Could the food police please leave us alone? '“Â Verity Lush
ApparentlyÂ aÂ higher tax '“ doubling the cost of a sausage '“ is beingÂ consideredÂ to combat obesity, various diseases, and the cost to the NHS.
But by essentially ensuringÂ the less well-off can't even afford aÂ sausage for goodness' sake, are we not taking away one of the small pleasures inÂ a carnivore's life?
This would also apply, I imagine, to bacon. One of life's joys for theÂ average meat eater. At this rate, bacon will be on the black market and we'll beÂ trading on the dark web for an unsmoked rasher.
Perhaps people just need to have some restraint rather than forcing everybodyÂ into a nanny state of a pork and red meat-free existence.
The mental anguish ofÂ taking the kids swimmingÂ
Anyone who has taken children swimming has doubtless experienced the near-military procedures involved.Â The towels, the body wash, the swim attire, the fabled pound for the locker, andÂ the shampoo involved, cannot be overestimated.Â
Especially if the childrenÂ happen to be two young girls with a higher than average hair-to-scalp ratio.
It is a brave adult who suggests this at 4.30pm on a wet Saturday afternoon. ThatÂ adult, of course, was me last week.
The mental anguish caused by doing so is, I suspect, an emotional scar from theÂ days when my girls were babies and toddlers.
The trauma of the hot and stickyÂ changing rooms, the reek of chlorine, the getting them changed and finally intoÂ the pool only to be told that one of them needs a poo the instant your big toeÂ touches water, never quite leaves you.
I checked the times on the website using my mobile, packed the myriad bits andÂ bobs plus two small people into the car, and off we set.
During the journey my kids were exclaiming with merriment they couldn'tÂ believe mummy had agreed to this. Excitement levels were reaching a fever pitchÂ by the time we arrived at The Mountbatten Centre.
Through the doors weÂ bundled, kids beside themselves, and off we went to pay.
At which point the receptionist smiled gaily at us and imparted the fantasticÂ news that the pool was shut for a gala. Eh? Cue kids' faces crashing and myÂ enquiring as to why this wasn't on the website when I checked the times.
Imagine my surprise when the receptionist, still beaming, told me the gladÂ tidings were not to be found in the '˜swimming' section but underÂ '˜announcements' instead.Â
I imagine the fact that I looked on my phone didn't help '“ I was taken direct to aÂ swimming timetable '“ but I wouldn't think to check '˜announcements' anyway.
So, should you venture out to the pool with or without kiddiwinks, check theÂ correct part of the website.
The bit where'd you expect to hear about charitableÂ events or new staff.
Roasted parsnips now provide a good foundation for the inevitable Big Mac years ahead
The Season of the Slow Cooker has arrived, often to the disgust of the smallerÂ inhabitants of the household.
If I am feeling especially evil I dish up roasted vegetables.
Delicious to man an adult palate, but the food of Satan to thoseÂ barely inÂ double-figures.
I find myself concocting meals similar to those myÂ mother fed me,Â at which I would frequently turn my nose up.
But nowÂ I'm nearly ancient, the likes of aÂ floret of broccoli, a roasted parsnip, a handful of kale, make me inordinatelyÂ happy.
I figureÂ if I can get some veg into my kids now, then I can at least prepareÂ their tiny bodies for the junk food onslaught that leaving home eventually brings.