if we were having coffee, Musings

If We Were Having Coffee – Life Musing #13

If we were having coffee mine would be a hot chocolate. I’ve really got back into them lately (spurred on by something you’ll see later in this post), it is the season for it anyway. Gosh has it been cold!

It snowed. Ok so, it was the tiniest bit of snow I’ve ever seen. But it was snow. Some parts of the country have had it bad, though, with power cuts lasting days. Do you remember that time we had ‘The Beast From The East’? I haven’t seen snow like that lately.

If we were having coffee I’d ask if you’re dreaming of a white Christmas?

Because Christmas is on its way.

If we were having coffee I’d introduce you to Terrance, the actual living Christmas tree. We don’t usually have a real tree, any tree is hard enough when you’ve got four cats. Some of which have been known to climb to the top of a Christmas tree in their younger days.

Google also told me living fir trees are mildly toxic to cats if they eat them. And my cats have had their stomachs pumped before. No lie. We don’t want that. And so, Terrance lives outside. But he is a tree, so that ok.

A small real Christmas tree in a gold pot. It has gold baubles on and is sitting in front of a brick wall and wooden trellis.

Terrance has been glammed up to an inch of his life, with baubles and 30 metres of warm white outdoor lights. The only thing is, Terrance is pretty small. And so, the lights took on an ego of their own and have decorated the trellis. In a kind of thrown-on manner.

The front of a house with trellis up. There are yellowy white lights scattered everywhere in no kind of order or pattern. Terrance the tree can is at the bottom left.

We have the indoor, not-alive tree, too. Looking much more groomed and sophisticated. If you’ve been around a while, you’ll have seen her before.

A bushy green fake tree against a cream wall. Decorated in gold, brown and cream decorations. Twinkling lights are on all over.

If we were having coffee I’d tell you that one of my favourite parts of the festive season is going to Christmas markets. I’d just gotten into the tradition of attending Bury St Edmunds Christmas Market every year, when the pandemic hit and it got cancelled. It’s not happening this year either, but then I probably wouldn’t have attended if I’m honest.

My little hometown had its Christmas light switch on and Fayre a couple of weekends ago. I contemplated going for a wander to peruse some of the stalls, but know from previous years that it gets extremely busy with people pushing past each other. As things went this was the same day as the tiniest snow flurry mentioned previously, and the weather turned incredibly cold. And so, I didn’t go anyway.

If we were having coffee I’d tell you that the Christmas Fayre came to me.

Although sometimes the world feels otherwise, there are some cracking people out there. A friend and ex PA brought me this doorstep delivery. Millionaire shortbread loaded hot chocolate… crumbled shortbread, caramel sauce and chocolate flakes piled high on whipped cream topped rich hot chocolate.

Hot chocolate in a brown cardboard cup with a wooden spoon sticking out. It is topped with cream, chocolate swirls, crumbled shortbread and caramel sauce. The cup is sitting on the inside of a windowsill.

Note: imagine me with a fork and straw trying to tackle this beast. It was not pretty, but it was worth every drip.

If we were having coffee you might notice I’ve had my first hair cut in quite some time. It was in a salon, too!

At the start of lockdown 1.0 I kept the hair tidy by giving it the odd trim at home every few weeks. Mum just followed what was there, keeping it looking as presentable as possible. And she didn’t do a too bad job. Then came autumn 2020 when I got a mobile hair dresser in. Mobile. Odd word isn’t it. Makes me feel a bit old. Anyway, it went well and I was all fresh again.

Lockdown 3.0 or whatever we were upto then happened and I thought why not grow my hair. Now’s the chance, nobody will see me. Well I should have done it sooner really. But hindsight and all that.

If we were having coffee I’d ask how many jabs you’ve had? I’m on number three, the booster. Well four if you count the flu vaccine too.

Because the flu jab is important you know, I was in hospital last year.

