In which I genuinely enjoy miso soup.

Printed 30/10/09

Hear ye, hear ye! Here beginneth Lauren Bravo’s Massive Week of Enormous Healthiness. To be followed by a subsequent Fairly Large Week of Pretty Good Healthiness, and a third Big Ol’ Week of Maybe The Odd Accidental Cheese Toastie But Generally Being Still Rather Healthy. And so on, and so on, until my collarbones have returned from their mysterious holiday.

Of all the communal hobbies for my flatmates and I to have taken up, ‘eating’ may not have been as wise a choice as, say, airfix models or water aerobics. I’m starting to realise that now. Our plans, conversations and schedules all revolve around food. We’ve deduced, to within minutes, the earliest feasible time that one can start cooking dinner in the evening without incurring judgement from the Council of Appropriate Mealtimes*, and conducted extensive research in the field of dinner foods for breakfast (suggested jingle: “we’d rather have a bowl of spag bol and cheese”).

The beautiful marriage of gluttony and sloth has resulted in a serious restaurant habit. Because now that we’re all very old, clubbing is frankly just effort. Clubbing means leaving the house at 10.30 just when you’d got comfy with QI, being beaten to the bar by nubile 18 year olds, making friends with Marjorie the cloakroom attendant and mouthing ‘what’s this then, the Arctic Monkeys?’ as each unknown track comes on like a politician at a youth club.

But restaurants, oooh. Ooh yes. ‘Going out for a meal’ encompasses the important bit, the ‘going out’ bit, but with the lovely addition of food and a nice sit down. There’s all the hopeful anticipation of clubbing, with none of the sweat and groping and chance someone might be sick on your shoes (notwithstanding Soho Best Kebab). You can still get your beauty sleep, and hoorah! You’ve left the house! You’ve battled the elements, wrapped up against the autumn chill, braved public transport and queued at three defective cashpoints in the noble name of sociability – the least you deserve is a nice lamb bhuna and a little minty chocolate for your troubles.

I do realise, however, that actually getting a job in a restaurant might have been taking the hobby too far. “It’ll be a busman’s holiday.” I said. “I’ll spend every day surrounded by beautiful plates of beautiful food and the novelty will wear off so fast that by Christmas I’ll be living on miso soup surprise and borrowing Keira Knightley’s jeans.”

Alas, it turns out that while I like food a lot, I like lots and lots of food even more. So volunteering to be surrounded all day by beautiful plates of beautiful food was a foolish setback for my bikini-wearing potential, unable as I am not to follow every plate of beautiful buttery leftovers back into the kitchen for a quick feast. I’m not completely past the idea of legal action, on the grounds that ‘pounds per hour’ should have been listed in mass as well as monetary units on the small ad.

So while I’m waiting for the settlement to fund a bit of lypo, I’m embarking on my Massive Week of Enormous Healthiness with all the vigour I usually reserve for Massive Plates of Enormous Hamburgers. Celery! Carob! And clubbing again, because my social life has to survive somehow. The sweating will probably work wonders.


*Suggested Chairwoman, in case they’re recruiting, is my mother, from whom I’ve inherited the staunch belief that an acceptable lunchtime just has to have ‘12’ in its name… thus ‘twenty-five to twelve’ = sandwiches a-go-go. Ten past twelve is practically afternoon tea. Of course, it should probably be noted that my mum goes to bed at 9.30, meaning all mealtimes can justifiably be brought forward several hours. Meanwhile I slip in an extra meal at midnight and wonder why my skirt won’t button up.