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Paying the Price. Wednesday March 16, 2016

I sit writing this with a tummy ache.

And it's all my own fault.

You see, yesterday we had a family celebration. There was sandwiches and cake. Delicious, soft white bread; brown granary bread with crunchy inclusions; creamy unctuous butter; crisp cucumber; sly smoked salmon; muscled beef growling with horseradish; sharply opinionated roast gammon with mustard. Oh and the cakes: lemon butterfly cakes so light they almost flew off the plate and into my mouth, decadently sensuous chocolate cake that invited my lips to seduction, an elegantly innocent Victoria sponge with an unexpected voluptuous clotted cream and jam filling...

I didn't even try to resist. Even though I know my system just doesn't like wheat these days.

And today I am feeling the effects.

I suppose it is a little like having a hangover. Except with a hangover I am usually saying, "Oh why was I so stupid? Why did I drink too much?"

Today I am saying, "Yes, I chose to eat those sandwiches and to devour those cakes. I knew full well what would happen and I chose to do it anyway."

It doesn't make the tummy hurt less, or the nausea to go away, but at least I'm not putting a two or three on the guilty card.

Maybe it's taking responsibility for my actions.

For every pleasure there is a price. Sometimes the pleasure comes first, as with the sandwiches and cake. Sometimes we choose to pay the price first, when we drag ourselves to the gym, resulting in aching muscles, or cook a healthy stir-fry when our taste-buds are telling us they'd kill for a Big Mac and Fries and – yes – they would like to go large with that.

It's easy to feel virtuous when we pay the price first. Like the child with the marshmallow Norman wrote about on Sunday, we expect a positive payback. Somehow, receiving the pleasure first doesn't seem quite right. Surely I should feel bad that I have inflicted wheat on my digestive system.

I think I would feel bad if I had expected to get away with it. But I was wise enough to have no such expectations. I knew it would hurt and I did it anyway.

Yes, every delicious mouthful was worth it. I'm still glad I chose to do it.

But I won't be doing it again any time soon.

A Moodscope member.

Thoughts on the above? Please feel free to post a comment below.

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the room above the garage Wed, Mar 16th 2016 @ 6:14am

Ouch! I avoid gluten...but I can taste that spread and craving it now I've read it!! :-) Thanks Mary, love ratg X.

Hopeful One Wed, Mar 16th 2016 @ 7:51am

Hi Mary- I can almost feel that tummy ache! But we never seem to learn. I think it was Oscar Wilde who said' I can resist everything except temptation'. What to do? When faced with temptation one can use use awareness to focus on something else - say one's hand or the pain in that dodgy knee.The temptation feeling looses its traction with this manoeuvre and it tends to pass away.Repeat if temptation comes back. Let the mind control temptation rather than the temptation control the mind.

Its Budget Day today so this seemed appropriate.

The accountant reads the story of Cinderella to his six-year-old daughter for the first time. The little girl is fascinated by the story, especially the part where the pumpkin turns into a golden coach. Suddenly she speaks up, "Daddy, when the pumpkin turned into a golden coach, would that be classed as income or a long-term capital gain?"

Anonymous Wed, Mar 16th 2016 @ 8:32am

My comment chimes with ratg's but thank you too, Mary, for providing such a super first paragraph, which, if you don't mind, I'd love to share with my reluctant Y4 creative writing class. Peppered with personification, alliteration, tons of adjectives and tricky words ending in -ous, 40 minutes will whizz by! Go well.

Mary Wed, Mar 16th 2016 @ 9:50am

Thrilled and delighted that you wish to share it! What an enormous compliment! (Enormous - another ous word!).

Sally Wed, Mar 16th 2016 @ 8:53am

Super descriptions, Mary. What a scrumptious tea! I also know the consequences... It's a fine balance.

Skyblue Wed, Mar 16th 2016 @ 10:08am

What a delicious piece of writing, Mary! What vicarious pleasure reading it. Had to add more brown sugar than usual to the porridge this morning. I'm off both gluten and dairy so would have had to give in a bit, too, if I'd been at your party. Either that or sneak sandwiches into the kitchen and remove the fillings, find a fork... "sharply opinionated roast gammon"? Love it. Thanks. xx

Mary Wed, Mar 16th 2016 @ 11:19pm

Oh, porridge and blown sugar... (but I'd add cream too!)

Lexi Wed, Mar 16th 2016 @ 3:46pm

I love your writing Mary!! So wonderfully descriptive and imaginative. Bravo! And BTW: who could resist all that? One of the things I still long for from my days of living in London over 25 years ago is High Tea. Why don't we have this in America?? We're uncivilized brutes over here....

The Gardener Wed, Mar 16th 2016 @ 3:56pm

Only in real trouble once, when depressed and on high dose of vallium. Went to a party intending to have one drink, carried away and had too many - nearly literally carried away. five minutes under a cold shower and shovelled into bed saved the day

The Gardener Wed, Mar 16th 2016 @ 3:56pm

Computer only does 4 lines at a time. In Brittany ferry restaurant, super sweets buffet, a family

The Gardener Wed, Mar 16th 2016 @ 3:56pm

Computer only does 4 lines at a time. In Brittany ferry restaurant, super sweets buffet, a family

The Gardener Wed, Mar 16th 2016 @ 3:58pm

Its done it again - briefly, little girl with gluten allergy - asked her mumm how child resisted such a display - easy, the results were so awful that the poor little girl learned to resist such goodies very quickly

Another Sally Wed, Mar 16th 2016 @ 5:32pm

Thank you for the wonderful description Mary. I had to go back and read it again. I think I can consider myself fortunate because, personally, I'm not keen on sandwiches or cake, but it does make a party buffet a difficult thing if I am avoiding gluten. I hope you recover from your party feast soon.
Another Sally

The Gardener Wed, Mar 16th 2016 @ 6:15pm

Someone above mentioned 'high tea' a North Country thing, I thought. Does anybody remember the high tea as served at a sewing party served by the rich lady in Arnold Bennetts 'Anna of the Five towns'? That would give you a tummmy ache unless you were in training.

Mary Wed, Mar 16th 2016 @ 11:18pm

Must go back and re-read that. But my favourite is the tea described in Elizabeth Goudge's The Little White Horse. Lots and lots of sandwiches there.

Zareen Thu, Mar 17th 2016 @ 6:34am

Hi Mary, I always love your blogs & find that they resonate for me. I am wondering whether you would consider becoming my buddy?

Mary Thu, Mar 17th 2016 @ 11:33am

Hello Zareen. I am happy to be your buddy. Email and ask Caroline to send on your email so we can chat and see what you need. Always good to set parameters on these things. Different buddies provide different kinds of support. Let's find out if I can be helpful to you or if you need someone else.

Eva Thu, Mar 17th 2016 @ 7:02am

Off the topic of food, but still paying the price, I seem unable to get the balance currently and am paying the price for trying to do too much too soon. I am eager to return to work and social life, but it seems that my physical resources are not yet sufficient and I keep taking one step forward and 2 back. Very frustrating as I feel as though I am in a physical slumber but my mind is fully awake and kicking.

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