THE puzzle is why we need so many plastic coffee cups in the first place. They make the coffee taste pretty disgusting. Even good coffee tastes ordinary. Ordinary coffee tastes foul.

Fine for emergencies, But as a treat? No way. It’s just not a pleasant experience.

Slurping through that little hole is just horribly reminiscent of hospital feeding cups, while walking down the street trying to drink coffee from a cup without a lid is just asking for stains all down your front.

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The first time I saw people drinking coffee on the move – in London about 20 years ago – I just thought it was daft. Nothing’s changed my mind since. Good coffee deserves a good cup and a sit down to enjoy it. Or even a stand up bar such as the Italians enjoy, which at least means you can drink your coffee without having to dodge people, prams, umbrellas and dog dirt.

I wouldn’t drink a G&T while negotiating a crowded pavement so why coffee?

As for people who walk down the street drinking coffee AND talking on their mobiles, then frankly, they deserve all the dog dirt they get on their shoes.

Many offices have ritzy coffee machines, most have at least a kettle so I’m just as baffled by those people who buy a coffee to go as they’re going in to work.

It must be costing them a fortune and now we know it’s costing the planet dear as well.

Get a proper cup. Get a proper seat. Your coffee will taste so much nicer. And the world will be a better place.

THERE’S looking cool…. and there’s looking frozen.

Newcastle lads in their T-shirts in all weathers are famous, of course. But now they might have new rivals – 13 year old girls from North Yorkshire.

In recent rubbish weather – snow, sleet, temperatures round freezing, I’ve noticed girls waiting for the school bus while wearing not much more than tiny skirts and thin jumpers. No blazers, no fleeces and certainly no coats, hats, scarves or gloves.

The irony is that they probably have great thick jackets suitable for a trek to the Pole, sitting at home keeping a cupboard warm while they hop up and down and shiver at the bus stop.

It’s clearly the latest inexplicable trend among 13 year olds. They think they’re looking fashionable. In fact they just look daft. Give them 20 years and they’ll think so too.

The Northern Echo:

Tricky times: George Bingham, son of Lord Lucan

WHEN your father’s vanishing act is the stuff of modern legend and your mother cuts off all contact with you, trying to get on with your life can’t always be easy.

But Lord Lucan’s son George Bingham and his sisters have made a good job of it in tricky circumstances. They arranged for their mother to live rent free in a family home. The latest challenge came when their estranged mother committed suicide and cut them all out of her will and left her millions to Shelter.

“I applaud her decision to make a legacy to a fantastic and worthwhile charity,” said George Bingham, drawing a line under the last forty years.
A decent and gracious sentiment. Let’s hope life gets easier for them all.

STRUGGLED to get a GP appointment recently? Blame the people who don’t turn up.

One surgery in East Cleveland recently counted 3,200 missed appointments in a single year. That’s around ten a day – appointments that other people needed and could have used. It’s an awful lot of wasted time.

Some people just forget, others are too busy, others have got better but don’t think of cancelling. Either way it means other people have to wait longer. While probably feeing worried.

So why not sign up for a text alert to remind you, or use the online system where you can cancel easily if you’re suddenly busy or better.

Even if you call first thing in the morning, your appointment can be given to someone else. There’ll always be someone grateful for a suddenly available appointment... one day it could be you.

TEN out of ten for honesty for BBC Breakfast business reporter Teessider Steph McGovern. When her post-Christmas rounded shape prompted congratulations on a pregnancy, she replied promptly that she was not with child. “I am with pot belly,” she said. Teessider, telling it like it is. Love it.