A word designed to strike dread into a parent's heart

It's a word designed to strike dread into any parent's heart '“ yes, the moment when your child decides to change their diet radically and become a vegetarian.

Wednesday, 21st September 2016, 9:41 am
Updated Wednesday, 5th October 2016, 2:19 pm
Mamma Mia!

My youngest daughter has just done this. Don’t get me wrong, I have absolutely nothing against vegetarians. I admire their will power, I admire their choice, I admire what they aspire towards.

But what I do have trouble with is coming up with a cornucopia of vegetarian meals. I need to be inspired to move away from the elder generation’s response of ‘pick the meat out’ (yuck) and try to support my daughter in the best way that I can.

This is hard. I will not lie. My other two children are carnivores supreme. It is embarrassing to admit, but they would devour an entire farmyard given half a chance.

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Maybe that’s what has put their younger sister off meat. Who knows? She has yet to express to me exactly why she has made this choice, but it has been coming for a long time.

We attempted vegetarian Tuesdays a couple of years ago, the idea being to meet her half-way. But I was rubbish at them.

I kept forgetting and putting ham in her sandwiches or serving sausages for tea – much to the other two’s delight.

When you try and cut one factor out of your diet, it really highlights how much of that substance you do eat.

Meat is the beating heart of all our main meals. Replacing it, or working round it, is already draining and we’re only just heading into week three.

I have exhausted my supply of veg pie, fish fingers and veg curry. And the worst thing is, she’s never been over-keen on my home-made soups which would have been perfect for another three or four days.

So after I’ve dithered about what to make and about the ingredients, I come to the cooking part and dithering about every pan and pot in the kitchen and which to use and how to accommodate the fact I am essentially cooking a complete extra meal. It’s exhausting.

She’s made a big decision and I want to support her. I need to respect that and not make life harder for her while she tries to improve both herself and the world.


I went to see Mamma Mia at the Mayflower Theatre last weekend.

What a joyful slice of summer that is, wrapped up in potentially the biggest singalong of all time.

I have never seen anything like it. The entire audience were on their feet at the end, singing and dancing.

This was rather worrying as we were in the balcony and, let me tell you, that’s very, very, very high.

So high in fact, that were the cast to walk in my house tomorrow I would not recognise a single one of them – unless they sang of course.

If you suffer from vertigo in any shape or form, or suspect that you might be developing it, don’t book seats up there.

I recommend that you stay home and watch the DVD instead.


Last week I wrote about Brexit.

A few people have since told me that Remain voters should be quiet, stop whingeing and get on with it.

To be clear, I accept that our country voted to leave the EU, but that doesn’t mean I have to like it or stop engaging with the process.

That’s like saying if a political party you don’t like gets elected, you aren’t allowed to comment on it, or talk about it any more, that your voice has been squashed and is no longer valid.

Let’s be absolutely clear – we are all in this squalid disarray together.

So let’s focus on holding our politicians to account and finding a path that’s real and the best for everyone. I’m not whingeing about the direction, I’m commenting on the map that’s being used.