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‘Espresso Sospeso’ or ‘suspended coffee’; the new pay-it-forward.

Yesterday I spoke of my coffee addiction with a fellow addict. First time in a long time I was told there was no judgment for me drinking more than eight cups of coffee a day (well, I used to – now it’s more like four or five). And that got me thinking of all the new flavoured coffee creations, those with all sorts of creams and liqueurs and spices? Whereas I’m more traditional – I like a cappuccino, espresso and most of the time I’ll opt for just a cup o’ joe so piping hot it’ll put a hop in my step.

Now, I don’t usually partake in “do this get this, do this feel, this pay this feel this, I dare you I dare you not” challenges presented on Facebook or other venues. But recently, I’ve seen a lot of inspirational people turn the ice bucket challenge to something else. For an inspirational example, my friend Inês turned the ice bucket challenge into something more personal, and more beautiful, with a well-explained message on how she would not throw cold or other kind of water on herself, but rather has donated and encourages others to get involved with suspended coffees.

cafe-sospeso

Those unfamiliar with the idea, the idea of suspended coffees originated in Naples, Italy, and has since spread across most major cities. Largely due to the unwavering efforts of an Irishman John Sweeney,a young plumber from Cork who recently himself having experienced unemployment knows exactly how hard it can get.

For those more suspicious, not in first-name basis with “in your face” homelessness and anti-homelessness campaigns, suspended coffees is a way to give with knowing your contribution goes directly to help those in need, with no second or third parties taking a cut, without governmental organisations involved and without any morality preaching. It is up to you what and how much and if you indeed suspend something at all.

So, what do you do? How does it work? What does it mean for those in need? And if you have questions, do some rudimentary research – such as open a link, Google it or, you know, ask… Valid or invalid questions alike can be covered with the rather self-explanatory answer of how the process is rather simple; you walk into a coffee shop, order your coffee and on top of your own explain the barista that you would like to include (insert number here) suspended coffees as well. You pay your own and the suspended coffees, and next time someone in need comes inquiring for a warm drink, they’ll have one waiting for them.

As this heart-warming notion of help is spreading, it is good to be aware of the locations nearest to you. Myself being in Scotland, here’s a list of suspended coffee places in Scotland. But I’m sure there is more to follow?

Social Bite Rose Street, Edinburgh. They are a leading example in Scotland when it comes to suspended coffee. Truly remarkable. And it’s not just coffee.

Stewart’s Cafe St. Andrews Street, Glasgow.

Bite’s and PCs Internet Cafe Main Street Falkirk.

Our Story Cafe St. Andrews.

Moondogs Channel street, Galashiels.

The Suspended Coffees Scotland are continuously looking for more coffee shops to get involved, so if you or you know someone who does run a coffee shop, in Scotland or anywhere, find your local suspended coffee community and get involved. As that hot beverage or a sandwich or whatever you have suspended might be the only thing down on their luck individual gets that day, you can be the reason for someone to lay their head down that much fuller of warmth, even for one night.

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Remembering the Genius in Genie, and in Life.

“You – you alone will have the stars as no-one else has them…In one of the stars I shall be living. In one of them I shall be laughing. And so it will be as if all the stars were laughing when you look at the sky at night.

Robin

I have loved the living picture, the spoken word and all performing arts as long as I can remember.
Both of my parents love literature, music and enjoy the arts, both in their own unique way, and that love has been passed on to me, my brother and my younger sisters.
And as much as I hate to admit it, there was a person in my life once who had a profound impact on me when it came to film. I liked watching films prior to this person, but with this person (who was with film, like in everything in his life, fanatic) my appreciation and notions of entertainment grew into a full-blown love and passion that I can barely keep up with recently.
After high-school (A-levels, lukio or whatever else you might call it) I went to Ireland for the Dublin Business School – School of Arts, where I started to study Film, Literature and Drama . The teachers I had were probably some of the most dedicated group of individuals I’ve met as they were teaching what they loved, though maybe not always what they knew. But it was enough to fuel the already ignited passion within.
Life has swept me away to duty and command – but every now and again I get to return to this once so strong passion. Watching film after film, show after show and I always return to those I’ve learned to love or lived with for years (Polanski, Allen, Gilliam, Coen’s and single films from more obscure directors – well, maybe not obscure to you, but obscure enough for me). Perhaps that’s why when I learned the news of Robin Williams, and mere day later of Lauren Bacall, I was genuinely upset. I cried in the bus on my way to work after I saw the breaking news on Robin Williams (silly people around me asked me if I needed help – how could they not understand we were beyond help; the Genie had died?!). But Williams was THE talent for me for very long time. Him and Billy Crystal. They hold no comparison. But also, it reminded me how little we know of those we admire, and of the fragility of life as we know it. Robin Williams, for me, has always been there. Always.
Suicide, eh. Shaming, blame placing – seriously? Body’s not even properly cold yet. I don’t think the guilt and shame put upon his previous wives is fair (financial issues, divorce bladibla); depression is real depression is suffocating and depression – most of all – is beyond words, and when it comes to that stage, even the legend himself said, in the role of Lance in World’s Greatest Dad:”If you are that depressed, reach out to someone. And remember, suicide is a permanent solution to a temporary problem.” Did he? We will never know.
I admire the spirit. I admire the strength. And I do, despite it all, admire the facade. I admire the man who despite his own demons found the time to give to those deserving (the troops, the sick, and other).
In an interview with Ellen, from 4:05 there’s a bit where Williams mentions his heart surgery, getting a second chance in life, refuting possible depression and “feeling alive”… Haunting. And not to remember, the man was out to spread joy despite his own demons, so make sure you watch till the end to see the Janet Jackson impression. Priceless.
All this. All the media hype. All the talk of what his life was like. And the actual act of William ending it all… Goes to show, we really know anything about the people we see in the public eye.
The fact whether or no I knew him doesn’t change the fact that I will miss him. He was one of the first actors I was aware of as an actor, as a person whose job it is to create what we see for entertainment.
His films were a part of my growing up. Mrs. Doubtfire was probably one of the first films that had me laughing that genuine “I know what’s happening” here laughter, as my parents were breaking up. Jumanji was a film our dad showed us, and I remember being utterly terrified for weeks on end that I’ll be sucked into my board games and monster will take me (over-vivid imagination, perchance?) and to this day, Dead Poets Society, Aladdin, Jack, The Birdcage, The Fisher King, Hook and Mork & Mindy top my favorite’s list. There are so many of his films I haven’t seen yet, or should see again. I still haven’t comprehended the fact that this amazing man isn’t there. And I haven’t comprehended the fact that though I know first-hand what depression can do, that it can still break someone so … Williams.
In the Genie’s own words; “You don’t know about real loss, because it only occurs when you love something more than you love yourself.”
Rest in peace, o Captain, my captain. I will look at the stars for you, the stars where you are free

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