That’s a lot of pricks in one year some people are thinking. Will we be having a six monthly top up for the rest of our lives? But the way I see it is, we are privileged to be getting these pricks. To live in a time when we have science and fantastic scientists who are able to work their socks off to create something that is saving lives. That is turning this thing around. However slowly it feels.

Because if you can’t put your faith in these people and these vaccines, then where can you put it?

If we were having coffee I’d ask what you think to the latest Covid-19 guidance? (we’d be sure to talk about the disputed government parties, but you don’t want to get me on to that).

So, masks are now compulsory again in most indoor settings (except night clubs because Covid doesn’t hang there, I mean why would it want to with those sticky floors) and vaccine passports are being introduced for larger events.

I have to admit this makes me feel a little more comfortable, and likely to venture out. It’s like that fine line between there being enough cases for masks to be worn, but not enough concern for me to shut down the hatches again. It’s weird I know, that the recent higher risk level has put me slightly at ease. But it’s good to know I’m not alone when sharing these thoughts with friends.

Anyway, back to the haircut.

If we were having coffee I’d tell you I went to my usual salon. It had been so long that my stylist has a 10 month old baby and I didn’t even know she was pregnant. Time flys when you’re in a pandemic.

If we were having coffee you’d know what a trip to my usual salon means… A Grosvenor chip shop visit. It was delicious as always, and the team were more than welcoming, quickly rearranging and finding me an accessible table in the annex even though you’re now advised to prebook. I had the seasonal favourite festive dinner, complete with Christmas Balls. If I have one tip for you it’s to ask for the Turkey sausage to be battered. It doesn’t come as standard, so I thought I’d ask. Yum.

If we were having coffee I’d give you a quick update on Risdiplam. I’ve reached day 200 and things are going smoothly. I’ve nothing exciting to report personally. I’m still not doing cartwheels, unless you count in my head. Because there has been great news too.

The NHS and Roche came to an agreement that will provide Risdiplam on a Managed Access Agreement for Types 1, 2 and 3 SMA. This is for a set time period, to allow for evidence to be gathered on effectiveness. It does however mean that many more people will now have access to the first oral treatment for SMA.

Which is incredible, and something I never thought would happen in my lifetime.

If we were having coffee what would you tell me?

Title text If We Were Having Coffee - Life Musing #13 is in white text placed over the photo of a clear glass cup filled with dark tea.

18 thoughts on “If We Were Having Coffee – Life Musing #13”

  1. Damn, I’ve not had a single hot chocolate since this autumn/winter started. Don’t seem to get to anything nice lately. I even caved in and bought two Naughty Elves – I was so looking forward to putting them in compromising positions, but I’ve not even got around to getting them out the drawer yet. Your post is making me realise I really need to put a lot of stuff in the fuck it bucket so I have some more time, stat.

    It’s very cool that Terrance is alive, and he’s looking blingin’ with the lights on. Fo shizzle. Or is it fo schnizzel? Sounds a bit like fo schnitzel so that can’t be right.

    Your indoor tree is beauuuutiful. I hope the home decor helps to make things feel a little more festive for you. I think the lack of going out and simply being in the middle of Christmas happening around you, like with the lights and Christmas markets, it loses that sparkle. It doesn’t feel like Christmas to me at all, not unless I’m on the sofa staring at the fairy lights on the tree like I’m looking into a SAD lamp to get my boost of festivity.

    I saw that decadent drink on your social media. It was lovely of your friend to bring it for you and my oh my it looked impressive! I hope you enjoyed the hell out of it.

    “That’s a lot of pricks in one year some people are thinking.” 😂😂😂 These are the only pricks I’ve been getting for a long time. Make the most of ‘em, I say.

