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.


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

Jan 18: photo of the month

2018-01-31 13.02.27It seems to have been a rather humdrum month for photos. Plenty of worthy photos related to activity during the month but nothing exceptional from a photographic standpoint so this is the best of a perhaps average bunch.

The photo is of fish and chips at the Red Lion. It’s a feature of the Wednesday lunchtime menu and it’s a treat. This was taken with my Sony Xperia XZ1, f2 at 1/50th. No post processing, perhaps I should have lightened it a tad, not even a crop.

Dec 17: photo of the month

2017-12-10 08.54.48I got a new phone towards the end of last year and I’m really pleased with the photos I’m getting with it. You’ve still got the disadvantage of a single fixed focus lens of course but as long as you’re looking for a shot with a dominant foreground or one that asks for a good depth of focus it does a great job.

This is one of the first photos I took with it and it’s a classic point and shoot to capture the moment. It was early morning after a snowfall and I had to hang around a bit whilst the Co-Op cooked another batch of croissants. Serendipity again.

My new phone’s a Sony Xperia and this shot was taken at 1/50th f2. You can almost feel how cold the morning was …

Nov 17: photo of the month

DSC09228I could do with posting a few more pieces about life in general because this is the third monthly photo in a row which doesn’t say much for the variety of my life!

November seems to have been rather over supplied by wine and beer photos with no special events. Here’s the best of the wine photos taken with my Sony A56 DSLR 1/80th sec at f6.3 with a focal length of 210mm. I’m getting better at setting up these shots to keep the background out of focus. There’s been no post processing.