Keeping a diary has always been a bit of an ‘I’ve started so I’ll not finish’ for me. I usually get to January 18, having carefully documented the post-Christmas pre-birthday goings-on with flowery prose and witty comments. Then after that it tends to peter out and I’m left with random words scattered through the remaining weeks of spring, a couple of comments in summer months then come autumn, just a list of birthdays. I ran out of inspiration, I ran out of provocation, I just ran out.
Then came caffeine, nectar of the gods, fuel for the body and food for the brain. Actually, there had always been coffee, I just hadn’t appreciated how it could drive my diary-writing. That realisation came about the same time I came to the conclusion that instant coffee was an abomination and a crime against coffee cups everywhere. Time was when I would happily sip Mellow Birds, which, according to the publicity, would ‘make you smile’. I can tell you, there was no smiling, it was all about frowning and unladylike spitting. No more Mellow Birds for me. No Nescafe Gold Blend and absolutely no Camp Coffee.
The pop pop popping of the percolator and permeating aroma of Lyons Fresh Ground Coffee had whetted my appetite for ‘proper’ coffee as we called it in our house. But that soon gave way to espresso and the House Blend, perfected after many experimental mixtures and quite a few sleep-deprived nights as the caffeine kicked in.
The coffee inspired my diary, in fact, it became my diary, With the help of the camera on my phone, I began a photo diary, taking pictures of coffees wherever I went, each telling a story.
When I started work at the University of Bradford, I took my coffee cup with me. Much to the amusement of staff, colleagues and students, I’ve placed the sparkly Starbucks mug in all kinds of settings. It’s been fun it’s been a challenge, it’s been yet more pages for my caffeine-fuelled photo diary.
I’ve taken all my coffee photos from the past three years and made them into a mosaic using a clever piece of software from the cuddly open source community.