Could the food police please leave us alone? – Verity Lush

Could people be priced out of eating the humble sausage?
Could people be priced out of eating the humble sausage?

Apparently a higher tax – doubling the cost of a sausage – is being considered to combat obesity, various diseases, and the cost to the NHS.

But by essentially ensuring the less well-off can’t even afford a sausage for goodness’ sake, are we not taking away one of the small pleasures in a carnivore’s life?

This would also apply, I imagine, to bacon. One of life’s joys for the average meat eater. At this rate, bacon will be on the black market and we’ll be trading on the dark web for an unsmoked rasher.

Perhaps people just need to have some restraint rather than forcing everybody into a nanny state of a pork and red meat-free existence.

The mental anguish of taking the kids swimming 

Anyone who has taken children swimming has doubtless experienced the near-military procedures involved. The towels, the body wash, the swim attire, the fabled pound for the locker, and the shampoo involved, cannot be overestimated. 

Especially if the children 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. That adult, of course, was me last week.

The mental anguish caused by doing so is, I suspect, an emotional scar from the days when my girls were babies and toddlers.

The trauma of the hot and sticky changing rooms, the reek of chlorine, the getting them changed and finally into the pool only to be told that one of them needs a poo the instant your big toe touches water, never quite leaves you.

I checked the times on the website using my mobile, packed the myriad bits and bobs plus two small people into the car, and off we set.

During the journey my kids were exclaiming with merriment they couldn’t believe mummy had agreed to this. Excitement levels were reaching a fever pitch by the time we arrived at The Mountbatten Centre.

Through the doors we bundled, kids beside themselves, and off we went to pay.

At which point the receptionist smiled gaily at us and imparted the fantastic news that the pool was shut for a gala. Eh? Cue kids’ faces crashing and my 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 glad tidings were not to be found in the ‘swimming’ section but under ‘announcements’ instead. 

I imagine the fact that I looked on my phone didn’t help – I was taken direct to a swimming timetable – but I wouldn’t think to check ‘announcements’ anyway.

So, should you venture out to the pool with or without kiddiwinks, check the correct part of the website.

The bit where’d you expect to hear about charitable 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 smaller 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 those barely in double-figures.

I find myself concocting meals similar to those my mother fed me, at which I would frequently turn my nose up.

But now I’m nearly ancient, the likes of a floret of broccoli, a roasted parsnip, a handful of kale, make me inordinately happy.

I figure if I can get some veg into my kids now, then I can at least prepare their tiny bodies for the junk food onslaught that leaving home eventually brings.