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I would like, if I may, to take you on a strange journey.

coffee

A Day Not Being Mum

I am lucky that when I go to any theme park, I do not have to worry about what rides I can and cannot go on, I say that because this year I took Kelly to Thorpe Park and normally when Kelly goes to such places she has her boys with her who can only go on certain rides because of height restrictions or the fact the ride might be a little to fast or scary for them, even if you have the luck of going with another adult and doing the parent swap idea where one que’s up, goes on the ride and then they swap places after the ride, it is still very much a long winded process that can really eat into you day at the theme park. So this trip to Thorpe Park was extra special for Kelly as it was just an adults day out.
I wanted it to be extra special for Kelly by taking the driving element out for her and so I picked her up about 7:30am and took a pleasant drive there, allowing for plenty of time and hoping not to get caught in to much traffic, we arrived with plenty of time on our hands and had a good hour before the park actually opened and so drove a few miles down the road to find somewhere open to grab a coffee and a snack. We found a garage that served Costa coffee and sticky cake treats and it had a nice private parking area, so I parked up and broke the rule of allowing people to eat and drink in my car, well it was a special day out.

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After we had our cake and coffee we headed back to Thorpe park and this time when we arrived there was a few more cars and it was time to grab a parking bay and head to the gates and wait for them to open. Like so many other visits I wanted to get the biggest rides out of the way and so headed straight to ‘The Swarm’ but today the ride was closed so we headed for ‘Saw’.

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I had in my mind a plan of action that we would try and get as many main attractions out of the way at the start of the day and then if we wanted to go on them again I would buy fast track tickets for the individual rides. That was a special treat for Kelly as she had no idea that I was going to do that for her, I wanted her to experience the top rides in the best position, it is know as pole position, it is front row seats.

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The weather had turned out to be quite hot, in fact hot enough to go on the wet rides in the middle of the day rather than at the end of the day when you do not mind getting a little wet. How is it though, that Kelly actually did not get very wet at all, I took most of the soaking, oh well the day was hot enough that I dried off very quickly, we did however give ‘Tidal Wave’ a miss, that was taking getting wet to the extreme.

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The park was not busy so we did lots of rides several times and then only needed to do fast-track for three of the rides to be able to sit in pole position, we even managed to spend some time in the arcade and I had to have a go on the claw grabber machines and I won a cuddly toy, we also spend a few pounds in two pence’s on the penny flips and Kelly won a few things for the boys.

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All in all the day turned out brilliant, we had time to ride on all the rides, some several times, stop and have a spot of lunch with time to rest, go on the water rides and dry out and collect ride photos at the end of the day and then leave before the park closed, we actually left when we was tiered and could not rid anymore. Kelly and I are looking forward now to the next theme park visit later in the year.

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Cup O’ Joe

I love my Nespresso coffee machine and it proves to be very convenient at times but it can be costly when you have to purchase fifty capsules at a time and then wait for the courier to deliver it. So sometimes I like to have a nice pot of black coffee and so doing it the old way is just the trick.
Going "old fashioned" may seem like you are taking a step backward and it often is. However, there are some things that are just better when done without the new devices and gadgets. Making coffee is one of them. Now, I know what you are thinking, there is nothing wrong with my electronic coffee maker. Maybe not, but until you have tried brewing your morning cup o' joe via stove top, you do not know what you are missing!

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Apple And A Coffee

I knew that this would be a wise investment for me. AppleCare Protection Plan extends my Mac's 90 days phone support and one year warranty to up to three years. No sweat, no worry!
I have waited this long to get the additional cover, as in the 90 days I only used the phone support three times. I think it is for more peace of mind that if anything did go wrong then not only would the cost of the labour be covered but also parts too.

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For £139 it is a real deal, I just wish other companies were like Apple in this way because in the past the only reason why I have not ever bought an extended warranty is only due to the fact the warranty has been either more expensive than the actual product or nearly as expensive.
So today I made my way over to Kingston and purchased my apple care protection.
Whilst at Kingston I also wanted to add some flavour to my coffee, I wanted to make my so much loved mocha at home, but found out that after a lot of looking about for chocolate syrup, it is something that is near impossible to buy and yet every coffee house uses it. This might be due to that fact that the coffee syrups used are by a company called 'Monin' and tend to only supply to big drinks companies, bars and clubs. So finding a stockist is something that can only be done online, a route I will have to go down another time.

