Tuesday, 26 February 2013


Lent is the time of year for spiritual reflection and for giving up something that distracts you.  I think it is a wonderful idea.  Unfortunately, I’m a bit crap at it.  As ever, I stumbled into Lent in a blur of pancakes and vague decisions.  I vowed to give up wine or alcohol or drinking at home, or something or other.  The first time temptation arrived, I gave in.  But fresh start – I’ve been trying again. 

Carenza has given up eating lumps of cheese in between meals.   I deduce this from being in the kitchen and seeing her enter, get the cheese out of the fridge, take hold of a sharp knife, and then cry with Lady MacBeth-style guilt, “No I mustn’t.”

Lent decisions are private and should be treated with respect:

“Perran,” I shout up the stairs, “What have you given up for Lent?”

He comes down:

“I’ve given up fish, but not for Lent.  For ever.”

The great thing about Lent is that it is over at Easter.  Perran had been warning me for some time that he planned to go fully vegetarian on his eighteenth birthday.  Really, that’s fine.  Except we now have in the family a pescetarian (me), a vegetarian (Perran), somebody who has an allergy to dairy products (Pascoe) and Nigel and Carenza who both have a few interesting quirks.  As the family cook, maybe I’ll be needing that wine after all.