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And brown gold.

On Sunday the 20th (still 8 days behind… Catching up is hard) I went to Morrisons. Exciting, no? But I needed bread. And, more importantly, coffee.

I’d run out of proper espresso-ground coffee, so I’d switched to some of the coarser-ground coffee bought before I had an espresso machine; in particular, Taylors’ Hot Lava Java. It’s billed as extra-strong, high-caffeine coffee, rating itself 6 on the normally 1-5 strength scale.

First time I tried it, I made it in the cafetiere, as you should. It surprised me; insipid and watery, with strong bitterness its only notable flavour. It was quite disappointing, but I put it down to being spoiled by the espresso machine. One thing that was certainly true, however, was the caffeine content; I’ve been drinking too much coffee for perhaps fifteen years, and two or three mugs of Lava Java would have my eyeballs buzzing in their sockets. It was very odd.

Just as an experiment, I thought I’d give it a go in the espresso machine, and it was better, but still more bitter aftertaste than any other flavour. I tried various brewing combinations and didn’t find anything particularly acceptable, so just raced through the packet to get it over and done with.

This, perhaps, wasn’t the best course of action for super-high-caffeine coffee, but never mind.

Anyway, it was almost over, so I went to Morrisons to get some that was ground correctly. Taylors’ espresso was one (unfortunately, this seems to be ground too fine for my machine – or perhaps it got damp somehow, although it doesn’t seem it – so used by itself one thinks the poor contraption will explode under the strain of pushing the water through the coffee), and apparently filter-ground coffee also works, so thought I’d get a pack of that to try. They didn’t have the Lavazza I particularly wanted, probably because it was in a special offer.

So that’s a couple of hundred thrilling words about coffee, now some more thrilling words about Skyrim, which was how I spent the rest of my free time on Sunday.

The game keeps giving me companions. This seems odd behaviour for a game that’s all about – to my mind – solitary exploration, but wouldn’t be so bad if they weren’t useless or annoying.
First was the dog. Bloody hell, he was a nuisance. If Istood still, he’d get so close that he’d actually push me along with his nose. Particularly fun when standing on the edge of something. He’d also constantly stare at me lovingly, which broke the stealth meter because I was always “detected”, albeit not by the nasty bandit over there, but by the infuriating hound shoving me along with his nose rammed up my arse. Also, he barked constantly, didn’t even pretend to sneak, and would charge towards any enemy the instant he saw it (and, one must admit, wreak terrible violence upon them). In the end, I dumped him in a shop and went about my business.
But not long after I got some quest to do something to a tree in some grove somewhere, at which point this guy pops up and says “Hello! I heard you were going to some grove somewhere, can I come?”, and tags along.
Although not for long; he survived trying to punch a dragon, but the first bandit camp outside of town did him in. Never mind!
And because of my dragon-slaying, I now have my house-carl Lydia tagging along. She’s actually not that bad, as she’s pretty good at clobbering things, and stays where you tell her to. So I quite often leave her standing at the entrance of a dungeon, go in, pickpocket and murder everyone, and then dump their belongings on her. “I am sworn to carry your burdens”, she says, wearily and knowingly.

I also ate far too many goodies, which was nice. I’d forgotten how tasty scotch pies were, and I discovered how tasty Guinness Brown Sauce is. I paid £2 for a bottle of brown sauce. I’m probably ill. Worse, this wasn’t particularly extortionate compared to even own-brand varieties. What on earth happened to brown sauce prices?! The Daily Mail should investigate.
It did take me 300kCal over my limit, but you’ve already had 670 words of EXHILERATION, so best I save discussions of my diet for another day.

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