Our writers’ anarchist collective conducted a cross-border raid yesterday – down to Carlisle to recce the latest incarnation of our pop-up bookshop at the city’s newly hatched literary festival in September. Following a local recommendation we pitched up at Coffee Genius for coffee and further plotting, where my ‘slow brew’ coffee (aka a cafetiere to you and me) came with this to ensure that my selected beans were brewed for the optimum time (four minutes was recommended but, reckless scofflaw that I am, I went for five, partly because I was too busy taking a photo of my coffee timer to press down the plunger at the operative moment). We have nice cafes in Bigtown but I gather we’re a little behind the times (‘oh, menus in Ladybird books, those were really trendy a few years ago’, someone exclaimed on being taken to our newest and nicest). They rather tend to concentrate on the cake side of things, which makes sense given the rural economy is about 50:50 farming and baking (if you want to dine really well in Bigtown, order a bacon roll, followed by a tray bake. If feeling adventurous, try a haggis pannini, and yes I know that’s the plural in Italian, but once you’ve put haggis in it, it’s been fully assimilated and we can pluralify it how we like. You can do your own joke about deep frying it in batter in the comments.)
So where was I going with this? Oh yes, regardless of the outcome of September’s vote, England already feels a little like a different country. But then again, so does Edinburgh.
And my coffee? Very nice, if a trifle over-brewed, but I’ve nobody to blame for that but myself.