Category Archives: Bean in the city

Give me real coffee!


A mound of froth and sprinkled chocolate does not cut it… The word cappuccino does not quantify a decent cuppa!


Need a decent coffee soon…


Macmillan coffee morning.


Yesterday was the UKs biggest coffee morning. Lots of venues held their coffee morning in support of Macmillan. Following the bean led me to this charity event. I held my first one and raised over £100.00. Lots of cakes were donated and I even judged a bake off!


My friend Jane also had the ordeal of being a bake off judge. It must have been a tough job having to try the cakes!


The dating game…


A lovely afternoon was planned to be spent on the park joining in the celebrations in Preston of Guild 2012. Blaze festival on Miller Park was one of many events of the past week. Prepared with 3 different outfits (I’d stayed at Catherine’s) due to the ever changing weather, I’d decided on the wrong one. Shorts and T didn’t match the clouds and breeze! It had been a fantastic week of events ( so everyone said) including opera, music, drama, vintage and outdoor cinema. This was the final day and was a small affair. Getting hungry we ventured for food.


I felt a little out of place when we decided on moka for food and drinks. The shorts were pretty short and not helped by faux leather seats under the bottom.. Sweating makes denim stick! A modern cafe bar serving the usual sandwich meals and a glass cake display which got our attention straight away. We were hungry so we were staying.


As we sat eating our food we caught up on the latest from the dating websites. Both on a very large, free dating site there is always something to talk about. The fact it’s free means it attracts all sorts, which is what provides the topics of conversation.

This means it does 4 things for your confidence-
1. Demoralises it as people so unsuited to you get in touch and leaves you wondering.. why?
2. Boosts it because there’s a handsome man messaging you
3. Plummets it again when you realise they’re far too young -you then see further pictures of them amidst a group of young boys on a night out looking like they’re waiting to be picked up by their dad!
4. Freaks you out when you get abuse from strangers or end up with a certified stalker like my sister (thankfully he’s now been arrested!)

Today I hadn’t checked in in a while so I did it so we could both see. This is what awaited me…

Ridiculous names
This is popular in my inbox. Recents have been called
Div head,
Mr Magoo,

Any grown man who chooses such names are deleted without reading. I’m sorry but how grown up are these guys with names like these?

Repeat offenders

These men have messaged me, then again, then again, then again etc. I have a note on my profile saying ‘ if I don’t reply happy fishing and please don’t contact me again’. So why do they message again? One guy has sent 8 up to now, his last one asking ‘ am I not right for you?’.. Erm what do you think?! I’ve had the experience of being polite and saying thanks but no thanks and guys saw that as a response. So it’s best not to respond , not out of rudeness but avoidance tactics.

Varied choice of photos

Men don’t see themselves as women see them. This is obvious by the choice of photos they choose to sell themselves. I’m sure lots of women want to see a toned body and some (including myself) like tatoos but close ups? Not needed. Neither do I want to date a crayon, dog or a car!


Then there’s the ones who want to-dominate, a slave, be dominated or have issues and want to watch you with someone else. One thing these guys have is honesty. At least you know what they’re after and time wasting is avoided.

cheesy messages

The initial message. I’m happy with a simple hi. It breaks the ice and gets the ball rolling although some object to the simplicity. I on the other hand object to-
You fancy a grizzle bear?
Ooo nice,
Yes please,
Not bad last prize,
Hmmm grrrr.

We laughed so much I spat coffee, which in Catherine’s words- “I felt that”,landed on her chin! What’s a droplet of coffee between friends laughing so much our cheeks hurt?

Thank goodness the food was great and the cake even better! Just the thing to make you feel better and get your priorities in order.


