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Chocolate haunts me. Last night a giant Jaffa Cake chased me down the road. When I woke up, I could almost taste it. I adore chocolate and it worships me in return. So much so that it hangs around my thighs, stubbornly clinging on for dear life . I know we need to go our separate ways, but it’s a really comforting friend to have around. Always available, cheap and comes in endless varieties.
Multiple sclerosis has given me a great excuse – when the worst has already happened, who cares if you treat yourself now and again? So many other things seem more important than whether I am knocking back the chocolate buttons by the bucket-load. Just had an excruciating lumbar puncture? Have a family-sized Galaxy bar. Fallen flat on your face in a packed restaurant? Order a profiterole surprise to share then grab both forks.
In a desperate bid to curb my cravings, I came up with a cunning plan. Advent calendars are on sale now. What if I were to buy one and only pop open two windows a day? Plus, I’ll get some early Christmassy vibes going. I reached Christmas Eve that same night and put the pillaged calendar out for recycling. Ok, Plan B. Eat no chocolate all week, then have a blow-out on Friday. I was cured! I ate so much of the stuff, I vowed never to eat it again, until I woke up on Saturday, noticed there were still a few Maltesers left in the packet, and I was lost in a chocolate haze once more.
I know, I could keep on trundling out the old MS excuse for ever, but where do I draw the line? I don’t want to give in just because I have MS. Perhaps because I have MS I should look after myself more, not less.
I only work a couple of days a week, having dropped some hours (thanks, MS!) but I still get out-of-proportion excited whenever Friday rolls around. Only one problem with that. My expectations way exceed reality.
I sit there in work, idly scrolling through events listings, checking out the live music pages, the theatre, the cinema, new restaurant openings and all the rest of it. In my mind, I am dressed up like a goddess on steroids and even have some fabulously high heels on. My hair is swishy, my make-up is flawless and I have a zinging, Friday-night energy. I can picture myself surrounded by glossy, admiring friends, casually toasting each other in some brand-new bar, attracting envious yet welcoming stares from handsome men. I will be on top form, wowing my friends with fabulous stories gleaned over my busy week and perhaps impressing them by throwing a delicately-spiced wasabi nut in the air and catching it in my mouth.
Or I will be hanging out at the more alternative arts place, with my black polo neck and smart, slightly-distressd jeans on, accessorised with chunky, hand-made beads from a women’s collective in The Gambia. With my beret at a jaunty angle, I will toss out witty remarks, only pausing to applaud the experimental jazz band playing in the corner. We will drink Belgian-brewed gooseberry cider and dip artisan bread in olive oil flavoured with crushed Chilean peppers.
Which one do I choose? Well, neither. At the end of the week I am shattered, my sofa has been calling me and I just about have enough energy to peel the lid from a microwave meal. Oh, and childcare is a nightmare. The Teenager is at that awful age when he still needs a babysitter but doesn’t want one, unless she’s that blonde girl from the sixth form. The one with the big, you know. Brain.
So, the reality? Me, in pyjamas, facepack on, watching other people have fabulous nights out, on telly. Has no-one set up an events company, where they can bring the party to your house……?
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Blydi lovely mun
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