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I asked all the big department stores and also popped into Waitrose hoping they might stock it. Everyone stocked some kind of coffee syrup but no one stocked the chocolate syrup, that is when I stumbled on Costa coffee who had two syrup Monin selection packs and then lo and behold Whittards did their own range too.
Okay it is not quite chocolate syrup, but I have a whole range of other flavours to start me off and to give my taste buds an idea of what's to come.
In my search through many a shop, someone did suggest that I use a good quality chocolate powder or even better chocolate flakes would do just the same job as a syrup and would be something that would be easier to get hold of.
Luckily Wayne had spotted the connoisseur of chocolate flakes 'Charbonnel & Walker' and with this I have been making near to perfect Mocha coffees.

Charbonnel & Walker

'Chocolat Charbonnel' recreates the use of real chocolate as a drink. Traditionally in English Chocolate Houses it was a mixture of chocolate and water only, however, for today’s taste a richer drink is now made with milk.

The Kazaar

I guess by now you know of my love of coffee, proper coffee not the instant stuff. Well, Slowly but surely my stock of Nespresso capsules are depleting and it's time to order more form the exclusive club. I placed my order last night and as if by magic they arrived this morning at 9:30am, talk about speedy service.
I ordered my usual full array of all the strengths so that Wayne and my guests who visit also had a choice of the lesser intensive flavour should lithely not like the strong stuff.
I also thought I would try out the new limited addition to the Nespresso collection, called Kazaar. It has been described as the "monster" of coffees, since it is a 12 rating in strength, but does it live up to hype that it has been receiving?

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Kazaar is sourced from Robusta and Arabica beans from South and Central America. It's recommended as an espresso blend, able to stand up to the added milk in a latte or cappuccino.
As far as flavour goes, It stays on the happy side of bitter, with a finish that lasts long than the coffee in your glass does. You will also find that because it is such a strong flavour you may need a flavour equally as strong to remove it from your palate or a good tongue scraping.
I am noticing that coffee is becoming a culture in its own right and I can see that all the time flavours like this keep on popping up then the experience of coffee will always maintain its high standards.
As for the social aspect of coffee, having limited branded additions appear every so often and with social network pages closely linked with its released is a great marketing strategy. The social networking hype must be great for coffee sales worldwide as that is what social networking sites seem to be so clever at doing, reaching the masses in the nearest and furthest corners of the globe.
A final thought for this monster of a coffee is, if you are a coffee lover and you own a Nespresso machine then this is one to try out and in my option I hope it becomes part of the permanent part of the Grand Cru range.

Late Latte

Thinking I would have nothing to write today, Wayne gave inspiration as today he showed an interest in my Nespresso coffee machine.
I explained to Wayne how to use the machine and suggested what coffee strength to use, he then set out in making himself a tall latte.

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Cup Of Joe

For some it is a cup of tea in the morning that kick starts the taste buds and for others it is a coffee.
Oh how I love my coffee and last year my coffee machine broke and I never replaced it until now. I like a varied taste in coffee and also styles, sometimes I like an espresso, other times I like a tall Latte and occasionally I like a cappuccino, so when hunting for a new machine I needed to make sure that it met all my requirements but still could deliver a great tasting coffee. Two of my close friends who also love their coffee suggested I get a Nespresso machine as the pod system it uses has a great range of coffees and none of that processed rubbish you see on the supermarket shelves. I looked into the different styles of Nespresso machines and finally settled on the latest machine, the Pixie with its unique milk warming and frothing system ‘the Aerocinno’.

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The coffee is great and the range is larger than any other brand that I have seen and the best thing about the experience is the quality.

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Nespresso does not sell their coffee pods in many retail outlets they have a style of their own, they have boutiques and a privileged members club that you join. I can order my coffee in several ways; over the phone, online or use the Nespresso iPhone application, it is as easy as that and the privileged service does not stop there, all your coffee is delivered by courier.
With my first order I got a great deal on my welcome pack, it consisted of fifteen boxes (thats 150 pods) that had one of every strength minus the ‘Decaffeinato’ as I opted for the ‘Decaffeinato Inteso’ and also with that I got a free display cube for my pods and then as I proceeded to the checkout online I got £40 off my first order.

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