The task was simple. All I had to do was to turn up at the White Cloth Gallery and review the exhibition, our exhibition, There was absolutely no need to get involved with the coffee-making. But I did and it ended with one of us being sprayed with cappuccino froth.
I’d arrived slightly early, very excited to see Exposure Leeds’ collection of images from the streets, backstreets, markets and yards of our lovely city taken by fellow local photographers. The gallery is one of the city’s newest, focusing on photography and film, my favourites, with the added benefit of coffee and something a little stronger.
There was a meeting going on in the area I wanted to review, but with a top-of-the-range Rancilio, big brother to our own humble home coffee machine, sitting proudly behind the bar, I was as happy as a pig in muck made from coffee grounds. I could wait, I said.
University student Georgia, who helps out at the Gallery, confessed that as a non coffee-drinker, she couldn’t promise caffeinated perfection. That’s OK, I told her, we have one like this at home, I can help. What could possibly go wrong?
It’s all in the tamping, I told her. Good pressure on the grounds leads to a thick crema. And indeed, that was the case, she knew that, but was too polite to say so. The frothing was trickier, I gave unsolicited advice on nozzle positioning and jug angle. Just a little more, I told her. Ah. Not quite that much, as the froth left the jug and settled on her cheek. Maybe I’ll just leave you to it……. She was very sweet about it, though. And the coffee was excellent.
By this time, the meeting had broken up and I could view and review. It was good to see images in a gallery setting. I took mine when I spotted a tourist holding their cameraphone high to capture the magnificent ceiling in the Victoria Quarter, a photo of a photo, taken with my very favourite 50mm f1.4 prime lens.
Just a Little Retail Therapy runs until 8 April.