I was in the back of a cab in London starving hungry when I remembered I had an M&S quinoa, bean and nut salad in my bag. Joy. I’d had the first few mouthfuls when to my surprise I realised that is was delicious. Wait, what? Delicious? SALAD??). And that’s when I had a bit of an epiphany. I NEVER eat a meal and simply savour it. Ever. Frankly I’m lucky if I actually chew it, inhalation is my default mode for food consumption, especially when really hungry. Honestly, I’m not certain I even really taste the food I eat, I mean properly taste it. Because I’m usually doing something far more important at the time. Breakfast is eaten while checking my phone for texts, emails and social media, lunch is usually grabbed while working on my laptop or, when in out with a colleague / friend/ business associate, either talking with my mouth full or listening intently to what the other person is saying. Dinner is eaten on my lap watching TV, working on aforementioned laptop, checking my phone and, most of the time, all three.
But in the back of a cab – with nothing to see / watch/ do / read / talk about or listen to – I just simply ate and tasted every single bite. Now I’m not saying that eating cottage cheese on crackers would have been as revelatory, but in that moment a bowl of quinoa and bits resembling rabbit food might well have been the best meal I’ve ever tasted. I enjoyed it so much I’ve stolen M&S ingredients and intend to make it myself; quinoa, green beans, peas, mint, black eyed beans, cooked spelt (you can get it from Ocado, I checked), broccoli, peanuts, almonds, pistachio nuts, poppy seeds, pumpkin seeds and coriander all drenched in a soy, ginger, honey and white wine dressing!
I had an extremely busy 2 days in London this week. I should talk about what I ate – or didn’t eat – for dinner at a function at Claridges…
But I have to side-track. During the function I heard a keynote talk from Tamara Rojo, Creative Director of the English National Ballet. I had low expectations. I’d rather sell my children than watch a ballet so I thought I would have no interest whatsoever in what she would have to say. Very wrong. She was MESMERISING. She made me want to immediately enrol my youngest daughter in the Bolshoi (who cares if they treat them like slaves – its ART), buy myself a tutu (which would be simply ridiculous), and immediately book every English Ballet ticket anywhere in the world. She spoke, for 30 minutes, eloquently, with fervent passion, eyes flashing with purpose, intent, humour and joy. I nearly cried. Seriously, never have I been so convinced that to really move, influence and inspire others you MUST find the thing that sets your soul on fire.
I was so engrossed in her talk that I didn’t even notice the tray of incredible truffles, Turkish delights, bon bons and clotted cream toffees that were passed around the table with the coffee. Go me.
I’d begged a bed for the night with a friend who owns one of the most amazing pads in London (I’m convinced his Egyptian cotton sheets have a five figure thread count) and before I arrived he texted me this;
To my eternal shame I texted back this;
Not to be thwarted in his mission of saving me from myself, this lovely man cooked me omelette for breakfast…with a blow torch. Yes, USING A BLOW TORCH TO COOK AN OMELETTE IS A THING!!
At an all-day event the following day (with another speaking gig – 2,400 steps) I MIGHT have been derailed by the MILLION Krispy Kreme donuts that seemed to dominate proceedings but against all odds I managed to resist. Go me again!
Outcome – Despite resisting the donuts I didn’t lose anything this week. Which seriously pisses me off, but I won’t let it get me down. I’m too busy enjoying the fact that for the first time in forever I don’t have a second chin the size of my forehead and that I can actually get into my husband’s car (a TINY Mazda MX) in the proper way – rather than having to fold myself up like a piece of human origami with my arse in first..backwards.