Cup cakes, willies and Joey Potter…


A hen night for a friend in Preston. A civilised evening with food , friends and alcohol. These are friends from back in the day as a result reminiscing was inevitable…


Bride meets groom-
Me and the hen chatted about when we were in our twenties and I had my first house. “The lilac room.. I loved that room”. That was my spare room. Al’s weekend room. She’d arrive Saturday evening and we’d hit the town in Preston. This was THE place everyone went having our own circuit of pubs we’d go to. I don’t need to stress how messy many of those nights were. Shots, alco pops and black straws bent and sat over your ears as a microphone were all the rage. In the early days we would meet ‘Soon to be husband’ at the end of the night for a few drinks and walk (more like stagger) back. At that point he was the guy from cricket with the bleached hair- someone Al had known a while but they had never got together other than a cheeky snog.

Hang overs-
We’d arrive back at mine very drunk. Sunday was spent on the sofa hung over at mine watching Dawson’s creek. Katie Holmes will always be Joey Potter to me!!

Both finally got together and dated but then it kind of fizzled.

Right under your nose-
The conversation over tea when the light bulb goes on and you realise what you’re looking for is right under your nose and as a friend you ask ‘why are you two not together?’

10 years later-
Here we are getting ready for the wedding! Who would have thought? 2 children,a house later and no bleached hair, they’re getting married.

The tracksuits-
Did I mention we had a love of navy Nike tracksuits? We lived in them, much to the disgust of others. We may not have them now but we have others. We both agreed our love of tracksuits will never die.

The bride’s sister –
Julie was in the same year at school as me but went to the school on the other side of the park. She reminds me of sneaking out of school at dinner time and going to the chippy as she was there with her friends. One thing we all had in common was our knee socks pushed down round our ankles and big hair. It was the 80’s and it was very trendy then! Meanwhile the boys would meet at someone’s house by my school, smoke and watch porn! Guys always thinking with what’s between their legs!

When we hit the bar someone had turned up with specially made cup cakes. Phallic members and handcuffs made from icing decorated the little cakes. And to be pc the Willies were different colours!

This prompted all sorts of tales. One being prompted from This Morning having shown the biggest Willie on live tv that week. Someone knew someone who’d worked on a cruise ship. On this ship was someone with a reputation for having a large member and one day a poor female needed to be wheel chaired off the ship after a night with him because she couldn’t walk!

Whether the tales were true or not the cupcakes went down well. It’s amazing how fast time passes us by. I still see those young girls, yet it’s a long time ago we all met. It’s amazing the things you remember like it was yesterday.

I wonder if Katie Holmes has as many fond memories of the Joey Potter days as we do?


More coffee at Arabesque Bazaar..


Saturday September 1st 2012

Arabesque Bazaar, Lark Lane, Liverpool

Joining me- Tannie

Leaving the Sefton park Food Festival on a sunny evening meant one thing..more coffee. A quick walk to Lark lane and we picked a table sat outside the newish Arabesque Bazaar. The hustle and bustle of park goers passed us by heading for more food and drinks down the lane.

A unique little place selling moroccan food , coffee and cake and moroccan inspired homeware as well as shisha pipes and belly dancing on a weekend.

A good pot of tea made with tea leaves, the coffee was typical cappuccino style. What this place has going for it is its out door area front and rear where you could spend time chatting with friends on a nice day. After quenching our thirsts I left for home having had a thoroughly lovely day.

Coffee and The Kings Ov Leon..Festwich 2012


Festwich Festival, Manchester

Sunday September 2nd

Joining me- Catherine and Jane

Tip- when drinking out of a plastic cup take the lid off as the heat creates toxins in the condensation which drip back into the cup  ( tip from Jane, backed up with- ‘not an ideal tip when driving down the M25’)

To confirm my point that cappuccino and lattes are common place coffees I saw a coffee stand at Festwich, Sunday. So coffee is now festival chic accompanying Hunter wellies. The last time I went to a festival it would have been a run of the mill filter coffee or tea on a greasy spoon type burger van. Not anymore. Coffee machine and danish pastries.

As bog standard coffees go this was ok and to the masses it was everything a cappuccino should be. It was even described on the chalk board as the ‘frothy’ one. Which as you all know from following me is not what should be there-foam. While waiting a girl walked by with a tasty looking cake. I had to have one with my cuppa.

I hunted out the cake stall. Cake stalls at festivals, who knew coffee and cake was trendy? Apparently at Glastonbury you can even order pots of tea.

