back to article I want it hot and wet – preferably with Wi-Fi

I came too soon. Normally this is not a problem. Coming early allows me to regather my strength so that I can then go at it, full-on, for the next eight hours. On this occasion, however, I misjudged the situation and came much too soon. As a result I am standing outside on the pavement in the rain instead of sitting in a warm …

  1. John 110

    I am old school

    I like just white coffee. My youngest, who is a gamesmaster (Known for: World Weaving, storytelling and rambling rants, according to the website...) and a part time barista hates people like me...

    I'm also Luddite enough not to need charging sockets (ooh, that sounds a bit cyberpunk)

    1. 404

      Re: I am old school

      'I'm also Luddite enough not to need charging sockets (ooh, that sounds a bit cyberpunk)'

      Luddite or Boy Scout? Could just have proper kit with proper batteries... It's a rare case that I need to plug in for power (8-12 hours on Toughbook, if that runs out, 6-8 hours on tablet, then couple of days with my new Moto Z Force ((LG G5 only got about a day)) ).

      Oh yeah Re: 'Fresh as a Daisy'. I get that - my routine requires 3 hours from bed to site. First hour: Coffee, catch up on what passes for news, no talk, determining if I want to live of not. Second hour: Three S+C - Shit, Shave, Shower, & Cheerleading (It's gonna be a good day, it's gonna be a good day...). Third hour: Travel time, with stop for daily Gatorade & sausage, egg, and cheese biscuit - arriving early with genuinely faked sunshine and a thinly disguised side of hate & discontent.

      Good Morning! (ya bastard...)

    2. Doctor Syntax Silver badge

      Re: I am old school

      "I like just white coffee."

      I'm older school. I don't even like coffee.

      I suppose I'd better charge my phone; it's been bleeping occasionally for the last 8 hours or so.

  2. AndrueC Silver badge
    Thumb Up

    Some people consider my penchant for turning up for full-day appointments a couple of hours in advance to be a waste of my time. Not so. It means I beat the commuter rush and anticipate any traffic delays

    Hah, I so agree. I usually arrive at my office around 8am, despite the boss' insistence on working 9 to 5. Partly it's to avoid the worst of the morning Banbury crush but also because I'm a morning person. I just can't stay awake much beyond 11pm so that means I'm awake at 7am. With only a 20 minute commute to get to work I could sit at home and read but it makes more sense to use the company heating, the company lighting and avoid the traffic. Plus it means I can ensure the continuous kettle is boiled in time for everyone else (wot a caring soul I is).

  3. Warm Braw Silver badge

    Where was this, pray tell?

    I'm considering moving and somewhere with a station and no Greggs or McDonalds within 2 miles sounds ideal.

    1. BebopWeBop Silver badge

      Re: Where was this, pray tell?

      Well on the positive side (I assume the commute would be difficult) it doesn't appear to be Reykjavik

    2. Alistair Dabbs

      Re: Where was this, pray tell?

      Rotherhithe.

      1. Haku

        Re: Where was this, pray tell?

        Really? From your description I could've sworn you were in somewhere like this.

        1. Mage Silver badge
          Happy

          Re: Where was this, pray tell?

          I don't think I've been in a café like that since about 1968. Though it had heavy "pottery"/"china" cups, plates, metal cutlery and no coffee. Serious tea.

          I don't think they actually served spam, but sausages, bacon, fried egg, un-toasted white pan were all options.

          I wonder did Dabsy's café serve fried bacon with the back crunchy bits?

          Rule of thumb:

          1) US Franchise fast food places: Avoid the so called tea in cardboard cups as they refuse to use boiling water on H&S grounds. Avoid the chips, as the milk shake might have seen more potato.

          2) Ancient places with catering tin of instant visible: Order a pot of tea. Only purchase fried goods, the buns might be ex- British Rail (see Heath Robinson illustration as to how those are made).

          Thanks for entertainment just before lunch, Dabsy.

          1. Anonymous Coward
            Anonymous Coward

            Re: Where was this, pray tell?

            "I don't think I've been in a café like that since about 1968."

            Reminds me of going to London for the RSGB Exhibition in the 1960s. The older members of the club always directed the coach down the A5 for part of the way - even when the M1 was a faster alternative. The incentive was breakfast in a place in the middle of nowhere which I think was called "Bob's Cafe". A haunt of lorry drivers - with large mugs of strong tea and doorstep toast. A "Full English" - although not called that - had the emphasis on "full".

