Tell me honestly, am I drinking too much coffee?
Each morning either Jennie or I get up and put the drip-coffee machine on when Nick wakes about six. Speaking for myself, I then drink some coffee while getting Nick sorted, partly to wake me up and partly to fill in time waiting for the rest of the household to rise. Depending on how long the others sleep, I might drink one, two or perhaps three small cups; half coffee, half warmed milk. It’s the nearest I can get to a caffe latte, given the available equipment. I could drink tea instead, but tea just isn’t the same here. The hard water in this area results in a slight scum on the surface of your tea, whereas you don’t notice it in milky coffee.
Once Jen gets up, it would be rude not to have a cup with her. The trouble really starts once the boys are off to school. We’re living our dream in a southern French town, with a bakery just a few steps from our front door. What more reason do we need to pause for a pain au chocolat (which we now refer to as a PAC), and coffee? Since my coffee is half milk, I can easily justify a second to keep pace with Jen drinking it black. (The early morning coffee is forgotten by then.)
Two-hour lunch break with the boys home. It’s great. No hurry. Plenty of time for a post-lunch coffee. Again, a second is easily justified (mine is half-milk, remember). And anyway, by that stage I’m tired from my early morning, so a coffee might be just what I need to stay awake.
By mid-afternoon I really can’t face any more coffee and am likely to admonish anyone who suggests another cafe stop. Though sometimes such a stop is necessary to feed Nicholas when we’re out for a drive and you can’t really stop at a French cafe without having a coffee. It’s a lot cheaper than any of the other drinks on offer.