Hubby describes his Mum as short and stout, like a little tea pot with legs.
In all the time I’ve been part of the family, I have never known her to cook and it was Dad who did it all when he was alive. We often had them over for a meal once we’d moved, and she was always amazed that not only I loved to cook but could turn out such decent meals with apparently so little effort.
In the 90s, we were about the same dress size and she would often go on at me about my weight. Tact is not one of her strong points, and she made me cry once. I went into her kitchen and made a cup of tea rather than let her see how upset I was. If I hadn’t been so sensitive about it then, I would probably have laughed it off.
Her generosity knew no bounds though when it came to offering me her unwanted clothes. She had a habit of buying things on a whim, getting them home and not liking them, but couldn’t be bothered to take them back. As a result, their roof had a large hanging rail full of unworn attire that she thought I might like! None of it was to my taste, and although the quality (and cost) was excellent, she was more than a little miffed when I declined.
Just a little point here. She stands about 5 feet 1 inch, and I’m at least a good six inches taller.
Anyway, at the time, liquid diets were all the rage. She was full of the latest one and merrily told me all about it, what she had bought and that I ought to try it.
When I saw what was in the cupboard, I’d guess she’d forked out well over fifty quid.
Now, we are talking about a lady here who buys prepared frozen dinners and would rather purchase a week’s supply of ready made sandwiches from the supermarket than buy a loaf of bread, filling and make her own every day, so the idea of opening a carton or bottle and pouring it into a glass obviously held a lot of appeal.
A fortnight later, she was really down in the dumps as she told me she had religiously stuck to her diet, and put on over seven pounds.
I couldn’t understand it either, and asked her to tell me exactly what she was doing.
‘Well,’ she said. ‘I get up and have my breakfast, and a glass of the slimming stuff. Then about eleven o’clock, I’ll have a cup of tea and some biscuits or a cake. Lunch time, I’ll have either one of my dinners or a sandwich, and another glass of slimming stuff. For my evening meal, I’ll have a supermarket dinner and my final glass of the day.’
I couldn’t stop laughing.
‘What’s the matter? I’m having the three recommended glasses a day and I’m putting on weight!’
Wiping the tears from my eyes, I said
‘Mum, the idea is you have the drinks INSTEAD of a meal, not as well as.’
‘That’s no bloody good,’ she said. ‘I tried that the first day and I was hungry all the time!’
There wasn’t a lot I could say to that.
We’ve had a lot of conversations about diets and food over the years, and more recently, Mum took to ordering her dinners from one of these meal provider services. Their menus and the variety are really extensive, and with over 85 main courses and 40 desserts to chose from, they catered for all tastes.
She was in her element, ordering her meals and desserts a week in advance, and the ‘very nice’ little man came along in his van on a Friday and stocked up her freezer with her choices.
She was spending about £50 a week, and seemed really happy about the selection available, the quality and good service the company provided.
It was too good to last though, and after two months, she’d cancelled her order and was back to the frozen dinners, cakes and sandwiches from the supermarket.
When we asked her why, she said it was because she didn’t like the desserts.
We said if she didn’t like them, why did she order them.
Her reply was that she only liked certain things.
And because she only liked certain things, these were all she ordered.
And she’d got bored because there was so little choice.