekend Coffee Share is hosted by Part Time Monster.  You can join this week’s Coffee Share on her blog or by clicking on the “Linkup Linky

If We Were Having Coffee #6

#Coffee and #pancakes, #happyfathersday

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We haven’t had coffee for a fortnight now, I’m feeling guilty and frustrated with myself for not finding the time to write.   Partly due to procrastination, not making the time, not finding the time and chaos enveloping the house in week 6 of the kitchen renovation.

The builders are doing a great job of staying tidy, however they are spreading out bit by bit.  The inevitable rain came which added another dimension to the dirt and dust.  Old lead piping discovered, a concrete floor that has no more space for new piping adding more cost into the build resulting in the front garden being dug up.

Things have started to get better though, the beams have gone in with the props removed and plaster board starting to appear.  The sense of space is amazing and we are going to be very lucky when it’s finished.

Father’s day brought a long awaited copy of Five Quarters, by Rachel Roddy.  I’ve been pleasure delaying partly because we need the kitchen before I get stuck in and partly because I haven’t got the time to read it and grow with the experience.

Back to the coffee which is why we are here 🙂  Thank you for coming, it’s enabled me to drown out the xbox in background, to zone in and put some words down.  Today the coffee is served with pancakes a Father’s day breakfast request served with either sugar and lemon juice or Nutella with Bananas.

#nutella and #bannana …oh yes #pancakes

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Today’s Pancake Ingredients:  Makes 8-9 large Pancakes depending how thin one can manage

  • 2 Large Eggs
  • 300g Plain Flour
  • 600ml milk
  • Pinch of Salt
  • 1 tspn Sunflower Oil

The Weekend Coffee Share is hosted by Part Time Monster.  You can join this week’s Coffee Share on her blog or by clicking on the “Linkup Linky