Can you justify strawberry trifle with fresh cream for breakfast?
Well, you see, I have been pretty much confined to base for the past few days and I live in a village with one small, fairly well-stocked shop. You can buy a new plug, or a light switch, coal or ant powder and mousetraps.. .and lots of fresh ingredients, tinned stuff and a small selection of frozen. But, to be fair, not a lot you can use when you can’t currently cook safely, can’t wield a tin opener or vegetable peeler. And definitely shouldn’t be let loose with a sharp knife.
So I gave up, bought some ham and a brace of the aforementioned trifles for dinner.
Which was fine. Ani and I ate the ham, and one trifle remained.
Having downed the coffee this morning through bleary, sleep deprived eyes, I started on the pills and potions, obedient to the medics’ instructions. “Take six together daily, with or just after food’ reads the label. Six? Add to the existing handful… I have long thought I get more calories from pills than food lately… and I have to eat first too? At six in the morning??? Hrmph.
A recce in the fridge revealed the dire state of affairs. Almost as bad as Old Mother Hubbard… though at least Ani is well stocked with bones and dog food. But honestly, I couldn’t face meaty chunks that early on a morning.
Don’t get me wrong, I have the wherewithal to whip you up a wonderful cake of many possible varieties, but actual meal-making ingredients…hmm. This could only mean one thing. The supermarket.
Now, no swooning in horror… that’s my job… I was going to have to go anyway. I needed more dressings. And my son needs the fish feeding. And the opticians had called.
But that presented an interesting problem. I could, of course, go out without the pills… but I have to take them early in the morning or I’ll be wide awake and buzzing still at bedtime. And I don’t need anything else keeping me awake at present. I’d finished the chocolate biscuits from the guest room yesterday (merely in the interests of keeping the stock fresh, you understand). The bread, upon inspection, had far too many green bits to be worth toasting. So the solitary trifle, staring at me in its crimson and cream glory from the top shelf of the fridge was, I fear, my only option.
Pretty neat work, really, I thought.
Ani, too, seemed to approve as she kidnapped the container it was sold in… the recycling bin does, after all, state that plastics should be clean. She likes to oblige.
So we both had good excuses. Not that we should need one, mind you. But we do seem to be trained into feeling guilty about a little self-indulgence… even when they are mere trifles.
I drove in to check on progress after the leaking pond/hungry, breakfast-seeking heron emergency had been resolved by Herculean, pizza fuelled efforts by my younger son and co. I had arrived one morning last week to find the great bird perched on the low roof, about to pounce. Further inspection revealed that the almost heron-proof pond had emptied itself overnight, making it un heron proof and vulnerable. Several frantic days later, the problem was located and dealt with, finally, last night.
Next I embarked upon a futile search of every pharmacy in town in search of the dressings I need, and a wholly unappreciated and expensive trip to the opticians Then I finally managed to shop.
Only, by this time, of course, I am shattered, my burned arm and fingers are screeching in protest at overuse and the dressings getting rather soggy. Quite apart from the fact that my neck and ear feel weird as I shed a snake-like skin from the lesser burns there.
Which is my excuse for returning only with more dog food, milk and a huge tub of unsweetened yoghurt… and chocolate to crumble in the latter, of course. Unless I have any more un-Ani’ed strawberries ripe in the garden that the birds haven’t found.
So, I will have to justify chocolate next.
Which leads me to an interesting inner debate on whether, actually, I should.
I recall a passage from the Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy by Douglas Adams, in which “the Guide erroneously states that “ravenous Bugblatter beasts often make a very good meal for (rather than of) visiting tourists” in its article on the planet Traal. This led to deaths of those who took it literally. The guide’s editors avoided lawsuit by summoning a poet to testify under oath that beauty was truth, truth beauty, and therefore prove that their claim, the nicer one, must be true. This led to life itself being held in contempt of court for being neither beautiful nor true, and subsequently being removed from all those present at the trial.”
Perhaps, I ask myself, chocolate needs no justification except its own existence? It may be more important to prove a good reason why it should, in fact, not be eaten?
Or maybe I should just say bugger it… I’m going to eat it anyway. With the strawberries.