As an aside, when I was in the Army, it was well known that hot, sweet, milky tea was the ideal liquid for every occasion. Shock, shrapnel wounds, mass invasion by Cuban revolutionaries, it didn't matter. The quick application of hot, sweet tea was the universal balm. Except for stomach wounds.
Coffee was only available in cafés, where it came in two types. White or Black.
Actually there was a type of coffee available to the working classes in those days. It was used quite often for children to make them a milky evening drink, especially if they weren't very well. It was a strange liquid called Camp Coffee, also used to give a coffee flavour to home baking
|Notice the label. Scottish soldier in a kilt, being served by native camp-wallah|
Ah, those were the days, thousands of Scots killed for Empire and Glory.
But at least we were better than the poor bloody natives
Percolated coffee became popular at Dinner Parties in the 70s (Dinner Parties sounds very posh, but all it meant was some family and friends coming to tea) we had a Russell Hobs electric percolator, but the coffee always taste a bit anaemic to me, and always with a burnt flavour.
|The Russel Hobbs Percolator|
In school however, these exotic types we're not really available. We did have a little coffee making machine in the corner, but it just takes too long. When you've got 20 minutes between classes, and 5 of them have already been used in having a chat with some troubled kids, and you've got a patrolling duty to do, then we don't just have the time to make or savour the coffee experience. Instant was the way to go.
|Time, always time|
Over the past 7 years, I've built up a bad coffee habit.
I have a mug at breakfast (large mug, 3 spoonfuls)
Another mug after relief has been set at school. (4 spoonfuls, as they're quite small spoons)
Another mug at morning break
Another mug at lunch
Another mug when we finish, but before the meetings start
Another mug after the meetings
Another mug after I get the relief set, and before I go home.
I don't really enjoy all the mugs of double strength coffee, it's just an established routine. I do enjoy the first 2 cups of each day though, they really get me started in the morning.
|Shakes? What shakes?|
I've gotten used to the slight hand tremblors
I've gotten used to the slight crankiness in the afternoon (Although my pupils uses a slightly different phrasing. "Bad tempered old bastard" I think they said. Such compliments no longer make me proud, I've been teaching for far to long)
I've gotten used to the occasional cardiac palpitations which hit me at odd times.
The bad breath, stained teeth and headaches were all a part of my life.
|Another grumpy old bastard|
I wonder if they sell insulated hip flasks? I could get at least 1 mug of 6 times concentrated coffee in a small flask.
Or would it be better to just stick to whisky?
If the kids thought I was bad tempered old bastard before, just wait until I have to go cold turkey.
That's the only thing that's cheering me up
I'll scare the sh*t out of them