A Hard Fact to Swallow

We had a great night last night at Yesim’s where it was the first anniversary of the group.  Yesim herself baked a cake the size of an occasional table which was cut into twenty brick-sized slabs and washed down by an enormous bottle of Rioja – one of the better brands.  I don’t know what year it was, but this was the make:


At the end we sang my Yesim’s Music Circle song with two extra verses specially written for the occasion!

And so to bed…

Then this morning, one of Mark’s little mini-lectures was on enthalpy (there’s no way to avoid these, so I just sit through them and groan softly from time to time, which he interprets as encouragement) or the measurement of calories by exploding food.  Apparently you bung your food in a microwave-sized explosive device and blow it up.

‘And then what?’ I said.

‘Then you know how many calories there are in it!’ he said.

‘What good is that?’ I said.  He looked aghast.  ‘I mean, if you’ve exploded your food you can’t eat it, can you?’ I pointed out.

‘That’s just a sample!’ he said.  ‘If you’re Cadbury’s or someone you test a sample of chocolate – and then you put the number of calories on the packet.’

‘Or not.  If they put calories on the packet nobody’d buy it,’ I said.

He had no answer to that.

I’m against the calorie-counting method of dieting anyway: having tried it myself in my youth I know that as soon as you impose a daily limit on yourself you instantly want more.  What has worked instead for me has been adopting a vegetarian diet (far fewer calories, always supposing you don’t live on cheesecake) and practising yoga.  The practice of yoga tends to give you a certain distance form impulses so that you can control them rather than them controlling you.

Overeating often stems from frustration.  In my youth I was horribly frustrated because I wasn’t able to express my thoughts and feelings: now that I’m writing full-time, that frustration has largely gone.

Yes, contrary to what Wallis Simpson said, you can be too rich or too thin:


– but you can never be too happy or too fulfilled.

So there we are – that’s my thought for today.

Today I shall be mostly… philosophising then socialising then Drinking and Thinking.  Join us tonight at the Ale Wagon, 8 pm, for a discussion on ‘Are We Becoming a More Cruel Society?’

Kirk out


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