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Friday, January 21, 2005

Stuffed like a christmas turkey

I can't move. No I haven't been doing anything silly like going to the gym or helping people move house - instead I have been eating. A lot.

A workmate of mine had an operation shortly before christmas and 2 of us from work went around this evening to cheer him up. I visited him shortly after the accident that precipitated the need for this operation and so I knew what to expect. Accordingly, I skipped breakfast and ate lightly for lunch. On entering the house, I was met by the smell of delicious food wafting from the kitchen. The missus had been busy. After filling him in on all the gossip in the lab, playing with my new camera and formulating strategies for him to miss his next meeting with SWMNBN (I'm tempted to have an accident myself), dinner was served. Two dinner plates the size of small dustbin lids arrived plus sundries and we tucked in. I'm not versed in the intricacies of Egyptian cuisine, so I can't name the dishes. Suffice to say that there was a sort of halal lasagne without cheese, a lightly grilled pasta and lamb dish, some very tasty lamb kebabs, a type of breaded fillet (species unknown) and chinese spring rolls. Plus lots of chips.

I am English and as such have been brought up not to leave anything on the plate when dining at a guest's house. By the end of the meal I was almost crying with relief. The food was outstanding, but I felt as if I had eaten a bowling ball. After the food, I was asked if I would like some peppermint tea. I have heard that it is a good way to reduce bloating and readily agreed. A few more shouted instructions in Arabic, and the tea arrived - along with a plate each full of cakes and biscuits. No!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! I considered slipping a few of the biccies to my friends 3 year old child, who had been eyeing the food jealously. However, I had overheard a previous conversation between my mate and said child that - depite being in a foreign tongue - was definately the universal "you've had your tea and its nearly bedtime, leave daddy's friends alone". On balance I felt it would have been bad manners to undermine daddy's authority.

Perhaps I should have pleaded ignorance and slipped him the lot. Never have I been so pleased to get a lift home. Recently, my family delved into our genealogy and as I suspected we appear to be descended from large snakes such as Boa Constrictors. After a large meal, the last thing I am capable of is a brisk constitutional. I have been known to watch an entire episode of Eastenders rather than risk a heart attack reaching for the TV remote control. Possibly the worst thing I can imagine is eating christmas dinner then settling down in front of the TV, with the remote on the far side of the room, to be confrronted by a 2 hour Harry Hill Christmas special. I might just risk that heart attack.



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