stop the line!

2018-08-24 07.44.17Anyone who’s read my blog posts will sense an obsession with coffee shops, breakfast and routine. These come together when I’ve got an early start to do the weekly shop at Waitrose.

The routine is simple. Up early (0645) and on the road to beat the traffic on Trumpington Road and then I’m sat down in Waitrose’ coffee shop soon after 0730 with a croissant and coffee and the Guardian to start my day. I’ll forgive the baristas who seem incapable of multi-tasking because generally it works and both the croissant and the coffee are first class.

Last week the system broke down. No plain croissants.  Plenty of other pastries including other croissant options but 50% of my essential breakfast missing.

No problem I thought. Why not pop round to the Waitrose in store bakery? Not allowed according to the barista. We just get to accept what they send us. Then OK I’ll go and get one and you can run it through your till. Also not possible because the coffee shop tills have different prices. But he said that I could pay for my croissant at one of the other tills and then he’d sell me the jam and butter to go with it.

Fortunately as I was doing this I came across a gaggle of Waitrose employees  including one who was clearly a little senior to the rest. I told him my story and hey presto he sorted it. I guess he just told the barista to charge it as though I’d bought it from the cafe.

But why did it happen this way? Surely croissants are an essential part of a coffee shop’s breakfast offering and if there’s none there the barista should surely be ’empowered’ to go and get some. Simple as that. Famously industrial manufacturing quality systems in Japanese factories allow employees to ‘stop the line’ if there’s a quality defect. No croissants is a quality defect so the barista should have been able to act accordingly.

Anyway full marks in the end but thankfully I wasn’t at a Costa outlet in a Tesco. Costa wouldn’t let you consume a croissant bought in the main store even though it had itself run out. But that’s another story.


all the cameras I’ve owned ….

20170117190927_01-2My first real camera was a Halina 35X (I had a Kodak Brownie earlier). I inherited it from my father and it was a great camera to start with as I learned the basics of exposure, shutter speed and ISO ratings (although I think we talked more about DIN in those days). Continue reading

Jul 18: photo of the month

DSC01004Lots of competition this month, I seem to have had lots of photographable experiences and taken halfways decent photos of many of them.

Here’s the best of a super bunch and it’s the moment that James Alexander Bradbury gets his name at the parish church in Wetherby.

The photo was taken using my Sony alpha 77 II with the zoom on 135mm, f6.3 at 1/80th.

If you want to check out the other photos I took in my ‘take a photo every day’ blog go to

Jun 18: photo of the month

2018-06-09 09.55.02 cropIf I’m anything I’m a creature of habit and that takes me into Cambridge every Saturday morning when I’m at home. We have breakfast with friends and there are often others on the way.

This is me with Mark Donachy who’s the guy who made the Red Lion in Histon what it is today. He’s now away from the tensions of the pub trade and sometimes he helps out at St John’s.

The photo was taken with my Sony Xperia XZ1 1/400th at f2 and a fairly severe crop.