There are few events in my life that I regard as more lucky than when I advertised for a footie friend and met Sarah. She is truly one of the nicest, kindest and most utterly amazing people I have ever had the pleasure to meet. Sarah's Mum sometimes reads my diary - I hope she looks today and that she knows what a special person her 'little girl' is.
Over the five years or so since we first met, she’s become one of my most cherished friends. What we both love about our friendship is that it extends way beyond the footie and the friendship we found has evolved and matured in amongst the bigger group of friends that are now lovingly called ‘The Dog Shit Hill Gang’.
Now, Sarah is worrying about me (and has been for months) because she’s been watching me implode slowly from pressure and stress. Mind you, she’s not the only one, my Mum has been so worried she’s been phoning me every night while I’ve been away to help me to keep my spirits up while I’ve been wading around in the mire of misery and self-pity that has been engulfing me for months. This morning, while on the train into London Bridge from Sarah’s home, she was quizzing me about what I’d eaten in the previous twenty-four hours since leaving home yesterday.
Unusually, I’d not done too badly that day because I’d had lunch in Pizza Express with three of my colleagues, so I’d consumed some fresh vegetables in a salad and on my pizza, then I’d had a Cornish Pasty for my tea (veggie of course), stuffed down my face while standing waiting for her at Liverpool Street. That was probably not my best move ever but on balance, I’d actually done OK yesterday compared to the junk I normally consume while away.
Today, I’ve been trying to make sure I am being kinder to myself than I’ve been for much of the last few months and to eat well. So, an hour in the cold on Reading Station was dumped in favour of a walk up into Reading town centre and a trip to Pret-A-Manger, my favourite sandwich bar………despite me having the severe heebeegeebees over the news that Eric Hewis broke to me when I was extolling their virtues recently in a posting on pbase. The horror that he communicated to me? Well, it’s simple, MacDonalds owns one third of this company and that makes my blood boil.
I’ve heard all the stuff about it was their money that helped the company to expand and it’s clear their no-additives, freshly prepared high quality food stance hasn’t been compromised but I do believe that taking their money was akin to getting into bed with the devil. Anyway, the truth is that they (Pret) are still the best and no-one else comes close so I keep patronising them despite my misgivings about some of the profit they make from me going to THAT COMPANY.
So, for Sarah – how does this sound on my first day to recovery? Hummus and salad sandwich, a fruit salad and a cup of milky coffee? It was really good too, despite sitting in Reading’s main shopping street in the freezing cold eating it. Unlike other packaged sandwiches, the bread is good bread, it doesn’t turn to glue and stick itself to the inside of your mouth when you eat it. The salad was really fresh and generously spread throughout the sandwich rather than just along the cut edge where it can be seen through the packaging. The fruit salad was just that, fruit…..no preservatives or sweetening agents, just really fresh, ripe fruit. The coffee was delicious and had no hint of bitterness.
Why can’t all fast-food providers show the same care and same attention to detail? I ask myself this over and over again – last week I rushed into the caff on Wolverhampton Station and bought an egg sandwich. When I bit into it, the bread was stale and the meagre filling totally devoid of any flavour or taste whatsoever. It was so disgusting that most of it was stuffed back into the pack and left on the station. There is no excuse for that sort of poor quality. I was appalled.
Anyway Sarah my friend, I took good note of your words on the station that it’s going to be a long-road back to well-being and that things won’t just fall into place because life just ain’t like that. But today is the first day of the rest of my life and now, without the constant living out of a suitcase and the tiredness that the travelling brings, I can start my journey to rebuild and regroup. As my Mum says, time is a great healer.
Two years ago, I was (yet again) doing stupid stuff for my job....and last year, I was cooking winter things!