The first thing I do when I wake up, is to turn and look at that pretty face lying next to me, fast asleep.
Careful not to wake the sleeping beauty, I stroke the little doggie’s furry head and then check to see if my wife, Moya, is still in the land of nod.
Invariably she is. I pop in my earphones and listen to the Today programme.
By the time Moya is showing signs of life, I am in daily rant mode. Before she has had a chance to open her eyes, I’m in full flow.
At least, that’s how it used to be.
New T’s & C’s had to be drawn up in our marriage contract; the revised deal was I give Moya some rant-free ‘coming round time.’ The wording for this, as I remember, was: ‘George, just let me open my bloody eyes before you utter a word!’
Is there an optimum time for ‘coming round’? It seems not. Once the ‘bloody eyes’ are open, can I start my rant? I don’t think so. Another solution had to be found.
By mutual agreement, ranting is no longer has a place in the bedroom – or anywhere else in Laytonia. The new deal is, I vent my frustrations in a blog. Or column as I prefer to call it. And it seems to be working very nicely. Except now I have another problem.
I have to consider the sensibilities of my blog/column followers.
Do I begin each week by drawing you in on an uplifting note and surreptitiously work towards the rant or moan, which is, let’s be honest, this column’s raison d’etre.
Last week I subjected you to a good old rant prompted by MP, Sir Desmond Swine – tut, my typing is appalling, I do apologise – MP, Sir Desmond Swayne and his reluctance to put on a mask to go shopping. Or “Mask Up” as he so quaintly put it in the House.
My rant received 100% positive reaction all round. From as far away as Hong Kong! Is there a danger of ‘Life in Laytonia’ going viral?
This week, I thought it only kind to give you a Moya-style rant-free zone.
‘Life in Laytonia’ 12 – goodness me, how time flies in the blogging world – is going to be more…observational, let’s say.
Obesity and diet are very much in the news this week and never very far from our television screens.
There are a myriad of foodie programmes on TV. Masses, in fact, on both daytime and primetime telly.
I enjoy many of them, including my own taking part in Celebrity MasterChef some years ago. I was cruelly and unfairly culled in the 2nd round and escorted from the MasterChef studio to the cries of “I wuz robbed!”
On one of my many trips from the top of the house, where I ‘work’, to the kitchen to make myself another work avoidance cup of tea, I caught the tail end of a daytime television programme I had never seen it before. It is called ‘Food: Truth or Scare’ hosted by the lovely Gloria Hunniford.
The show focuses on diet and weight loss and it examines the conflicting advice and contradictory claims about how the food people eat, affects their health. Advice, that changes week by week.
Wine – good or bad for you?
Salt – bad or not so bad.
Butter – healthy or not so healthy?
That sort of thing.
The segment of the show that I caught, concerned carbohydrates and in Gloria’s words:
Gloria: ‘…to help me understand more about carbs, I’ve asked a dietitian – which I always thought was spelt dietician but not according to the internet – I’ve asked a dietitian to sort out the wheat from the chaff…’
‘Wheat from the chaff’. Nice. Lovely carb allusion.
Gloria: (cont): ‘…and if anyone knows carbs, it’s her. This dietitian helped write the NHS official carb guidelines…’
The expert certainly did seem to know her stuff on diet and weight loss. She talked about good carbs, bad carbs, carbs to avoid, carbs that we need in our diet. I am a self-confessed carboholic and I watched with interest.
I did say that by way of change, this week’s ‘Life in Laytonia’ is more observational. As I watched this expert, who wrote the NHS official carbohydrate guidelines, I did make an observation.
I couldn’t help noticing that…how shall I put this? I couldn’t help noticing…Look, I have no wish to appear ungallant, but I couldn’t help noticing that…
Let’s just say, that if I went to a dentist who came highly recommended and I saw that this dentist had a mouthful of rotten teeth, it wouldn’t fill me with confidence.
As I watched and listened to the expert advising the viewer on weight loss and diet and what carbs to avoid, the words ‘Physician, heal thyself’ loomed large. As did the dietitian herself. I have to say, to me it looked like she could do with watching her own carb intake.
And it got worse. Gloria then introduced a food and nutritional scientist from Manchester Metropolitan University. She spoke about how different carbs react differently in the body. Simple carbs, complex carbs…but looking at her I couldn’t concentrate on what she was saying.
This is a sensitive subject and I say all this with huge trepidation, but the expert dietitian whom we saw first, looked positively Twiggy-like compared with the food and nutritional scientist from Manchester Metropolitan University.
I am not comfortable making comments on people’s physical appearance. It’s none of my business. It could be that there are extenuating circumstances, possibly medical.
BUT – when you promote yourself on national television as an expert on weight loss and diet and it appears that you don’t practice what you preach, it smacks of “do as I say, not as I do”. For me, that diminishes the message.
Phew! I have a feeling that my observational ‘Life in Laytonia’ is perhaps a little more serious than I anticipated. Let’s part company on a lighter note.
Earlier this week, by way of procrastination, distraction, work avoidance – call it what you like – I had a bit of an office tidy up.
I came across a paperweight that one of my kids had given me years ago. Birthday present? Father’s day gift? I can’t remember. But I do recall that the message on it made me smile at the time and it makes me smile now as I am looking at it:
ACCEPT THE FACT THAT SOME DAYS YOU ARE THE PIGEON,
AND SOME DAYS YOU ARE THE STATUE…