Four more questions in the #SYW challenge.
If you drink coffee, how do you like it best? Hot, cold, iced, with cream, with sugar or black as black?
I like my coffee weak and milky so the arrival in the UK of the latte from coffee shops like Costa and Starbucks was a big event. Until then, having coffee in a restaurant or café inevitably meant a choice between:
- strong, hot coffee
- slightly weaker, cold coffee (adding enough cold milk to get the right flavour lowered the temperature to little more than tepid)
- tea, which I don’t like much.
Now, there is a coffee shop on every corner selling lattes in many guises and my challenge is to limit how many I have.
In your opinion, what’s the greatest invention of our age?
There are so many wonderful inventions that would be worthy of the label ‘greatest’ that it is difficult to choose a single one. Initially, I thought of antibiotics, the development of which began with the discovery of penicillin in September 1928 attributed to Sir Alexander Fleming. In the pre-antibiotic era a simple scratch could be deadly and without modern antibiotics many life-saving and/or life-changing treatments such as heart surgery or organ transplants would be considered too dangerous because of the risk of infection. However, that was a discovery rather than an invention.
My choice for the greatest invention would have to be the internet. What began as a network among academics, programmers and engineers is now so integral to our everyday lives that it seems like a standard utility on a par with electricity or water. I am, however, old enough to remember what it was like not having the internet. Back then, I worked as a magazine journalist and editor. Research then relied on talking to people on the phone or travelling to interview them in person, reading new research published in hard copy journals and following up things sent to us through the post. But for all the benefits of the internet in connecting people, and making information widely and rapidly available, the downside it that much online content is misleading or simply untrue. Sorting the credible from the incredible becomes harder by the day.
Global warming? Reality or myth?
Reality, without a shadow of a doubt. The evidence confronts us daily.
Are you an explorer or more a home body?
It rather depends on what sort of exploring we’re talking about. I love sightseeing in new places, finding new walks and places to visit nearer home (especially if exploring a new cafe is required!) but trips to the Amazon rain forest – or any hot place with large creepy-crawlies – is definitely not for me. I’m happy to stay at home and explore exotic locations in my imagination, through a book or by watching a TV documentary. I guess that makes me more of a home body.
Finally, what were you grateful for this week?
My children. A family birthday was the excuse for a meal out with my now-grown-up children and I was reminded, as I am every time I see them, how much I enjoy their company.