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My last year in Glasgow I shared a flat with a very dear friend of mine. We agreed that since we shared similar values when it came to food, good quality where possible, but sale food beats everything, we would also share food. She’s been a vegetarian for so long no nobody can actually remember a time when she ate meat, so I asked how she felt about me cooking flesh in the kitchen. Knowing that if I existed on a diet exclusively comprised of fruits, veggies and beans that I would be dead in a matter of weeks and she would have to deal with it, she was okay with meat in the kitchen.

We had, however, sort of the opposite problem The Mom is now experiencing. When I’m under stress – and as anyone who has done a PhD will tell you the final year is All Stress with a side order of Anxiety – I lose my appetite. This is a saving grace as if I continued to eat… well, there isn’t enough toilet paper for that and our plumbing was dodgy from the get-go.

The fact that I was eating less did not stop me from food shopping as though I were a growing teenage boy. And the other problem is that I would much rather eat a diet of salad, fruit and beans than meat and potatoes. So when I went grocery shopping, I’d come back with all kinds of things: bags of salad, heaps of fruit, tins of chickpeas. When she came home from her studio at the Art School she’d open the fridge and gasp.

“Lady! Are you suicidal?” She’d ask, waving the bag of lams lettuce salad with shredded beetroot.

“I like salad,” I’d mutter sheepishly.

“You’re not eating this,” she’d say.

And that was that. She’d take charge of the salad, eat most of it and I was doled out a leaf here and a leaf there. This sounds a bit odd I realise, but trust me, she was saving the both of us.

Sometimes she’d come home and would have forgot to go shopping and would rummage through the fridge making a lovely meal out of things I’d forgotten about, ignored or simply no longer liked the look of. It was a great arrangement, I hardly ever had wasted food.

Sadly, I imagine I won’t often have the chance to have wasted food over Chrstmas chez The Mom. But for entirely different reasons. Never mind the fact that The Mom and I have to sneak out to buy any food I can eat whilst the other two aren’t looking, we also have to then ferret it into the house whilst they are still unawares. Tricky, as I’m sure you can imagine.

But the thing is, much as they swear up and down they do not want junk food (as they call my no-fibre food which is sometimes, I admit, actually junk food – it’s high in calories!) the minute they see that I have it, say when I go up to the nest to watch TV and bring with me a bag of potato chips, they’re on me like stink on shit. And I daren’t leave the bag undefended in the cupboard where either they can have at it or The Pig will find it. I’ve been known to hoard food in my suitcase in dire circumstances.

I suspect it’ll be a lean Christmas for me at The Mom’s, but thankfully one of my other adopted mothers is hosting her usual massive Christmas so if I can get my hands on a car – or find a coat warm enough to allow me to walk for an hour in – then I can simply present myself to their house, safe in the knowledge that the moment I enter, there will be a bowl of food in my hands.

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