Monthly Archives: June 2013

ABC Open 500 words: Locals in the mid-West (Travel Tales)

Experiencing the locals in America’s mid-West

June 2013

A task as simple as paying for petrol introduces me to a bunch of characters I never expected to meet.

A post about an experience during our 2010 trip across the USA.

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ABC Open 500 words: Bourbon St New Orleans (Travel Tales)

Bourbon Street

Image by Jessie Ansons

A quiet night on Bourbon Street

June 2013

Just when I thought I’d have an uneventful night in New Orleans…

This piece describes my New Orleans experience while we were travelling around the USA in 2010.

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10 ways to tell if your coffee addiction has gone too far

Has the world gone coffee crazy? Some mornings it seems like coffee is the only thing people talk about. If there’s ever something preventing people from getting their fix, all hell breaks loose. Are you one of these people?

Below, the ’10 ways to tell if your coffee addiction has gone too far’ will help you work out if you simply enjoy the taste of coffee, or whether it’s something you truly could not live without.

Image ‘Coffee Cup’ sourced from

1. You can hardly move or speak until you have a coffee

Your pasty complexion and frazzled hair sways down the hallway towards the kitchen. Your arms are outstretched in front of you and you are groaning softly. No, it’s not Attack of the Zombies: it’s you. Every morning before you get your first coffee.

2. You often use the words ‘need’ and ‘coffee’ in the same sentence

What do people talk about in the mornings in your office? It probably goes something like this: ‘I need a coffee’, ‘I’ll read that document after my third coffee’, ‘I better get another coffee before that meeting’, ‘WHAT!? The conference only serves tea?’ (seriously though, no conference coordinator in their right mind would only serve tea).

3. You have tried giving it up but the pain was too unbearable

A friend of mine spent a substantial amount of money to visit a health retreat in the mountains to relax and unwind. She had pictured herself meditating on hilltops, eating fresh fruits and vegetables, and becoming ‘one with nature’. When she checked in, she was horrified to find that the detox process meant no coffee whatsoever was allowed on the property. They even searched her bags. She spent the next 4 days locked in her room with the blinds drawn nursing a thumping withdrawal headache. She’s never going back there again.

4. You drink it even if it’s terrible

This is my favourite thing about coffee drinkers. Have you ever found yourself saying ‘This is absolutely terrible… but there’s nothing else around’. The beans are burned, the lid doesn’t fit and it’s way too cold. But you need that coffee, remember, (see point 2 above) so you hold your nose and choke it down.

5. You are Facebook friends with ‘coffee’

The coffee page on Facebook has 5,729,020 likes. Many of my friends have liked the page, so that makes me a ‘friend of a friend of coffee’. Right now, 17,006 people are talking about coffee in their Facebook statuses (and I bet this doubles on Monday morning). And don’t even start me on the #coffee topic on Twitter…

6. You have an espresso machine at home (and you actually use it)

Let’s face it: an espresso machine on your kitchen bench looks pretty darn fancy. And I’m sure most people buy them with the best intentions – ‘Just think all the money I’ll save by making my own coffee!’ So you spend a ridiculous amount of cash on the machine, take hours selecting the perfect pods (categorising them by strength and flavour) and use the machine once. When it comes down to it, only the most dedicated coffee drinkers use their coffee machines regularly (and they’re probably still buying coffees during the day anyway).

7. You put off operations and major life events that require you to miss out on coffee

Do the words ‘fasting required’ send a chill down your spine? And it’s not the fact you’ll be missing out on solid foods that bothers you. How will you survive without your morning coffee? How could you possibly get yourself to the hospital/pathologist/birthing suite if you’re not allowed to drink coffee on the way?

8. You laugh at tea drinkers

People who argue that ‘there’s caffeine in tea too’ are obviously from another planet. Cups of tea should be reserved for the queen and people recovering from operations. No one likes a tea drinker either, especially on Monday mornings with their overly chirpy ‘Good morning! Beautiful day outside!’ that makes you want to throw your coffee in their face (shame it’s too cold to have any effect).

9. You have baristas all over the state that know your order

Serious coffee drinkers like you have a particular order and you stick to it. You are so committed to your ‘skinny double-shot latte with one Equal’ that baristas everywhere (even the ones that burn the coffee and give you the wrong size lid) start making it as soon as you step foot in the shop.

10. You spend more money on coffee than you do on anything else

Here’s a fun game: work out how much you spend on coffee each day then multiply it by 365. It’s not pretty. Perhaps it’s enough to go on an overseas holiday or two. Or is it closer to a deposit on a new home? I can hear you arguing ‘but coffee is something I can enjoy every day’ and ‘I could give it up if I really needed to’. Yes, spoken like a true addict.

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