A good day for chips’n’gravy

Saturday September 2, 2006

I think I freed up too much time today, leaving a vacuum. A dangerous vacuum.

By mid-morning, I was feeling restless and in need of action, so I stuffed four big bags of laundry into the car and took it over to the house, where I lodged it in the store room on the top floor, came back down to drink a coffee while listening to the radio… and was lost. All I wanted at that moment was to just sit, do nothing, let the day pass me by.

Can’t do that, though, not yet. I contract with myself to have a few idle days once we’re settled in the house but, for now, I need to keep on the move.

It was a perfect example of my natural inclination to be lazy, though, leaping in to fill a vacuum like that.

So, back to the caravan, calling in at Sainsbury’s on the way. The supermarket and its carpark were too crowded for me today, reminding me why I don’t generally go shopping for provisions on Saturday. My desire to carry out a good, leisurely
shop, searching out the best quality and value is in direct conflict with my need to get out of there as quickly as possible.

Driving on busy Saturday roads, even at the tail-end of the holiday season, is not a good idea, either.

When I got back to the caravan, then, I was frazzled and in need of comfort. I wandered up to the club house, to find it all clean and neat, empty, and waiting to welcome the arrival of the accordianists who are booked to fill the place with performers , learners, and their followers. Graham, just finishing up his morning stint, was too busy to say much more than hello, but he did find the time to organize a tray of chips for me.

“Can I have gravy on that?” I asked, hoping I’d catch him in a moment of weakness.

“Certainly not,” he said. “You ought to know better.

John the Chef was in hearing distance, though, and winked at me over Graham’s shoulder. He disappeared into the kitchen and, when my chips arrived, there was a glistening dressing of rich gravy on them.

“I don’t know how you did that,” Graham said. “Just don’t make a habit of it.”

“Don’t worry. It’ll be at least a month before I let myself have chips again, and longer still before they have gravy on them.”

That’s another example of the conflicts in a pensioner’s life. Seems to me that, as my physical need for calories decreases so my in-built desire for comfort food increases. I refuse to banish my favourite foods from my life, and my way of dealing with the problem is to leave long intervals between indulgences. Besides, chips’n’gravy is cold weather food, really, more suitable for the dark months than the end of summer. I can see myself sometime in November, on a cold, dark, drizzly day, the kind of day when you need to burn the lamps to keep the gloom at bay, and fixing myself a dish of chips’n’gravy.

Probably on a Saturday. Saturday is a good day for chips’n’gravy.



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