June 6th, 2014
Lovely Husband and I had a night out celebrating the fact that one of his colleagues (and best friends) had clocked up twenty-five years at their place of work. It was being held at a local specialist brewery that we had never been to before but had rave reviews from people we knew. It serves two types of ale; one of cider; vodka; red and white wine; and a selection of soft drinks. It also serves food - Pizza to be exact. That is all. They have a wood-burning pizza oven and they serve twenty varieties of pizza (and garlic bread).
We had been looking forward to it all week.
As the food and drink reviews were so favourable I had been particularly diligent about my calorie intake to ensure that I could eat and drink my fill and stay within my allowances.
It was also going to be the first real test for LH’s non-smoking status in a social setting and my first group outing since giving up alcohol as a gesture of support for LH giving up nicotine.
I offered to drive, partly to remove any temptation from alcohol, but mostly because I thought that, if he couldn’t have a cigarette, LH could at least enjoy a pint or two, but LH doesn’t like being a passenger and isn’t overly keen on ale or cider so he was more than happy to chauffeur me and our two friends in my little car (knowing that if he did fancy a beer then I could drive us all home).
Most of the rest of our friends had already gathered when we arrived at 7:30, by which time I was feeling more than a little hungry. The “menu” appeared and I decided that I would treat myself to a twelve-inch garlic bread with cheese. What I hadn’t factored in was just how difficult it would be to pin down fifteen people to making a food choice, nor how long each pizza would take to arrive given that they were all hand-made from scratch and that only two could fit in the oven at any given time.
By 9pm I was on my second apple juice (diluted 50/50 with water) and the grumbling from my stomach was growing more embarrassing by the minute. It appeared they were cooking the food in alphabetical order by surname and as mine is at the far end… I guessed that LH and I would have at least another hour to wait. But then that strange thing that the body can do happened. It goes past the point of hunger and just abandons the idea of food.
My rumbling tummy grew quiet and, having not had any alcohol they didn’t resurface as “wine-munchies” (yes.. I am one of those people who, after a few glasses of plonk can eat my bodyweight in junk food).
Our food eventually arrived a little after 10pm but I was disappointed. I had built up high hopes but when my garlic bread arrived it looked decidedly unappealing. Before my “banning-the-booze” regime I am pretty certain I would have been ravenous and eaten just about anything put in front of me. But, with the clear vision of apple juice, all I could see was just how much oil was on top of and all around my garlic bread.
Given that it did smell rather delicious I did have a slice, but the aroma promised more than was actually delivered to my taste buds and I realised that if I did eat it, it would simply be “for the sake of it”.
I wasn’t hungry, all I could really taste was grease and so I decided to offer slices to the rest of the group. First on the list was LH – who declined and who also commented that his pizza wasn’t anything to write home about. He has found this happening more and more in the last month (yes, it’s be a whole month since his last cigarette – I’m very, very proud of him). Things are tasting different and some of his former favourite junk food is not tasting nearly as nice as it used to.
The upshot was that we both ended up offering slices of pizza and garlic to rest of the assembled group, who set about it like locusts… (rather like I would have done in the past).
We were eventually turfed out of the Brewery just before midnight and, having dropped off our two friends (who were rather worse for wear) arrived back at Hudson HQ at one o’clock in the morning. Strangely neither of us felt tired or sluggish (which is my normal state of being after wining and dining), but we did feel hungry.
Poached egg, grilled bacon and mixed beans turned out to be food of the Gods (washed down with a strong espresso) which made us even less tired. LH made the mistake of checking his emails and we both ended up working on a project until 3am, then we decided to hit the hay.
It was only next morning when we were doing our usual “review of the evening” that we both commented on how much different it had been from usual. Neither of us felt like we had over-indulged, neither of us felt any lingering effects the morning after, but we both agreed we had enjoyed the evening (apart from the food). We were also both amazed at just how “un-sluggish” we had felt and gave ourselves a pat on the back for getting a task done and dusted before bedtime which meant we had the whole weekend to concentrate on leisure and pleasure.
I always knew that my glasses of wine(with their “empty calories”) had contributed to my expanded waistline, but I’m now wondering how much damage they caused when factoring in the fact that my “wine-vision” made anything edible look delicious; my alcohol-soaked taste buds couldn’t tell the difference between “haute cuisine” and “cardboard”; and my sizzled brain would just send “I’m hungry messages” at will…
It’s early days. I’m on the wagon at the moment, it may not last... but the evening out certainly gave me a few more reasons to strap myself in and make sure my wagon keeps rolling with me safely on board.
Will keep you posted…
With a hug
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