Cupcake and cappuccino, sun shining and the dulcet tones of Whole Lotta Led, (a Led Zeppelin tribute band). It had looked like rain so I had layered up with a faux leather jacket. I was sweating! Coffee, sun and pvc don’t mix=sticky.

We made our way into the crowd to see the bands close up . A tribute band festival run every year in St Marys Park. It was hit and miss that we’d even get there when I realised that morning I’d lost the tickets. Not looking like a rowdy bunch they let us in. We eagerly awaited the more up to date generation of music,especially as the members looked pretty dishy. The scruffy student types but the kind who’d show you a good time.

I laughed at times til my cheeks hurt as the conversation deteriorated to the bottomless pits of singledom (too rude to mention) whilst ogling the singer. We decided that we would make great cover band groupies and pledged a promise to following them. One friend has already friend requested Kings Ov Leon on face book texting me at 8.30 this morning with excitement they’d accepted. We thought following cover bands would get us out more and would be much cheaper than the real thing. For me the Frankie Cocozza look a like made me realise this was the way forward. Being with someone with hair like his I wouldn’t worry about looking bad the next morning (my hair has a mind of its own).

A sign of the times however is when one of you wouldn’t be able to head bang due to a ‘bad back’. We won’t be good groupies if one of us puts our back out every time! She knows to wear the back brace next time.

Sefton Park Food Festival 2012…


Saturday 1st September

Sefton Park, Liverpool

Following the bean is turning me into a bit of a foodie. Drinks and food kinda go hand in hand hence coffee and cake. Following this rule I am starting to take note of food festivals which are cropping up all over the place.

My first of the year (I say first as I intend there to be more) was Sefton Park Food festival 2012. I first came across Sefton park a few months ago while dating someone who lived in close proximity to said park. Just out of Liverpool centre it is a lovely place to go walking, sit and while away the hours in the sun (when we get it!) or sit and hear a band playing in the band stand. On a weekend there is 2 little cafes open by the lake, today the fields behind were sectioned off and rife with people all ready for a day of eating and drinking in the sun.

There were stands from all kinds of eateries in the Liverpool area such as Bem Brazil and Jamie’s, mixed in with stands with wine, local produce and spirits, all with reasonable prices. Just shows the difference having your food served up on a paper plate makes! Samples of wine, chocolate, bread and oils, cheese and old school cordials were sampled with no arm twisting involved! The chocolates tasted as good as they looked. The detail on them was beautiful making them too nice to eat… but that’s what they’re there for!

A singer had no problem getting the crowd to sing along to classics from the likes of snow patrol. I think at this point in the day the wine and cider consumed was helping. Behind, a small central section was devoted to coffee houses. Back to back stands, anyone in the coffee culture was there. Our friends at Central Perk had their quirky personalised cups while Bold Street Coffee had their unique brownies.

As Bold Street Coffee is said to be THE place to get coffee in Liverpool I thought I would get my cappuccino there. While waiting I was intrigued by their selection of brownies on the counter- goats cheese, pistachio and even topped with bacon! Not appealing but Tannie wanted to try something new so opted for the goats cheese. The Barista informed me it was raspberry flavoured, this still did not tempt me and bacon on top, wrong!

I must say the fact my cappuccino came in a paper cup and was one of the best coffees I’ve ever had says a lot. The care was still there even down to the foam art. We sat in the sun amidst others enjoying their food and drinks and tucked into our purchased cakes and satisfying coffees. Discussing trying new foods Tannie told me of her experience with a truffle salad in Milan. Chocolate in salad? I asked. No- an expensive salad due to the fact the truffle is from inside a tree trunk which has to be sniffed out by dogs. I had never heard of this but eating bits of bark in my leaves was not something I would be trying. What I found out the next day is that truffle is a delicacy and is actually a fungus on trees and is sniffed out by a pig. I don’t know what sounds worse Tannie’s version of truffle or the real one!

The day drew to a close at 6pm. Not quite ready for evening food and not ready to call it a day there was only one thing to do…go for a coffee!