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Recently a friend gave me a diary entitled ‘I’m doing my best’, and I am about to put it to good use.


I haven’t yet given up on the idea of being slim.

In fact I have decided by late spring I will be thoroughly so.

Don’t laugh!

I am fully aware that most women of my age will have put such a notion to the side.

If they are still slim, they will probably concentrate on maintaining themselves at that level.

If they have ‘Let themselves go’ they will probably turn to other things of even better worth.

Art for example, and writing and films and theatre and of course, good food and excellent wine.

But not me.

At the age of 61 I am determined to give it one last shot.

And I’m hoping I wont have to put too much work into it

But the biggest downfall of my scheme is not the work. It is my spontaneity.

To go on a diet you have to be good at planning.

Being a woman of utmost spontaneity, planning is a strength I fail miserably at.

(As these few days of Red Alert due to heavy snow are proving).

Oh I can plan for everyone else!

I even rang my daughters to check that they had filled buckets with water, had candles handy, had filled flasks with hot water and had bought in plenty of essential foodstuffs.

Have you stocked up yourself Mom? They in turn asked me.

‘Oh yes’ I replied airily  ‘Indeed I have’.

But of course by day two, I had run out of food.

Now there is running out of food and RUNNING OUT OF FOOD.

The former is running out of your favorite food e.g Crisps, chocolate, wine.

Mine was the latter, a more serious type.

So basically I am on the first day of my diet and have, no milk, butter, vegetables nor fruit. No yogurt, cheese, pasta nor rice. No potatoes, chicken nor fish (I rarely eat meat so I didn’t expect to have any anyway).

What I have instead is, a half bag of flour and a bag of sugar. The bag of sugar I find by accident, shoved in at the back of the cupboard and as I don’t take sugar in tea or coffee, I suspect its left over from my daughter and her husbands recent stay. (see story below).

Nana Pepper Pot steals a story.

The sugar is a bit hard and lumpy (as though someone had being putting a wet teaspoon back into it, causing the grains to clump together like cement) but I am grateful that it is there at all.

And finally, in the fridge are three eggs, out of date by just one day.

These are also left over from my daughters stay.

Now, I am nervous of eggs at the best of times, even when in date.

You see, recently I experienced an episode of anaphylatic shock a few seconds into eating two soft poached eggs.

At first I thought I was having a cardiac arrest, my heart was going so fast. I felt really dizzy and was sure I was going to keel over any minute. But I said nothing, just sat clutching the table (and my chest) waiting for the feeling to pass.

Luckily no one noticed and after a moment or two I was able to get up and scrape the remainder of the eggs into the bin.

‘Oh yes’ my mother informed me when I told her on my next visit.

‘Sure you were allergic to eggs from the time you were little, they made you really sick. Did I not tell you that?’ she looked at my anxiously.

‘Maybe you did’ I reassured her.

(Coming from a large family it is not wise to be allergic to anything. Firstly, because food is too precious a commodity to miss out on any element of and secondly, if an allergy was discovered, how was a mother supposed to remember which of her eight children actually had the allergy and to what ingredient.)

Anyway between childhood and adulthood I never favoured eggs so rarely ate them.

Why I chose to eat the two that morning remains a mystery.

But back to my three ingredients.

I am starving at this point.

Luckily eggs don’t appear to effect me when they are incorporated into other food, so without bothering to weigh out my ingredients and after first banging the bag of sugar with a rolling pin to separate the grains, I throw the sugar into a bowl, followed by the eggs ( I sniff each gingerly before adding).

Beating them furiously until pale and creamy, I then fold in the flour and put the lot into a cake tin and into the oven.

I nearly licked the spoon but remembered just in time.

Fifteen minutes later I take out a beautifully risen sponge cake (who said you have to sift the flour) and sitting down at the table with it and a cup of tea, I open my new diary.

On the first page I carefully insert the date into the neat little boxes supplied.

Then, instead of filling in the lines with, Tuna, lettuce, Tomato, cottage cheese, a slice of wholegrain bread, or some other slimming type food stuff’s of the well planned Diet-er,

I simply write, CAKE.

So after doing my best today, I am hoping I will see a good result on the scales tomorrow.

And even though I thoroughly enjoyed the snow, I am hoping that the Red Alert will be lifted and the shops and my abode filled with tuna, tomato, cottage cheese and lettuce.

The end.