When I make conscious choices, most times the preference is slow. I also have the rep as the slowest eater at any table but that is probably because I can’t talk and chew, or try not to. I also recognize it is a choice that is sometimes a luxury.

Maybe my definition of luxury is different anyway. After all, I did name a bar of soap Basic Luxury Lavender. But with the other consumables in my life, I am choosing a slower path which means I don’t get everywhere. At least not right away. That may be why I don’t consider most long-haul travel to be torture in a metal tube. The hours spent getting to someplace far away help me discard the non-essential distractions. Guess that is why, along with some other reasons, I never travelled via Concorde! I am perfectly pleased to spend 9-10 hours in a 747.

This comes back to the journey, the process. Not just the end destination or result. And in some instances, the result is better, cost may not be significantly varied, and the quality has won over other variables. In exploring coffee and equipment I am coming to that conclusion even if I don’t have the muscle, skill, or budget, to own an exotic lever-operated E61, I can appreciate a wonderful shot someone else has pulled. Not a demand or deal breaker, but lovely sometimes when done well. Just like a perfect pint is lovely when the ale is fresh and hand pulled (OK – I admit walking out on pubs with no hand-pulls, but that is only because I believe there is one nearby!).

A wood-fired (or really great gas model) pizza oven can redefine the result. And a talented distiller can turn the humblest ingredients into a perfect spirit.

This week, I guess I am just avoiding the express lane or highway. The back roads are fine, and finding time to spend a really great evening sharing good food and wine with good people was worth the 6 – 8 weeks it took to find a common date on our calendars. A great, slow evening. In Ireland – you would say the craic was good.

Maybe we’ll even manage a spirit outing before the end of this year