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Monday, 12 January 2004


I am actually addicted to caffeine. I tried giving it up a few years back. I only really drink it in the mornings (well okay, till four in the afternoon), and decided that on a long journey with Harvardboy to recover his stuff from a break up with Kinky, that I'd try going cold turkey. I was stood in Harvardboy's bathroom, ten minutes after waking, trying to sort my head out for a five hour drive, enduring a banging headache from the caffeine withdrawal, and staring in the mirror, thinking "ifheasksifyouwantacoffeesaynoifheasksifyouwantacoffeesaynoifheasksifyouwantacoffeesayno".
Harvardboy called through the door: "coffee?"
"Yes please."
Five minutes. During which I gripped a sink till my knuckles bleached white and talked to myself in the mirror like a loon. That's as much withdrawal from caffeine as I've ever been able to take.
I've learnt not to drink real coffee at work, though, as I go into irrational rages and end up getting official cautions for my irascible and imflammatory attitude. If I'm in a bad mood anyway, coffee exaggerates all of the things in the world that disappoint or annoy me. When you have PMT, it's annoyance at yourself that sends you into rages, essentially. Pure coffee created rage is totally externalised.
A bad morning recently, (another where I woke up at three) resulted in my actually writing angry emails to the newsreader on my local radio station. He'd twice in an hour taken the piss out of Tom Cruise, by wondering loudly what on earth a 'haiku' is. I fired off my best Victor Meldrew rage encrusted sarcasm, pointing out that most eleven year olds know the meaning of the word, and demanding that they only use words in their bulletins that they knew the meaning of.
Presumable they do know the meaning of 'ridiculously overinflated sense of own importance'. It's merely I who had to wait for the coffee rage to stop kicking to realise it.
They did drop the pisstake from the next bulletin, but every day since then, the DJ interrogates the poor newsreader as to the meaning of a word in his bulletin. So all of London gets ribbed because I'd drunk my coffee too quickly.
Two of my favourite bloggers, Friendly Stranger and Lactose Incompetent, have been blogging about caffeine addictions lately. The Rev at Friendly Stranger suggests having mediocre coffee that's not so strong for weekdays, and rich, full, gorgeous coffee beans ready for the weekend. Boy, do I like that suggestion. Although I'm not sure I'm that organised.
Whereas Edward Ocean at Lactose Incompetent is giving up caffeine. Merely the idea of someone else doing it is enough to give me the willies, metaphorically speaking. He says caffeine contributes to depression and makes you fat. I sure had never heard of that before. I can imagine that, like any stimulant, sugar included, there's a come down from an easily bought high. But fat? Is it the rich tea biscuits?

This page graced by sarsparilla at 2:04 PM GMT
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Monday, 12 January 2004 - 2:33 PM GMT

Name: paul
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Even the best of coffee tastes like a dirt/sh it mixture that I can't stand to smell much less put near my mouth. I drink tea, especially black teas and teas with names like English Breakfast (which I like to mix with irish cream creamer to see if they'll fight in the cup), morning thunder and caffeine killer.

Caffeine makes you fat? Maybe depression makes you fat, but not caffeine.

Monday, 12 January 2004 - 2:39 PM GMT

Name: Vanessa

If s h i t tasted like coffee I'd probably have to drink that, too.

Though as an English, I'd not be able to argue with you about tea. Top teas:
1. Ceylon
2. Earl Grey
3. English Breakfast

Worst Tea:
Darjeeling. Ugh!

Monday, 12 January 2004 - 2:58 PM GMT

Name: e
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OK, Vanessa, I can't help but notice a little juxtaposotion here. One day you mention sleep problems, the next you talk about drinking coffee till 4pm. Hmmmmm.... I wonder...
I canot take coffee after midday without buggering up my sleep patterns. I just react massively to caffeine, to the extent that I should probably pack it in. For two years, when I was teaching, I had to stop drinking it because it was aggravating my stress and producing heart palpitations (not the first time in my life either). I'm allowing myself to drink some this year while I can sleep as much as I need to, but I do wonder whether it's worth the side-effects...

Monday, 12 January 2004 - 3:12 PM GMT

Name: Vanessa

Hehe... I hadn't noticed that. But I'm sleeping too much.

Anyway, most days I only drink filter coffee at seven in the morning, because I need to use my voice a lot at work, and it plays havoc with my vocal chords. But I grumble internally about it, oh, you betcha...

Can you drink caffeinated pop?

Monday, 12 January 2004 - 4:38 PM GMT

Name: Pan
Home Page:

Best tea : Assam
2nd best : Earl Grey
3rd : Lapsang Souchong (tastes like ditch water but I that's the bit I love).

Monday, 12 January 2004 - 4:45 PM GMT

Name: e
Home Page:

Don't really drink Cola or Mountain Dew that much, but they don't seem to have the same dramatic effect, probably because I don't consume vast quantities. The best lift I've ever had from a can of cola was from some 'natural' cola bought bargain basement at Sainsbury's. They had used guarana instead of cola, and it seems to give me the lift without the trembling and palpitations.

Monday, 12 January 2004 - 5:13 PM GMT

Name: Vanessa

Guarana does nothing for me, and given that it sounds uncomfortably like guano, I tend to stick to cream cakes and sugar, when caffeine won't do. :-)
I hate stuff like 'red bull' - tastes revolting.

Monday, 12 January 2004 - 5:13 PM GMT

Name: Vanessa

I can see your point, but you missed NUMBER ONE: CEYLON from your list.

Monday, 12 January 2004 - 5:23 PM GMT

Name: NC

Coffee, coffee coffee mmmmm! The only thing better than real coffee is coffee and doughnuts. Mmmm. Especially the doughnuts from umm, that big green store in Knightsbridge and coffee from the place in Covent Garden. That's not too much advertising is it? Well if coffee makes you fat, then doughnuts make you slim. Right??

Monday, 12 January 2004 - 5:27 PM GMT

Name: yidaho
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Bah, coffee makes you lose weight.. It's like wearing one of those vibrating stomach flattening belts, if you drink enough.

Monday, 12 January 2004 - 5:35 PM GMT

Name: Vanessa

Or in fact, like eating dodgy prawns?

Monday, 12 January 2004 - 5:36 PM GMT

Name: Vanessa

Trifle? Does trifle also make you slim? Please?

Monday, 12 January 2004 - 7:04 PM GMT

Name: NC

Only if you add extra cream ;-)

Monday, 12 January 2004 - 8:08 PM GMT

Name: Vanessa

And a few eclairs.

Tuesday, 13 January 2004 - 4:10 PM GMT

Name: Dick Jones
Home Page:

I have never in my...oh, lots & lots of years drunk coffee or tea. Not a drop of either has passed my lips. And in those lots & lots of years the number of fellow abstainers that I have met could be counted on the fingers of two normally constituted hands. So in reading these confessionals I'm not sure whether I'm feeling suffocatingly smug or that I've missed out on one of life's darker pleasures...

Tuesday, 13 January 2004 - 8:48 PM GMT

Name: Vanessa

There's still time ....

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