            1. Anonymous Coward
              Anonymous Coward

              Re: Where was this, pray tell?

              Late 1990's - working on industrial estate near north Poole/Bournemouth border, there was such a cafe where I would go to occasionally. None of the chairs matched, if you wanted sugar it was in a massive container on the counter. Their special was a Mega-sandwich. Bacon, egg, sausage and fried bread all in one white bread sandwich. I did ask if they had any brown bread, but was informed that there was no demand for it, so didn't have any....

              Saw my dentist eating there once, so it couldn't be that bad could it?

              1. Dabooka

                Re: Where was this, pray tell?

                There used to be ten Greggs within a square mile in Sunderland.

                Ten

            2. allthecoolshortnamesweretaken

              Re: down the A5 for part of the way - even when the M1 was a faster alternative

              I do that on the routes I travel fairly regular. Whenever possible, I time the trip so that I'm at the right places for elevenses, lunch, tea, dinner... Travel is much more enjoyable that way, and the stress I avoid is worth the extra time and the odd little detour on any day.

            3. Stevie Silver badge

              "I don't think I've been in a café like that since about 1968."

              Mac's Caf on the Yarmouth Road just outside Norwich, late at night, for a chip buttie in 1977.

              1/3 of a French loaf, buttered properly, filled with dripping-fried hand cut chips like wot mum used to make and all the local color you could want.

              Anna mugga proppa builder's tea.

      2. lglethal Silver badge
        Joke

        Re: Where was this, pray tell?

        "Rotherhithe."

        Dont lie Alistair! We all know there's absolutely nothing in Rotherhithe that could possibly need an IT trainer! You'd have to have Computers for that first, and dont try and tell me they havent already been nicked!

      3. Paul Kinsler

        Re: Rotherhithe

        You should have got off at Canada Water, especially given its less than a 5min walk from Rotherhithe station anyway. Nice big ticket hall, some seats, cafe was probably open, and the adjacent shiny library opens at 8, I think.

      4. a cynic writes...

        Re: Where was this, pray tell?

        It wasn't in West Lane next to the war memorial?

        I used to live near there mumble years ago...

    3. Franco Silver badge

      Re: Where was this, pray tell?

      Avoid Scotland, we have a Greggs on nearly every street corner, outside every train station (Glasgow Central has a Greggs at pretty much every exit) and even in industrial estates.

      Not many of them have tables though, and none have WiFi so the hipster quotient is low.

  4. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Appearances are deceptive

    I found myself in a part of Coventry that looked like a set from a zombie apocalypse movie. No cafes anywhere and only poor quality vending machine drinks to pass the time whilst waiting for a car fix.

    Eventually I needed to use 'facilities' not present at the garage and wandered into a very rough looking and almost totally deserted pub. A bloke behind the bar, seemingly made entirely from tattoos and piercings, asked me if I was lost.

    I asked him if I could use the toilet. Sure, he said, I'm just unlocking. Facilities were basic but weirdly had Molton Brown handwash and clean fluffy towels.

    I "didn't suppose" they did coffee there, and the chap laughed --- not much call for it, he said, but he went into his own kitchen and made me cup of instant. No Wifi either, --- but if I didn't mind sitting at the bar, he'd put his phone in tethering mode and I could use that.

    Being a bit of a big fat bastard, and with a few years of kung fu under my belt, I'm usually a bit less intimidated by rough-looking people than many of my peers. But, in my experience, unless you're really out of order, you're much more likely to encounter serious unpleasantness at the other end of the spectrum, even if the language isn't quite as fruity.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Appearances are deceptive

      But, in my experience, unless you're really out of order, you're much more likely to encounter serious unpleasantness at the other end of the spectrum, even if the language isn't quite as fruity.

      Indeed. I used to work with a guy who looked exactly like the sort of hatchet-faced skinhead you really wouldn't want to meet in a dark alley. You'd have been hard put to find a nicer, more helpful, bloke.

    2. CrazyOldCatMan Silver badge

      Re: Appearances are deceptive

      I found myself in a part of Coventry that looked like a set from a zombie apocalypse movie.

      So - that'll be all of Coventry then?

      1. Stevie Silver badge

        Re :So - that'll be all of Coventry then?

        Nah, sounds like the town end of the Foleshill Road, or maybe Hillfields near the canal, but then I haven't been back since 1990. I tried "driving" around West Orchard and New Union Street using Google Earth, but they'd changed so much of the place I got well lost.

