Disgraceful Advertising: A Fake Interest in Health

It’s in the magazines. It’s in adverts between songs on Spotify. It’s in the weight-loss companies’ propaganda. It’s everywhere!

I’m tired of businesses taking advantage of the New Year. Suddenly, everything is about diets and health. Surely if this worked, those companies would be out of business by now.

I’m not saying that everyone who promotes these things Continue reading

People who Interfere with the Serving Process

Room 101 Series: Day 2/7

Eating out is lovely. It’s even more lovely when the people you’re with don’t insist on interfering with the serving process. This is something my friend drew attention to recently.

The server/waiter/waitress, let’s call them Karen, comes up to a group table and says, ‘Macaroni cheese?’ Now, presumably, the idea is that the person whose dish it is raises their hand, and says, ‘Me,’ or ‘Yes, please’, or ‘Mmm, yeah baby, I won the food-ordering game.’

Jeremy, the world’s self-proclaimed leading connoisseur of cheesy pasta, probably Continue reading

Teapots that Don’t Pour Properly

Room 101 Series: Day 1/7

I can’t say I often use a teapot – I’m a teabag-in-a-mug kind of person (when I’m not drinking coffee, that is). I bought a couple when I was young, enjoying the sense of ceremony, which I’ve now passed over in favour of glugging the caffeine as quickly as possible.

If I do drink tea in a café, I regain the feeling of excitement (‘Shall I be mother and pour the tea?’). There is a moment of held breath as I pick up the teapot and attempt to pour…and… Continue reading

Maverick Soup-Making

I stand at the chopping board, eyes stinging from the two hacked onions. The recipe only calls for one small onion, but I like onion, so why not? Some recipes demand exactitude; soup doesn’t.

I place the big vine-ripened tomatoes on the scales, to weigh out 220g. Three tomatoes come to 278g. 278g it is. I chop them quickly, throwing them in with the onions that were meant to be sautéing – they’re vaguely warm, is that good enough?

Next, 300ml tomato juice. Oh, that must be about a mug and a bit, yes? I pour one mugful in, fill it a second time, add half of that to the pan, and then drink the rest. Wild.

Uh oh, Continue reading

A Dose of Cheese on Toast

I felt flat last Thursday. Not sad, or anxious, or discontented, just flat. I’d had a couple of late nights. Maybe the flatness was creative burnout. My head had been whizzing around, producing a lot of writing – a lovely feeling, but unsustainable.

I walked down to the Post Office to buy a stamp, taking a deep breath before I left the house. I was particularly jittery that day. I noted that I would have felt the same even if there were no people around, so it couldn’t have been social anxiety in this instance. I couldn’t work out how to walk or how to arrange my face! Disconnected.

When I finished in the Post Office, I glimpsed into the Continue reading

Healthy Diet: Lessons from Minimalism?

I was watching lifestyle videos the other day and I noticed parallels between minimalism and my attitude to food. There are two questions that minimalists often seem to ask when deciding whether to keep something: Does it serve a purpose? Does it spark joy? Items that don’t do either of these things don’t deserve a place in our homes. I’ve only just realised that I use a similar approach for a ‘healthy diet’.

Food that Continue reading

Eating on My Own

Wednesday 4th October 2017

I am sitting in a restaurant on my own and have never felt less lonely. Why doesn’t everyone do this? Well, I suppose not everyone is introverted – and many introverts would still feel uncomfortable eating alone in public, because of the dictations of society.

When I’m by myself, I tend to feel awkward if I don’t know exactly where I’m going. I worry that someone might steal my bag, and my senses are heightened, as if I’m on red alert. It’s wearing.

So, this is a breakthrough for me. I don’t know why it’s been different today, wandering Continue reading

Two Plates


I suggested to Mum that we buy and prepare our own meals this week – just for a change.

‘Hasn’t there been enough change?’ she said.

‘Yeah…But I think it might be fun. I’ll still make the stir fry on Monday, if you want?’ I bargained. ‘And I’m going away on Saturday anyway.’

We’ve just got back from Waitrose and I’m preparing the stir fry and chatting to her about different kinds of therapeutic writing, while she puts her food away. I’m glad to see that she chose to treat herself.

I’ve put two plates on the worksurface, two sets of knives and forks on the table, and we’re about to sit down together.

Jonathan has been in university for two days. I didn’t know how I would feel, aside from big-sister pride, because this is new territory. As I flip the chicken in the wok, my thoughts become reflective…

I had wondered why I’d wanted us to prepare our food separately this week. And now I know: Continue reading

Community Café

I sometimes have an irrational feeling of anxiety when I walk into a café, not knowing how busy it will be or how I’ll be received. I went to my local café a few days ago, having not been for months, and never regularly.

I had barely stepped inside today when the lady behind the counter smiled and said, ‘Latte?’

‘Oh, umm…Yes, thank you!’

The café was empty, apart from three older people, and I took the sofa seat by the window. The sun had returned.

The café lady caught my eye and said, ‘Scrambled egg?’ Continue reading

My Weird Habits – Part 2

It turns out that I have enough weird habits for a blog-post sequel – no surprise!

Eating strange food – I have been told in the past that some of the things I eat are weird, or even disgusting. I will often eat a tin of tuna on its own, mixed with mayonnaise and ketchup. I used to eat tins of sweetcorn on a regular basis, and still have bowls of cold baked beans with mayonnaise (yes, I love mayonnaise – it should have its own paragraph). There might be an element of laziness in this theme of cold tinned food, but I actually like it as well.

Standing up before I’ve uncrossed my legs – This is a recently-developed weird habit. If I’m sitting down at the computer with my legs crossed (I know I shouldn’t) I have started to uncross them only after I stand up, leaving me precariously balanced on one leg for a moment. I don’t recommend it – I’ve nearly landed on my face a couple of times! Continue reading