If we were having coffee… 25/10/19

If we were having coffee this week, first of all, how are you? I probably haven’t seen you in ages. If I don’t live with you, work with you, or if I’m not related to you (even then it’s no guarantee) then chances are I don’t see you as much as I’d like. While I’m listening, I’m going to get the coffees in, my treat today, no arguing. To celebrate being off for Halloween, I’m having an Irish Coffee, what would you like?

I had a mental list of stuff to write about this week, but now that I have space and time, I can’t remember what it was. The best ideas always seem to come when I’m in the shower or driving – basically when it’s impossible to make a note.

Oh yeah, I was going to pick your hive mind about the flu vaccine. Mostly I’m all for vaccines, and herd immunisation, but for some reason, I’ve always had a bit of a bee in my bonnet about the flu jab. How much protection does it give? I think my skepticism comes from knowing that there are so many different strains of flu, and it can mutate so quickly what’s the point, but I’m willing to be won round by a good argument.

This comes on the back of being called for an appointment. I’m not going to lie, I was scandalized when it came through, because “only old or sick people get called for that, right”? My nose was put right out of joint! Then, I had to have a word with myself, pushing 50 and with a compromised immune system I probably fall under both categories, my mental self-image has been kicking a tin can down the road in a huff ever since.

This has not been helped by me finally admitting that I also need reading glasses.

A slight bonus is that Mr. Plot tells me I have a new “scary thing” (this is good, but I wonder what the ‘old scary thing was). I thought it (new scary thing) was looking over the top of my glasses since I only need them for close up stuff. But no; the scary thing is if we are ‘talking’ and I  pause, take them off, put them in their case and snap it shut. Apparently, this is enough to put the fear of God into him, the two dogs and anyone else in the vicinity. Result!


Are you ready for the Halloween holidays? Do you even get off? I’ve taken three days leave so that I can be off with the boys, who are not impressed that I haven’t decorated the house yet. I mean seriously? Decorated? I haven’t even tidied the house yet never mind decorated it, mind you if it’s just a case of tattered blinds, dead flowers, and giant spiders, we are all set. And while we are on the subject, can I just say that spiders not liking Horse Chestnut is a complete myth, I’ve watcher the buggers hide from the dogs in a pile of freshly collected conkers.

Halloween Pumpkin Jack
A previous attempt at carving a pumpkin with the boys

Anyway, I imagine that will all be rectified later today, we’ll have the place looking like Freddy Kruger’s holiday home by teatime.

We are deep in pre-AQE angst at the moment. What’s the AQE? It’s an exam that 10/11-year-old children in Northern Ireland sit, which determines their post-primary school, with scores determining being labeled as a success or a failure aged 11 Grammar or State Schools depending on how well you do.

It’s a tricky time, we are trying to balance getting No 1 Cub into a place where he can give his best performance, without putting him under too much pressure. No 1 Cub thinks he can just breeze through, no problem – so why can’t he spend all of his time between now and the exam on X-Box?  It’s so unfair! 


Do you have plans over the next week or so? I have a couple of things I’m looking forward to. All being well, I will get making my Christmas Cake with my mate. We finally did this last year, after talking about it for maybe the previous three Christmases and we had a hoot. I had the kitchen all decked out like Nigella, and, since we were following her cake recipe, we got dressed up in frocks and pinnies. So far so good. I thought it might be appropriate to have cocktails too, so I made a pitcher full of rocket fuel Espresso Martini.

How we managed to successfully bake two cakes while we were three sheets to the wind is the mystery of last Christmas, but somehow we did. Round two is imminent.

And that’s about it for now. I’ve been thinking about some topics to blog about, but it’ll involve a trip or two to County Antrim, Mr Plot will need to make sure his visa is up to date, they may not let a Bangorian in. Maybe I’ll try a post in proper Ulster-Scots someday too, see if any of you can understand it.

Plot x







  1. I don’t drink coffee, so we’re not off to a good start. Have you noticed how huge the spiders in the garden are this year. or is that just me? There was a very large one who insisted on attaching her web to the back of my car for a few days. Then she realised she just be better off swinging a little further to attach it to the wall, which doesn’t have the same tendency to move into the road.

    I’ve never even considered dressing (or drinking) like Nigella when I make one of her recipes. I’ve thought about it now and it’s not going to happen. I’m a messy cook, so the dress is out, and I don’t know that sharp knives and alcohol mix. I can recommend her chestnut and pasta recipe from the Italian book.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Yeah, the dress up was mostly to add a sense of occasion given it’s hard to get out, and I don’t recall using a knife.
      I might have done, can’t remember, I had enough sense to prep some stuff in advance.

      This was just as well as I struggled to add ingredients in the right order.
      Note to self – leave the cocktails till the cake is in the oven next time!

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Firstly mine is a cappuccino, with chocolate sprinkles, Thankyou!

    I have to have the flu jab as work for the NHS, we get given it every year, I guess they don’t want us going off sick.

    Sounds like you had alot of fun baking cake, they look lovely.

    We have the eleven plus in the UK and right now my son is only eight but we are appealing for him to move to a better school. My daughter is already there. Lots to think about and lots of work encouraging and supporting them.

    Hope round 2 for the cakes is as successful as round 1.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Ugh, this was the 11+ but this is its successor, 3 exams, sat in a secondary school, not your primary school. We actually found a way of making the 11+ even worse!

      Marion, does the flu jab actually work? I’m not anti vax, it’s just this one I’m not particularly fussed with.


      • Wow, yes you have made it worse, 3 exams, Wow!

        I think the flu jab is better having then not having it. Though alot of years ago I had it and soon after got flu. My doctor said that I must have caught a different strain of it. I think it is possibly better to have it, then catch full on flu.

        Liked by 1 person

  3. Freddy Kruger’s holiday home, hahahaha. You wouldn’t have to do any decorating and he probably wouldn’t leave your kitchen as it is. That cake looks stunning, and so does the espresso martini. Might have to pay you to make my birthday cake, if it comes with espresso martinis.

    Liked by 1 person

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s