Friday, 2 February 2007

A Choc To The System

Last night I woke up in a cold sweat! I was being chased by three walnut whips and a curly wurly. I just thought I was getting away when a whole lorry load of gym ball sized Ferrero Rocher came rolling down the street towards me….and that’s when I woke up.

An odd dream I agree, but you see I have deprived myself of chocolate since January the first. I am pretty good at this healthy eating thing, but as soon as I start on chocolate I have to carry on until its all gone. Multipacks, boxes of chocolates, jumbo sized bars! Nothing is safe!! And it takes a lorry load before I feel even remotely sick! So it had to happen, a complete embargo on chocolate until my birthday. Which is very soon. Phew! (and Yippee!)

What is it about chocolate that’s so special? Well obviously it tastes pretty good. Also there are so many different kinds – chocolate for every mood!……Thorntons Viennese Truffles….Green and Blacks white chocolate and vanilla…..and when I am in Germany there is of course Suchard’s Milka in its appealing lilac wrapper in a multitude of different deliciously desirable varieties. Speaking of Germany there is this Kaffeehaus…Zimmerman’s in Nurtingen…and they make their own chocolate…it has to be tasted to be believed….you really haven’t experienced milk chocolate until you have tasted Zimmermans.

Anyway you may notice I have been experiencing withdrawal symptoms. But so far I have managed to keep off the tasty brown stuff! I admit it’s been difficult….I have had a particularly crappy new year so far so have been reaching for the comfort food quite a lot. Crappy you ask? Well I will cast my mind back to the early hours of Thursday the eleventh of January. My landlords had fitted double glazing which I hadn’t been particularly bothered about, but seeing the sexy new windows ended up being disproportionately exciting – once you pass thirty such domestic things sadly give you a thrill! Anyway there I am asleep, with the glow of double glazing soothing me like a mother singing a lullaby…until 2am that is! I was disturbed by a faint knocking noise, so sleepily lurched out of bed and went to peer out of the bathroom window and investigate. I couldn’t see much, just smoke, so began to panic and ran to the front door…..more smoke….and flames! It seemed that the bin store at the bottom of my block and below the stairs providing the only entrance (and therefore exit!) to my flat was ablaze! What now? I ran back in put my dressing gown and shoes, grabbed my coat and got my hat, left my worries on the doorstep and ran for dear life! I banged on the windows of the next flat yelling “Get out!” and then tried to bang ninety year old Kitty up. Sadly Kitty is rather deaf and after banging a few times the smoke was getting to me so I had to run off (burn Kitty burn!). As I ran out the flames were beginning to whip around the bottom of the staircase, so images of my dressing gown catching alight filled my head as I raced out followed by Jete from next door who was screaming something unintelligible. There was already an audience out side, and the fire brigade had apparently been alerted, and they arrived very quickly. So there I am with about half the residents of the block, all in our bed wear shivering in the night air. Images of our neighbours burning to death haunted us, but in retrospect if the firemen weren’t confident in containing the blaze I am sure their first action would have been to liberate Kitty et al. It took about forty five minutes for them to extinguish the blaze, during which time we did have a couple of mini drama’s. Mia the little girl from downstairs started screaming at one point “Suzie is going to dieeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeee!” and frankly nobody was particularly impressed to discover that she was keeping a rat in her bedroom! Jean, her next door neighbour, was convinced she had seen someone creep into the bin store and deliberately set light to it…my opinion is that it was more likely to be arsing around than arson – probably just someone lighting a cigarette away from the wind. Bloody smokers! Anyway all in all the fire was relatively minor, although if the wind was blowing in the other direction it would have been up the ivy and to my flat pretty quickly. We were just lucky that the fire brigade arrive when they did and dealt with it so efficiently. And Kitty slept through the whole thing!

So back to the comfort food – I have been reaching for the cakes I am afraid but chocolate hasn’t passed my lips since the first day of the year. However! February the eighth is the day I hit the 38 mark (Yikes!) and the pre-decided date that I am allowed chocolate again! It’s not the first time in recent years that I have deprived myself of this nectar……so I actually know that on the 8th of February I am in for an almost hallucinogenic experience. To taste that first bite of chocolate after so long is a revelation, it hits your taste buds and sends an amazing signal to the brain, and a smile creeps onto your face, it puts a tingle in your fingers and a tingle in your feet the rhythm of life has a powerful beat….or is that something else?

So that’s it for another column – I hope you have enjoyed this alternative to the usual showtuneyness, but rest assured normal service will resume next week!

If you have a Tchibo store near you then try their dark chocolate infused with ground coffee beans its amazing. On DVD then naturally I would recommend “Chocolat” starring Juliette Binoche , Judi Dench and Johnny Depp. Also “Like Water For Chocolate” is a wonderful Mexican film with romance, drama, comedy and lots of chocolate!

In Closing
Whipped Cream Whirlnuts (Don’t ask me! It’s my grandpa’s favourite!)
Galaxy Counters (Nobody remembers these except me!)
Kinder (Chocadoobee!)

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