Happy new year to all and sundry! I made a stern resolution before midnight but have broken it already: luckily I’d resolved to do absolutely nothing of any use today.
Unnerved by the town’s lack of wailing sirens my daughter and I decided to pierce the eerie silence by fetching the first coffee of the year. In my case the first in four months – I mustn’t get addicted.
Dudley Moore, the Keith Moon of TV and film, was once asked how it felt to pass the age of 40 and he replied it was like being unchained from a lunatic. Judging from the audience’s laughter this is the experience of a good many people.
But espresso has precisely the reverse effect, and the molecular explanation is this: scientists discovered as long ag as 1932 that its ether-soluble phytosterols release two extraordinary things under oxidation. One is an endless stream of exciting ideas and the other is enthusiasm enough to put them into motion regardless of their chances of success, before the beans’ magic wears off. Later, as in Hollywood tales where some mischief maker occupies another’s body, the feeling dawns that you repossessed your flesh only to spend your energy picking up the pieces.
This time, that usurper didn’t buy the Brooklyn Bridge or bet everything on 18 black but he did greedily order a long list of custom-made casein and pigment combinations from California for an upcoming school mural when the ones I had would have easily sufficed.
So it’s 2016 and already nothing has changed – and yet maybe everything has! Happy New Year!