Holiday Hangovers

My latest piece for Contemporary Food Lab: Holiday Hangovers.

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Holiday Hangovers

Sitting, eating sandwiches, staring at a pond.

Last Christmas I got a year’s membership as a ‘friend’ of the Cambridge University Botanic Gardens. You get a smart little card you can write your name on which you can show someone who doesn’t care and then you can go into the gardens for free.

It’s good because it’s like a park but you have to pay to get in. This means you don’t get so many problem drinkers kicking the heads off of daffodils and passing out in the sensory garden. I work right around the corner so on my lunch break I can wander down to the Co-Op, pick up a meal deal, and then stroll into an earthly paradise pausing only to flash my exclusive full colour membership card before being waved in.

Once inside I could sit on the benches near the entrance, eat my sandwiches in silence, look at the trees stripped naked by winter and think about death.

Or I could wander down to the big pond, watch the moorhens play with their offspring, and think about the fragility of human relationships, how I should call my parents more often, and death.

Perhaps I could wander into the splendid glasshouses marvelling at the wide range of cacti and succulents that flourish in the moist warm environment, and think of the house I call home—a rental I’ll soon no longer be able to afford, full of its own indigenous plant life growing beneath the plaster on my bedroom wall, filling my lungs—and death.

All in all, it’s a great place to visit and well worth an hour of your time if you ever find yourself at a loose end in Cambridge!

Sitting, eating sandwiches, staring at a pond.

The book that I wrote…

book cover

My first book ‘Dimly Lit Meals for One: Heartbreaking Tales of Sad Food and Even Sadder Lives’ was published on October 1 2015.

It took many months of soul stirring, emotionally and physically intense labour, surreptitiously typing away at my work desk  trying to find something vaguely funny to write about poorly photographed plates of food.

Was it a success?

I’ll let the outstanding reviews left on be the judge of that.

As of January 2016 it has a flawless 5 out of 5 rating as determined by customers of Amazon who are also my blood kin or schoolmates I’m still reasonably close with.

Yes, members of my (immediate) family and at least one person I had GCSE English with have rated ‘Dimly Lit Meals for One: Heartbreaking Tales of Sad Food and Even Sadder Lives’ a better, more important, book than both The King James Bible and a little book called ‘War and Peace’.

Pretty good yeah?

That’s what happens when Stephen Fry tweets about a hot new tumblr he’s spent the day in his Georgian mansion ROFLing over on his million pound state of the art smartphone.

Does it matter that he did that over two years ago and the world has now moved on?

Nope, not if you’re me!

The book that I wrote…