Sunday, 8 January 2017

I Am the Queen of Excess

17:23:00 Posted by Jill Reidy Red Snapper Photography , , , , , , No comments
Where would you like me to start?  With the wardrobes full of clothes in every size, every colour, every style? With all the food I've eaten over the festive period?  Or with the piles of diet books and magazines I've accumulated over the years?

Although I aim for it, I'm not very good at the 'happy medium.'  In fact, I am the Queen of Excess.  Don’t ever offer me the box of chocolates with a casual, “ Would you like one?” 
I will smile at you and turn away virtuously, whilst a loud angry voice inside my head is yelling, “ONE?? ONE?? ONE’s no good to me! Go away, and leave me with them all.  Come back in the morning for the empty box!” I’m afraid it’s all or nothing.  And judging by the tightness of my jeans since Christmas it’s been an ‘All’ kind of season.

I don’t often do dinner parties these days, I’m too lazy, but when I did I would buy and cook enough food to feed at least twice the number of guests (even the greedy ones).  Now I’ll have informal suppers, but I’m not happy unless I’ve got back up food filling the fridge and freezer – and at least half a dozen bowls of snacks before we even start to eat a proper meal.   I've watched friends stagger down my front path at midnight, clutching their stomachs.  At least two have had accidents requiring A&E, although I suspect the liquid refreshment might have been to blame, and not the abundance of food.

For about the past thirty years I’ve cooked Christmas dinner (with a few reprieves).  This year we were having dinner cooked for us, which meant no festive entertaining other than a small gathering on Christmas Eve.   I heaved a great sigh of relief.  No frantic food shopping for me in the run up to Christmas, I thought smugly.  An unprecedented calm settled around me. I looked on sympathetically as people raced past me in town, clutching huge Iceland bags, their faces reflecting worry and exhaustion. I felt sorry for these poor saps, filling their fridges and cupboards (and ultimately their bellies) with all sorts of over indulgences.

That feeling of calm lasted until I found myself in Sainsburys at 8.30am a few days later, desperately hurling food into my trolley.  I knew then I was a lost cause.  Extra large packs of peanuts, huge jars of pickled onions, giant boxes of Quality Street, enough milk, cream and cheese to open a dairy, and for some reason, a family size packet of frozen chicken gougons and sate strips – what was that all about?  I didn’t come up for air.  Like a mad woman I barged my way past sweet old couples cooing over chocolate Snowmen for the great grandchildren, frazzled looking mothers trying to remove Christmas baubles and selection boxes from their over excited kids, and a single man carrying a basket containing a mini Christmas pudding for one, a single chicken breast and a small Toblerone.  I envied him but I did have to wonder at the sort of person who buys a SMALL Toblerone. 

You see, that’s not my style.  If you’re buying one, go straight for large; if you’re buying two then you might as well have half a dozen.  If it’s a BOGOF that’s even better.  I’ve only recently realized that my obsession with buying things in even numbers is just that – an obsession.  I don’t know when it started but I do know I feel very uneasy if I just buy one and not a pair.  I have been known to leave my shopping on the conveyor belt and hurtle back down the aisles to collect another jar of beetroot to accompany its partner by the till.

Pondering on this blog earlier today, I began planning meals for the coming week, opening cupboards and peering in the fridges and freezers (note the plural – more excess, I am ashamed to say: two fridges, three freezers).  It dawned on me that we could probably survive, in the event of a nuclear explosion, for at least a few months without shopping, feeding ourselves on meals that would continue to be healthy and nourishing but no doubt become more and more bizarre as time went on.

Now, please excuse me while I count how many pairs of black jeans I possess.  Don't wait up for me, I could be some time. 

A Greedy Person's Haiku 
by Jill Reidy

Just one chocolate
Eat it slowly, savour taste
Sorry, no way, mate!

Thanks for reading      Jill