Monday, 20 April 2015


Food. You can't live with it, you can't live without it. Sorry, that's wrong, you can live with it, you HAVE to live with it. The five of us go through mountains of the stuff. As a family we must be at Optimum Food Consumption with boys who are now 18, 16 and 12. Particularly since the 18 year-old is still living at home with us, working full-time during his gap year.

We never have enough potatoes, bread, juice, milk, kitchen roll or shower gel. Don't ask me why the latter two, that's just the way it is. I reckon they stand in the shower, tipping gel bottles upside down while scratching around their nether regions, or something. Either that or they drink the stuff because we never have enough juice. And they must grab whole handfuls of kitchen roll to wipe their hands/feet/noses/unmentionables/spillages when my back is turned.

And guess whose responsibility it is to keep us stocked up with it all? Oh yes, muggins here. The truth is I feel like a failure if we run out of things they particularly need/like/want. I am programmed, like some sort of demented mother blue tit, with a desperate desire to sate their every need.

You want smoked salmon to go in that bagel, darling? Of course. It's an oily fish. It's packed with Omega 3. The instinct to feed the boy a high protein, low fat, super food he is actually requesting virtually tears me from the sofa by itself, as if my feet have been pre-programmed to take my reluctant body with them straight round to Tesco Express. No matter that I am tired because said boy came in at 3 am and woke me up. No matter that smoked salmon costs a King's ransom and that when I mention having to get some to my mother on the phone, she shrills: "Smoked salmon? That's for Christmas!" And she has a point.

In truth I flit from Tesco to Sainsbury's to Lidl to Waitrose, depending on where I happen to be at the time, in a never-ending and fruitless quest to keep the cupboards stocked. One big shop a week on a Friday (in Waitrose) is supplemented by three or four smaller ones during the week (Tesco Express, Lidl, sometimes Sainsbury's). Plus Husband visits the farmers' market every Saturday on his bike to buy meat and eggs. 

I shop til I drop because I dread, DREAD I tell you, the moment one of my fledglings declares his desire for something I cannot supply, especially if that desire is a healthy one. 

At the moment I cannot keep enough plums in the house, or deodorant, or blueberries. Middle One has gone all fussy over breakfast since I substituted the white bread he was using for cheese toasties with half and half (half white, half wholemeal, because white is SO BAD for him). Now he will only eat breakfast if I make him some homemade blueberry sauce to go on his pancake (oh yes, Youngest has pancake EVERY morning because he is skinny and we are trying to build him up, have been trying, as it happens, for about four years). And Middle One must eat a proper breakfast at the moment because he is 16. 16! Work it out for yourself. Exam season looms. He must be at peak performance, race-horse ready.

Right, so I can't linger here blathering on, we need some little gem lettuce for a salad tonight to go with the chicken risotto I plan to make with yesterday's leftover roast chicken. And we've run out of kitchen roll. Again.

Love E x


P.S. And I know kitchen roll is not environmentally friendly and shopping in Waitrose makes us sound obnoxious. 

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