    I’m not sure about the vaccine passports. I read in the news that large football events won’t have to check all passports. I’m guessing a few bods in parliament enjoy their footie or have friends or stocks in that arena and they don’t want to cause any upset or reduced footfall. But if rules aren’t enforced across the board, it all starts to flop. I’m not sure passports make me feel more inclined to go anywhere, simply because it seems for the most part vaccines won’t stop people from catching & spreading Covid. If they stopped 95% from getting it, then yeah I’d want passports just for the toilets in Sainsbury’s, but without that reassurance then I don’t know. I want more spacing for sure, and masks. Preferably 5 layers of masks. And hazmat suits.

    I hope you enjoy the haircut and love the new ‘do. I actually went on Monday. My mum wanted hers cut and it was starting to make her feel rubbish about herself with it all over the place, so we crossed our fingers and hoped for the best, and I had mine done at the same time. I’ve got to admit, it makes a difference. It’s amazing your stylist not only got pregnant, but popped it out and it grew into a 10-month-old babba between when you saw her last and now. Some people have certainly been busy during this pandemic 😉

    Mmmm chip shop chips, I hope you loved the festive meal. I still can’t bring myself to get us anything to eat out. I’m scared I’ll try to spray the chips with Dettol and leave them to decontaminate for 15 minutes. Covid has messed with my noggin.

    That really is fantastic news about Risdiplam. You may not be doing gymnastics, but I’m glad it’s going smoothly. 200 days already, yikes. That has gone fast.


    Liked by 1 person

    1. Oh we all need to learn to put a lot of stuff in that bucket. I’m gradually getting better at it!
      Start by getting yourself some nice hot chocolate and chill with a new thriller.
      You said it well, we have missed being in the middle of Christmas these past couple of years. It’s really affected the festive spirit.
      Oh I think we’ve seen plenty of pricks between us this year…. Or you might have better terms for them.
      Ooh I’m glad you and the Mum got your hair done. It really does make you feel better doesn’t it? For a bit.
      Damn it I knew we should have invested in hazmats.
      Merry Christmas Caz x


  2. You sound good, Gemma! Isn’t it amazing how resilient we can be? Or, you. I feel tired. But I’m working on upping my Christmas spirit. Your little, live tree is so sweet–and “Terrance” reminds me of Terrance Hayes, a great poet, so I love that! My boys have just one more half day of school left before their break–and I’m so ready to not be dragging them to school early mornings, for a couple weeks. I’m hoping I get a break from work and can revise my novel draft and read something fun. Hope your holidays treat you very well!

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Oh wow, after reading this post and seeing the Millionaire shortbread loaded hot chocolate I would LOVE love love to dig into one of those. WOW.


  4. Well I am actually having coffee right now so this works. I love the outdoor tree and lights. I have artificial tree also. We never lifted masking so happy there. Vaccine passports to get in restaurants. No nightclubs for me either masking or not too crowded. Off week between Christmas and New year so getting books in. Decided to read Christmas mysteries for the month of December Bao have been picking up at library. Take care

    Liked by 1 person

  5. My wife and I are fully vaccinated and “boosted” but still use masks, social distancing and all other safety measures…my wife had the Comedian and former Tonight Show Host Jay Leno on her primetime Kelly Clarkson Christmas special, and he told Kelly that his Dad would buy a living tree which they’d plant along their driveway – and while his childhood home is long gone, there are a dozen trees from his childhood still growing along the drive! Happy holiday, loved that your holiday fair came to you!

    Liked by 1 person

  6. I’m always dreaming of a white Christmas. It just makes it all the better, I think.

    I think Terrance is lovely. The husband and I just went to the tree farm last weekend and cut down our own tree. It’s mishapen and has a bald spot, but we love it anyways! hahaha

    I think your Christmas markets sound so nice. 🙂

    I bet it felt so nice to get a haircut!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Yes, a scattering of snow definitely adds to the Christmas feeling. It’s so pretty, until I have to try and go somewhere and the roads are a mess.

      Ah I’d love to cut and choose my own tree, sometimes it’s a things quirks that makes it lovable.

      Merry Christmas 🎄

      Liked by 1 person

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