Sunday, 29 July 2012

Dad’s Diet Fads, August 27th 2007

Dad was late getting up today and came downstairs in his pyjamas, much to my mother’s annoyance. He had only got to sleep at 5.00 a.m. he announced, looking pleased with himself - but this was because he had eaten 3 slices of white bread for his tea the previous evening - and he had known this would disagree with him. Dad’s digestion has been a source of constant concern for him over the past 50 years at least and has been only rivalled by his migraine headaches in the amount of time and effort he has put into researching the cause and effects and hopeful cures for his ailments. These have been a severe trial for my mother who has had to put up with his various beliefs e.g. potatoes are to blame, or cheese, or turkey or food additives or yeast or food which is past its ‘best by’ date.  Accompanied by this fastidious obsession is my dad’s large appetite which scarcely gels with his permanently skinny frame. The battle of wits continues as my father now believes that milk goes off the minute it is opened and this has resulted in large quantities of perfectly good milk being poured down the sink, which is awful as my mother can only get to the shops once a week. If she has put things in the freezer, when they are taken out she has to try to scratch out the original date by scribbling over it before she puts the wrapper in the bin.  Still, dad takes everything out of the bin and tries to re-scrutinize the dates. He has an excuse for this as it is his job to sort the re-cycling every week for the different rubbish collections. Luckily, his eyesight is so bad that  usually mum can get away with this deception.  Perversely, dad hates waste and is just as inclined to eat jam and cheese which has gone mouldy, virtuously scraping off the offending mould with a cloudy eye.  I had to throw away a baked bean tin this week, which had about 4 inches of mould on it. Goodness only knows how many spores were flying around inside the fridge.  For all that, they do eat a good lunch every day.  My mother came downstairs equally ‘out of it’ yesterday as she had taken a sleeping pill late the night before.  Nevertheless we had roast beef and perfect Yorkshire puddings as it was Bank Holiday Monday.  I think she does it on auto-pilot.  She still scoffs at the idea of my cooking for them, partly because of pride and partly because she doesn’t really believe I can cook - even though I am nearly sixty! Needless to say, dad threw caution to the wind and enjoyed every particle of his dinner.


  1. Your father was a contrarian, was he not> Worried about expiration dates, but not mold. He sounds a bit like my father in law. He had an ulcer of convenience. He could eat anything he wanted no problem at all. Any thing he disliked bothered his ulcer. The ulcer was also used to keep an unruly life at bay.

    Your father was an interesting character.

  2. You are getting the hang of my dad nicely. A 'contrarian' sounds just like him. Of course, he was a great hypochondriac - no doubt the reason he lasted so long.

  3. This is a fun story of your dad. It made me smile as I imagined him and compared his habits with people I know.

    Ps. My husband was in Cape Town recently for 9 days. Too bad I couldn't come along.

  4. Gosh - and I thought my dad was one of a kind. Pity you couldn't have come to Cape Town. I would have loved to have met a fellow blogger. Maybe next time?