        I rather miss the old place to be honest. Tons better than any of the many places I did contracts in in the early eighties, and I hear they now have one more Cathedral than Liverpool does.

        Then again, I'd have been happy to stay in Norwich, where I did my degree, if I'd been able to find a paying job. The apple blossom around their cathedral in spring was nothing short of amazing and they were proud of having a pub for every day of the year.

        These days I'm stuck in New York which used to be out-and-out amazing but isn't any more. Lots of WiFi. Pseud Coffee shops anywhere you care to notice. But less "Oomph" than twenty years ago.

        I must be looking for different things than you lot. Large world.

        1. jake Silver badge

          Re: Re :So - that'll be all of Coventry then?

          New York? Somebody git a rope ...

    3. allthecoolshortnamesweretaken
      Pint

      Re: Appearances are deceptive

      "But, in my experience, unless you're really out of order, you're much more likely to encounter serious unpleasantness at the other end of the spectrum, even if the language isn't quite as fruity."

      This. And, just for good measure, this, again.

      Cheers, and have a nice weekend, everybody!

  5. bobsmith2016

    If you're around London Bridge/Borough Market or Covent Garden, Monmouth coffee is really good.

    Definitly a bit hipstery, but coffee is excellent.

    1. david bates

      If we're plugging coffee places Panna on Tithebarn Street in Liverpool does the best coffee I've ever had. Awesome artisan baguettes as well.

      1. allthecoolshortnamesweretaken

        Okay, if we are plugging coffee places...

        This is my benchmark.

    2. Alistair Dabbs

      Monmouth Coffee

      They don't open until 8am. No good to me.

  6. Steve Davies 3 Silver badge

    25p for anything in Iceland (not the store)

    come on Dabbsy, tell us where is it.

    I was charged £5.50 for a nescafe just a 2 hour Hercules Flight from there.

    1. Alien8n

      Re: 25p for anything in Iceland (not the store)

      You may want to re-read that, he wasn't actually in Iceland...

  7. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    That's what Google Street View is for. Quite a few times I have stopped off a couple of miles away from the office location. Although here's a tip, if you see a McDonalds Drive-Thru Only, then don't bother trying to get served if you're not in a vehicle, weird but true.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Have a downvote

      for mentionig 'that place' that might have a drive through on a Friday afternoon when we should really only be thinking about Pints of Beer and/or Large glasses of Vino.

      I went to one of those Mc********** places once. To be honest, I have tasted better cardboard.

      I vowed never to set foot in one again. No inclination to rescind that vow. There usually is an Alternative even if it is a bottle of water.

      1. Dabooka

        Re: Have a downvote

        Actually they do a half decent coffee if you are pushed.

        1. Chris G Silver badge

          Re: Have a downvote

          Are you talking about the luke warm (elfin safe tea) dishwater that has in all likelyhood really been passed by the management that usually comes from McDontgo or something else?

          Decent and coffee do not belong in the same sentence in those particular places.

          1. jake Silver badge

            Re: Have a downvote

            One doesn't "buy" coffee. One lovingly brews freshly roasted beans ...

    2. Stoneshop Silver badge

      then don't bother trying to get served if you're not in a vehicle, weird but true.

      Emphasis on in. Went to get a milkshake once while riding the sidecar. Got refused, never mind that a) sidecars don't tip over when letting go of the handlebar to get my wallet out when at the window, b) I can put the cup in the rig and drive off, not requiring such dangerous contortions as holding it between my legs (and it's not warmish 'coffee' either) and c) I was wearing an open-face helmet.

      Fsck them.

  8. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    "Although here's a tip, if you see a McDonalds Drive-Thru Only, then don't bother trying to get served if you're not in a vehicle, [...]"

    That sounds like it could be classed as an illegal discrimination based on a general prejudice rather than the actual customer. Presumably they would claim elf & safety.

  9. disgruntled yank Silver badge

    charging

    I have read that there is a bartender in Washington, DC, who is willing to plug in for recharging the mobile devices of patrons, but on the condition that while the charging lasts the patron shall wear a hat of the bartender's choice. I don't now remember the hat that accompanied the story, but think that it made the young woman wearing it look eccentric but not demented.

  10. Baldy50

    Tah!

    Made me laugh, Nice one Alistair!

    I'm not going to say where in case I offend anyone, but in less than two hours at the job, they'd already got the hire vehicle on bricks and bits of wood, had to go back to it for paperwork I forgot, so at least I'd got an early heads up!

    Hire company not surprised one bit, used public transport after that.

