Friday, April 13, 2007

Moderation in all things...

Ahh... The breakfast of Empire builders
I love food: it's a hobby as well as a necessity. In student days I used to love the Covered Market in Oxford (in which, apparently, Chelsea Clinton was always guided by her minders in routes that didn't lead past the hanging deer and pig carcases outside Feathers), and took great pleasure in finding things like a bag of pigeon breasts for a couple of quid (very good on rocket - good mix of pepper and salt tastes). Sadly, the hurly burly of working life has led to a rather more utilitarian viewpoint on such things - though life's never too short to make a bit of an effort.
When I was living the life of an expat in Zambia, however, given that distractions were few and time could hang rather heavily, I did give myself the time to order my culinary affairs more thoroughly. Apart from having lunch at the Lusaka club (where eventually I had my beer ready poured by the time I sat down), I was also able to have the finest breakfast possible. The butchers in Zambia (which I think are actually state run - by the worrying-sounding Zambeef) provided an entire beef fillet for about £4. A thick fillet steak every morning, with a fried egg on top is, I can safely say, the best way to prepare for a hard day's reading the papers from 1956.
Much as I loved this - plus usually dinner at the cricket club where I played - I'm not sure whether I could have coped with life as an Edwardian gentleman. The thought of consuming 5,000 calories each and every day, plus hardly ever drinking anything non-alcoholic (OK, that one might be easier) makes me feel rather uneasy. What with working and everything, my usual breakfast these days seems to consist of a cup of tea and a fingernail or two. Now, where are my kippers...
UPDATE: This on the other hand is rather scary. I've always thought that much of the motivation behind the drive for pure skinniness is wholly irrational. Most men prefer backsides you can balance a pint on and park a bike in. I hadn't properly appreciated, however, the extent to which weight-loss can be addictive. At least I am heroically resisting this terrible scourge, armed with nothing more than bacon sandwiches and pints of bitter.

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