There Is No Such Thing As a Free Lunch

But there is such a thing as a free cup of coffee!

Pret Flat White Organic Coffee

Who knew!


I certainly didn’t.

Having a had a bit of a bad coffee experience on my way to the tube which involved a bit of a machine explosion and delivery of a rank drink, I needed to top up my caffeine levels.

Being typically British I paid for the exploding coffee on the basis that I was supporting a local business and I know that their goods are generally tip top.

Mistakes happen.

When I arrived at Paddington I headed to the closest coffee shop – which happened to be Pret – where I ordered my usual Flat White.

As I reached for my purse, the Barista said ‘it’s on the house’.

On the house. Free.

Being typically British (again), I replied ‘sorry?’.

After several times of the delightful young lady repeating that it was indeed ‘on the house’ I sat down in shock and joined my friend.

She was less surprised as she had heard of this happening in Pret before and explained that she believed this is something that staff are free to do in lieu of a loyalty card scheme.

We wasn’t sure of the exact story and I wasn’t able to find any further details on the website unfortunately but let’s just say I was made up.

Yin and Yang

It was almost as though it was meant to be.  Not that the Barista would have any idea of the happenings of my morning but it felt like a bit of yin to my yang (or yang to my yin).

On the basis that there was no evidence of a milk froth avalanche on my person, I’m going for the yin-yang theory.

It was also a really good Flat White and it’s not often I say that so, thumbs up all round.

It did also get me thinking about how unaccustomed we are to being gifted unexpectedly as the consumer.

We automatically think that there is something wrong or some kind of mistake.

We are really not very good at not paying for things.

Maybe it’s the fear of the tap on the shoulder on the way out.

We can often be seen arguing with others about who will pay in a “I’ll get it”, No, I’ll get it” kind of way.

My daughter finds this whole practice very amusing.

The only exception to this rule is if you are with someone tight and on those occasions, you definitely ‘will get it’!

The law of averages says that you will probably get it the next time too.

Otherwise, there is that wonderfully British trait of saying ‘no thank you’ or ‘thank you’ too many times.

We even thank for thank you cards.

I was still mumbling my thanks for the coffee for several hours afterwards.

Isn’t it refreshing though.

An unexpected act of giving that really puts a spring in your step.

I am sure there will be others who have had their day made by this kind offering.

I thought it was a really nice touch and I wanted to share that.

It really made my beautifully sunny day sunnier.

Thank You. Grateful. Appreciation.

Thanks Pret!

These little gestures really make the customer experience memorable.

Perhaps my lovely readers have had a similar experience or heard of this happening.  I would love to hear your stories.












Missing With Your Kissing?


Christmas and New Year are fab times for a smooch up
aren’t they.

No wonder Mistletoe was invented.  What a jolly good idea that was.

I’d say it was about time someone invented something for when the kiss goes wrong too.

Are you with me?

Because as well as being the time of the smooch, do you, like me, also find that it’s the season of the awkward kiss?

In case you are wondering what I mean, there are different types of kiss in the awkward category.lips-621210_640

The Going the Wrong Way Under Pressure Kiss

This generally happens when meeting someone for the first time or when being polite.  It’s not a ‘know someone well’ kind of kiss.

As you dive in for your greeting so do they.  You are both going the same way.  Whatever happens in this situation, you are going to get the nose or the ear unless you can manage to correct your alignment pretty sharp.

You are never going to know in advance if they are a one, two or three cheek kisser.  If it’s the latter, you are definitely going to get a nostril at some point.  Either that or you’ll have started walking away while they are still finishing the kiss.

The awkward ‘whoopsy’ giggle that accompanies such encounters will

The Going the Wrong Way Habitually Kiss

The most embarrassing one is when it’s always the same person. Literally! Usually someone you don’t know that well or their partner. You both know it’s happened before and it doesn’t matter how many times you try and correct your way in, you just know it’s going to be a collision.

Based on previous experience you try to go the opposite way but so do they.  It’s always going to result in kissing their ear.


The Not Meant to be Intimate Kiss

This can happen to anyone.  Male or Female.  Generally with the opposite sex.  It’s worse than ear and nostril and it tends to only happen with people you know quite well.  Somehow you end up kissing their neck.

I have done it twice in this lifetime to be precise.

I will never forget how desperately embarrassing it was.  Do you say whoops sorry I kissed your neck or say nothing and risk them thinking you are coming on to them?

Saying nothing will generally store trouble for the next time but where do you go with the neck conversation.  ‘Nice neck’?

When Your Partner Does The Not Meaning to be Intimate Kiss

It’s better this way round.  Yes my partner has done it.  Yes it was one of my friends.  Did I howl.  Yes I did.  It’s hilarious when you seen someone else do it.

The Grapple

The one where you have a little chat about it mid-launch.  A few ‘whoopsys’ and ‘he-he’s’.  Unfortunately this one tends to yield the worst results.   It is generally woman to woman, friend to friend.  Typical bloody woman thing I suppose – talking about it first.  It is by far the biggest culprit for the full on kiss on the lips.

So what is your success rate?

Do you have any tips?

I asked Iron Man how he would do things and his strategy is to go with the one kiss and then try and cover it up if it turns out they are a two cheeker!

I think my general preference is one kiss and a hug.  It can cause all kinds of problems though.  Particularly if they are still trying to kiss while you hug.  This is likely to result in you squashing their head.


Of course,  the parents among us have so much experience in the greeting and departure kisses that we feel that our children need to get involved.

We are totally guilty of this.  Totally.

Never mind that we remember the fear of kissing certain people when we were their age.

There was always a family member that did a particularly wet kiss that made you scrunch your little body and run off wiping it with your Crimplene sleeve.

Lovely people and all that, just a bit sloshy in the kissing department.

Like all good parents we want them to go through it too.

It’s not really a level playing field either is it now – because everyone has beards nowadays.  It’s not just the Aunts.

Couple this with their knowledge of Roald  Dahl’s, Mr & Mrs Twit and it’s not just last Tuesday’s Coco Pop that’s going to end up on their cheek.


Does any of this sound familiar?

I would love to hear your success stories.

I’d really love to hear your embarrassing ones even more!

Air kiss. Hug.

Nicky x


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