Cheese

Whilst I’m sure my mood will continue to change like the wind today I feel positive, and crucially I slept very well.

My initial worries and fears about redundancy have given way to thoughts of possibility and probability – and after some chats last night and this morning with co-workers both past and present I’m feeling more like the future isn’t so bad after all.

Things could change for the better in many ways.

I’ve also noticed a difference in my appetite this morning – and although this too could be subject to rapid turnaround I don’t feel as hungry as I normally do.

I didn’t want a big breakfast when I came downstairs, so I settled upon an apple and a large glass of water, which (so far at least) appears to have hit the spot.

I had to make a new notch in my belt this week (I have two belts – strangely the other still seems to be ok) but encouragingly I noticed as I left the house that my trousers were beginning to slip again and I’ve had to hitch up my pants a couple of times. This too has contributed to my positive frame of mind and I am feeling very hopeful for a good loss on Saturday.

I’m sitting in Starbucks. It’s a nice day – and covered with sun tan lotion I’ve ventured outside to interact with the world.

They’re an interesting bunch of caffeine consumers today.

A downs syndrome girl and her mother are discussing what they plan to buy in Sainsburys. The family dinner is going to be shepherd’s pie, and they’re both enthusiastic about it. She looks like she hasn’t a care in the world and she’s got a drawing pad in a carrier bag with some pens.

As they get up to leave I notice that the girl is really really intent on tidying the tables as she follows behind her mum. She’s wearing a dusty pink hoodie, and she’s making me smile with her obvious pleasure at collecting sugar and sweetener wrappers and putting them in the bin before waving goodbye to the baristas.

The guy in front of me has been reading his yahoo mail, and I’ve been amused to notice that he’s bored enough to be intently reading his junk e-mails. He’s currently scrolling down an online betting advert, but prior to that he was reading about what looked like herbal viagra, and after deleting it performed a system scan for virus activity.

He’s clearly concerned about whatever website it took him to, but not worried enough to just delete the other Nigerian princes and work from home millionaires.

He’s still doing it and I want to tap him on the shoulder and explain he’s being silly, but I’m resisting.

The ladies to my right are proving unusually topical thankfully and are taking my mind off viruses and worms.

They are catching up on the events of the last few weeks and it seems like they too are considering the difficulties of an improvement in dietary habits. They are discussing their own challenges.

‘Change is SO difficult.’ Says lady #1 with dark bobbed hair and a pointy nose.

‘I know!’ Says blonde short lady #2 whilst scraping the chocolate dusted cream off the top of her drink with a wooden stirring stick and putting it in her mouth.

‘My problem is I just keep repeating the same patterns.’ continues pointy bob, warming her hands on the huge mug in front of her.

‘Me too’ says shorty blonde, still excavating her cream.

Pointy bob muses for a moment. ‘Like sausage rolls…’ She looks out of the window. ‘…if I could just stop buying sausage rolls.’

Shorty blonde nods.

‘I eat sausage rolls all the time’ she confides.

‘Me too.’ pointy bob replies. ‘I could eat sausage rolls for breakfast, dinner and tea.’

They both fall silent and stare at the car park, clearly thinking lustful thoughts about sausage rolls.

My mind is also suddenly filled with savoury pastry and I too wistfully stare out of the window.

Then my thoughts move to my dad.

Encouragingly he has also (quite out of the blue) decided to join Slimming World on Saturday and see if he too can loose a few pounds.

My Dad’s not particularly overweight in my view but in the past he has had some health issues. We’ve both struggled with eating a healthy diet and also with portion control over the years.

At the same time he is passionate about fasting, health food and muesli.

He – like me – can be a complete paradox when it comes to food, and continually makes me smile when he refers to a sneaky helping of fish and chips as ‘a good meal’.

When he comes to stay with me and I ask him whether he needs anything to eat upon arrival he’ll usually say no because he’s had ‘a good meal’. We both know that this means he visited the chip shop before touching down on my doorstep and it always makes me laugh.

My father is also a man who is a martyr both to a profoundly intimate love of chocolate and the completely unrelated dentistry that he periodically requires to ensure things remain on an even keel.

One particularly whimsical Christmas I bought him the largest Cadbury’s chocolate bar that had ever been made.

I know this fact because it was emblazoned in huge letters on the cardboard box that the bar was wrapped in to support its weight. It said ‘This is the largest chocolate bar that Cadburys have ever made.’

I was convinced.

It looked like the centre panel of a sturdy door when I picked it up in Woolworths. I marvelled at my present buying wit & expected this to completely beat him. In my admittedly lucid imagination I saw us both to giggling a few days in the future about the folly of his attempt to tackle this fondant Everest.

But my father wasn’t troubled by the problems of weaker men.

Much less than a week later my Dad, surrounded by shiny purple tinfoil and cardboard (I like to re-imagine this memory of him with chocolate around his mouth and sitting on the floor in a huge nappy doing sticky finger painting on the wall) had reached the summit of his mountain and proudly planted his flag at the top.

I was mildly impressed. All of the chocolate was gone.

A love of sweet food is something I’ve never shared with him, but we DO share an appreciation of cheese.

One of the sharper memories of my childhood is associated with a trip to the cinema in Birmingham City Centre. This was preceded by a visit to the food hall in Lewis’s department store (now long closed).

Keen on cheese, and also on a bargain, my Dad has noticed that he could ask for a small tester sample in the food hall where there were (I guesstimate) 40+ different varieties.

In a combined effort to educate me about the broad range of flavours cheese could provide (and save money on popcorn) dad asked for a chunk of each. This was much to the surprise of the lady on the counter, who had to wrap and individually bag up then label 40 odd slivers of their finest varieties before popping them in a carrier bag.

Needless to say this probably made us very unpopular patrons of the cinema, where I’m sure other film viewers wondered why there was an aroma of Stilton and Caerphilly floating around the auditorium as they watched the action.

We ate all the cheese. It was delicious.

With these very fond memories of my Dad in mind I feel confident in saying that eating a healthy and balanced diet – even if its not to loose weight – will serve him well, as it appears to be doing for me.

I look forward to some pictures of his cuisine, and us both being lighter the next time we meet 🙂

Anyway – I’ve now had several filter coffees (since I discovered it’s a bottomless refill policy in Starbucks I’m unstoppable) and I need to visit the little boy’s room.

Photo on 24-05-2016 at 13.01.jpg

Have some chins internet. Enjoy them while they last. They’re an endangered species!

Davey


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