Becoming More Bitter

You may not know this, unless you’re one of my close friends or family, or indeed one of my faithful Twitter followers or LinkedIn connections (and let’s face it, you’re probably not), but I recently started a new job.

You know all those times in the past weeks where you’ve thought to yourself, “I wish John would write another blog. I miss his musings.”? Well, blame the new job. I’ve simply not had the time to write anything, though I’ve been brimming with unfulfilled ideas.

Alongside that, my personal life has been packed full of excitement, including a lovely recent trip home with girlfriend Ffion to spend a week doing a lot of walking and eating a lot of absolutely delicious (if gloriously unhealthy) food. Oh, and spending some time with my family of course.

So, you’ll forgive me if I’ve not found time to write, but here I am!

One thing I’ve discovered about myself since taking this new job is that I have something of a penchant for coffee. And not only coffee, but coffee in its purest, bitterest form.

10 or so years ago, on a Sunday morning, you’d regularly have found me at my childhood church, sitting with other like-minded teens in a church youth setting, having a few games of pool and indulging in a cup or two of coffee, alongside 1 or 2…maybe 6 chocolate digestives.

My recipe for coffee at that time? Teaspoon of coffee, 1/3 mug of milk and anywhere between 5 and 6 teaspoons of sugar! 5 or 6!

There are regular hot drinks runs done in the office and I’ve been partaking for a few weeks. It struck me today, as I sipped a mug of coffee that was almost black, that my tastes were almost unrecognisable from a decade ago.

Is this part of growing up? People used to talk about your taste buds maturing, and perhaps there’s something in that. I hope I’m not about to start snacking on olives and blue cheese out of nowhere. That would be horrendous.

But it’s left me questioning. Have I, like my coffee, become more bitter as a person over the years? Are personal bitterness and coffee preferences inextricably linked? I’m not a scientist. I’m not a psychologist. Until a month ago I wouldn’t even have called myself a coffee drinker! So, I’ve really no idea!

I’ve noticed that I now have less time for a lot of annoying little things. My patience wears incredibly thin as soon as the Wi-Fi disconnects for even a second. If I miss the bus by even a few steps, I complain to myself for hours about it. With all that’s awful continuing to happen around the world (this van attack in Barcelona, for example), what have I to be bitter about really? Let it be a warning to others. Check yo’ bitterness.

Case in point, today it was announced that highly-paid footballer Mats Hummels was getting involved in a charity initiative, in which he would donate 1% of his wages to charity, and instead of feeling warmed and heartened by this story, my bitter old brain began to rant quietly to itself. “Why didn’t he pledge more than that? He’s as rich as Croesus” and the like.

I hope this doesn’t spell the end of your friend and mine, jovial old John Boy.

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