Now then, calm down you armchair outraged blog readers you. I’m not a feeder as in Channel 5 documentary style feeders. I’m not like that man who is feeding up his wife and building her a new home as he hopes one day she will be housebound and totally dependent. Dear god, no. Anyone who has watched me retching whilst picking up Daphne’s poo will tell you I am not one for these delicate personal tasks.
As I ramp up the mileage as I hear the ticking clock countdown towards the Berlin Marathon, I’ve allowed myself many a carb fuelled luxury. Tonight was chilli con carne and rice followed by a chocolate chip bread pudding, followed by two Rennies. The last part seems to be a sign of my age. Whereas I recall being a 20 year old binge eating tacos, swilled down with lager and followed by a tub of Smarties ice cream, it appears as I approach my own middle age, my body will not allow me the luxury of such an indulgence. Which is not to say I go without the odd indulgence.
I ran on Sunday morning. I’ve been doing this for most of 2014, and with mixed levels of success. Now as a vet of marathons either side of the pond, you would think that the thought of any distance run wouldn’t phase me. But I gave up on running after the Birmingham Half Marathon 2012, as I was just so damn bored of forever being subjected to the rigours of training plan after training plan. Your life is conducted in figures- how many miles in total this week? Must do a long run, is it 12 or 14 miles this weekend?
Nights out become almost impossible. If it’s 12 miles this weekend, when are we going out? Saturday? I’ll run Saturday morning then. Friday? Take it easy on the gin as I gotta be fresh Sunday morning, can you see why I took a break? I could not stand it any more. Gym substitution made, so the diet didn’t have to be sacrificed.
Pete is dark with me. He called me out on my dietary choices. Now here is the case for the defence- Pete eats damn well. We never eat processed. Every meal is planned, every ingredient is prepped by me. Except a tin of tomatoes. Tinned tomatoes are remarkable. As Nigella described them- the backbone to day to day cooking. Pasta, curry, roast dinners, pies, chilli, risotto- every stage chopped, grated, sautéed and served by these two hands. But I don’t think it’s the main Pete bemoans. It’s the brownies, the Devils Food Cake, the pecan pie, the Victoria sandwich.
The fact I’m not 21 anymore means I’ll have to make more sensible decisions myself. Watching Secret Eaters has taught me a thing or two. Ok, I don’t pour double cream and spoon jam on my Special K, but I find myself shovelling cinnamon swirls down my neck at 9:40am, eating almond croissants at 2pm on a Sunday whilst singing along with Antony Newley’s What Kind of Fool Am I? I walk past packets of biscuits and so nonchalantly stick one whole in my fat gob. Honestly how I’m not both feeder and feedee I don’t know. I should be a cautionary tale. Get out while you can. If you have a love of food, don’t buy Ina. Or Nigella. Avoid butter. Buy only Leon books. Or The Hairy Dieters. Save yourselves. That way when you run you won’t worry you have a Kim Kardashian style bottom every time I see my shadow or reflection in water or glass.
I loved every minute Sunday. That rare moment where you find solace in the endeavour. The simple task of running home, the singular process alongside the beautiful sunshine and low wind just equated to a gorgeous run. I took a photo. My finger features briefly too. Ignore that. I’m flawed, what can I tell you.
I worry the marathon will turn me into a bore. I must ensure I still have other tales. Tales like daphne rolling in shit at 6:30am so I have to bathe her. That is a lovely tale. Like Daph attacking peoples burgers like she did at Nether Edge farmers market when I picked her up to avoid a trampled westie. She also didn’t like the Salvation Army very much! Too loud.
A lesson I learnt- white wine vinegar in a pan of water equals perfect poached eggs. Thanks Siba’s Table. I also made perfect savoury mince on toast. I’ll perhaps blog the recipe. I’m not a food blogger like that anymore, I know my limitations. Hundred if not thousands out there mildly plagiarise recipes, subbing nutmeg for cinnamon, a tablespoon of fennel seeds for a teaspoon, but I realise the lack of artistic merit in all that. But honestly- mince on toast. That’s worth me telling you. Mental note made.
So it’s important I take a new direction. In health I need to focus, food is fuel, and god forbid no motor should be powered by chocolate chip bread pudding. And as for What Would Ina Do I do wonder if I am serving your purpose, dear reader. I rarely watch Ina. Is that terrible? I read her. God above, I make her macaroni cheese religiously. But I have seen her shows too often. I know what she would do. Make something, buy something. Surround herself with so many gay men East Hampton rivals Mykonos in July. Where a very loose blouse. Get a friend to set up a party, for tenuous reasons. Go to the beach when the weather is particularly in-climate. Or sit in front of a roaring fire when it looks too sunny outside.
But I love her. I love the dream of so many work surfaces. Such a tidy home. Such space. Honestly the front room in her house is just a vast expanse of parquet flooring. Not a sideboard. Not a chaise. Not a sofa. Not a westie lying with a chew bone. And her larder? Gorgeous. So every time I tackle a troublesome dinner choice, a question over what to cook friends, dessert options? It’s still my question, a mantra. I grab Foolproof, At Home or Parties and I wonder to myself- how would La Garten cater this fiesta? I still gain solace. If I still fail to gather inspiration I just ask myself what does Daphne like. She will eat a darn sight more than I will anyway as I’m a soft touch and she’s a greedy bugger.
Right then ladies and gents, I’ve just watched Diana starring Naomi Watts. It’s terrible. But entertainingly terrible. Wait for it on telly. It wasn’t £3:50 entertaining. And no Candle in the Wind. This is my face at the lack of Candle in the Wind.
Chairman Mao agrees. Stupid move. School boy error.
Right, bedtime. Blogging is exhausting whilst one also tries to focus on the tale of the final years of England’s Rose. Blog soon everyone. X
– Fuelled by Waitrose, inspired by Ina, Team Nigella since she deep fried a Bounty