Most of us remember where we were when big events happened. I’m not old enough to remember JFK being shot but I do remember where I was when 9/11 occurred. I had been in a house near New Ross interviewing a man about rural planning issues and having said goodbye to him I drove further up the narrow road to turn round before heading home. I was stopped in my tracks minutes later, however, by the man I’d just interviewed standing at his gateway, arms flailing, beckoning me to come back in. What on earth had happened, I wondered, as I got out of the car again. “Look!” he said and there on the television screen was the image of one, then two aeroplanes hitting the Twin Towers. The two of us stood there in shock. His nephew had been trying to get through to him during the interview to tell him to turn on his TV…
But that’s on the heavy side of remembering. On the lighter side I can remember exactly where I was when I encountered my first cappuccino. I’ve been smitten ever since – particularly to those with extra foam/froth – so in hindsight it was a significant day. I wasn’t even a coffee lover so it was a giant step for womankind! I was in the Book Centre in Wexford town which probably wasn’t long open at the time. I can’t remember exactly what year it was but it was definitely after my youngest child started school so it was probably the early ‘90s. I know that because it was the mother of a child in my daughter’s class who was drinking a cappuccino in the little café downstairs. I saw the unusual cup and the unusual froth and basically woke up and smelled the coffee.
“I’m addicted to these things,” she said. “Reminds me of a holiday in Italy. Will you have one?” “Yes,” I said. And the rest is history. Now cappuccinos (with extra foam/froth) are a special treat midweek and at weekends. ‘Dry cappucinos’ or ‘dietitian’s dessert’ – that’s what they are called when the froth exceeds the liquid. A dietitian told me that so I know it’s right. If you don’t want to indulge in a dessert proper, she told me, they are a glamorous substitute which can be eaten mostly with a spoon.
So there you go – I feel like I’m living when I’m out, particularly on a Saturday morning, enjoying one. I will even make a beeline for the places where I know they can make such creamy concoctions and in at least two places I’ve proof that they know what I like because when the baristas see me they simply say ‘Cappucino? Extra foam?’ And I say yes, definitely. Pure joy.