It had been 27 days and I was still sans a sip of coffee. On the 28th day, I cracked. Heading back on Sunday from an unexpectedly arduous hike in Cape Point — where my wife had got us lost not once but twice — my cramped and cold mood left me vulnerable to the stimulant call. I spotted a bunch of merry cyclists getting coffee in Scarborough. There was no restraining me, and I probably did well not to mangle a few expensive mountain bikes as I lurched the bakkie into the parking lot.

I did two cups for good measure, buying my wife a large apple Danish for her half-hearted attempt at empathy. Four weeks is a long time, certainly enough to shake the horrible side effects of coffee deprivation. But, as they hardly ever say in the classics, old hobbits die hard...

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