    1. Chris G Silver badge

      Re: Tah!

      In places like that, usually a likely ten year old will appear as you park. " Look after yer car mister?"

      That's when you give him one half of a note and tell him the other half is his when you get back. He will see off all comers for the other half.

      Wapping used to be like that back in the day.

  11. Potemkine Silver badge

    Hoping Ultravox were under drugs..

    ..it may make them an excuse for this video!

    Instead of waiting for a coffee to open, what about being autonomous like a true urban Indiana Jones? Thermos of coffee in the backpack, something like the Dell Power Companion for the energy (forget a solar charger where you are), and for the most delicate ones, a piece of linoleum to sit whatever the place ^^

    1. CrazyOldCatMan Silver badge

      Re: Hoping Ultravox were under drugs..

      ..it may make them an excuse for this video!

      It was the early 80's. *Everything* looked like that.

      Apart from the prog musicians. They were rather more beardy..

      1. allthecoolshortnamesweretaken

        Re: Hoping Ultravox were under drugs..

        "It was the early 80's. *Everything* looked like that."

        Indeed.

        Still, good times... really good times...

      2. jake Silver badge

        Re: Hoping Ultravox were under drugs..

        At least the proper group got the name "The Damned" ;-)

        Never did like Ultravox!, with or without the bang.

        1. Alistair Dabbs

          Re: Hoping Ultravox were under drugs..

          I was always partial to Young Savage from Ultravox's John Foxx days.

          1. jake Silver badge

            Re: Hoping Ultravox were under drugs..

            I was more into The Stranglers in that time frame. I bought Rattus Norvegicus as soon as it got to the town I was living in ... I already knew the music from their live set.

    2. John Brown (no body) Silver badge

      Re: Hoping Ultravox were under drugs..

      "Instead of waiting for a coffee to open, what about being autonomous like a true urban Indiana Jones? Thermos of coffee in the backpack, something like the Dell Power Companion for the energy (forget a solar charger where you are), and for the most delicate ones, a piece of linoleum to sit whatever the place"

      Most cities and towns already have a number people living that lifestyle. Sadly not by choice. I don't think Dabbsy would really fit in with that crowd.

  12. tiggity Silver badge

    An Anker

    Or similar portable recharging device(s) (plenty of brands available) should be a must have for keeping kit such as tablets / phone alive.

    As for laptop, ensure model used has easily irremovable battery, take a (charged) spare laptop battery.

    .. Obviously all kit should have been fully charged the night before anyway, so a couple of hours of no leccy should not be too horrendous

    6P

  13. DrAJS
    Coat

    high brow cafe

    If you were in a high brow cafe they wouldn't say “throw this oik onto the street” but rather "Ah Jeeves, Mr. Dabs will be leaving now".

  14. Colabroad

    Blessed

    The local coffee chain, Cafe Del Sol, has branches within 2 minutes walk of both my office and the other half's, they open at 7 or whenever the staff are ready whichever is earlier. The coffee is good and the pizza pretzel is a great shock of carbs and cheese to start the day.

    Perfect for when I have to drop her off at 7am and I don't start until 8:30, though less useful for the author unless he has many clients in the Caribbean.

  15. H in The Hague Silver badge

    I am standing at a grubby door

    Been to a place like that. Six or seven years ago I walked the Thames path from the Thames Barrier to Greenwich. Brilliant: passes through working boatyards, a gravel terminal, past the oleochemical works and the place where they made the first transatlantic telegraph cables, then chichi houses, then the tourist hell of Greenwich. Long walk, hot day, no water with me, beginning to feel faint. Walked into the first place I found: spit and sawdust, cheese and onion pasty one pound (forgot how much the tea cost). Wonderful contrast with the rest of Greenwich (pity the pasty was filled with genuine 1950s wallpaper paste).

    Did you go to the Brunel museum in Rotherhite?

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: I am standing at a grubby door

      pity the pasty was filled with genuine 1950s wallpaper paste

      Next time order it without the spit and sawdust.

  16. WaveyDavey

    Midge

    Went to see Midge Ure and the India Electric Company last saturday week in Wakefield and it was bloody marvellous. Mr Ure has certainly kept his voice (compared to a number of 80's biggies, looking at you Mr LeBon, among many others).

    Damned fine night out.

  17. Juan Inamillion

    Late night sustenance

    When I were 't roadie The Place to stop after the gig (and on the way to the next gig) was the Blue Boar at Watford Gap. It was amazing who you'd see hanging out there (as well as the crew)..

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