Reasons why Fran's mornings can be fraught

Let's talk breakfast.

I have one Weetabix to start the day. That sounds like an innocuous statement describing a simple process, doesn't it. What could go wrong? 

But that's not why you read this blog, is it, to find out what hasn't gone wrong? 

Plenty can go awry with Weetabix. 

First, I've never yet managed to extract a Weetabix biscuit from its paper packet without spraying wheat all over the kitchen counter. I've eaten Weetabix since I was a child. The paper packets containing 12 Weetabix were badly designed then, and they are now. I suspect that the same person has been in charge of 'Packaging' all that time. He's now 103, some kindly, frail war hero with a leg brace whom management don't have the heart to fire. 

Well, compassion is all very well, and God Save the Queen and all that, and hurrah for Chelsea pensioners, but what about my ruined morning? 

'It's like a Tarantino movie with crumbs,' I said to my husband, sweeping a third of a Weetabix up with a cloth from behind the toaster, around the kettle, and scattered across the surface. 

'Oh, right?' he said. This is what he says when he doesn't know the cultural reference and won't admit it. 

I didn't push it. If I'd accused him of having restricted cultural capital, he'd have started talking in horticulture, tossing around Latin names and listing varieties of dahlia.   

'I've only got two-thirds of my Weetabix left now,' I said, looking glumly into the bowl. 

What didn't help was that I like to eat my breakfast in a large, deep bowl, specifically this one. 

  

And that's fine if you're having a generous portion of Shreddies, or a healthy, plentiful mix of yogurt, dried fruit, and muesli. 

But my Weetabix ration - now two-thirds of a biscuit - looked pathetic compared to the size of the bowl, a bit like I would if I stood in the middle of the Grand Canyon. 

'Have two, then,' my husband said, as casual as though it didn't matter.   

HAVE TWO? 

HAVE TWO? 

This is the problem. He doesn't understand. He's as thin as a bootlace and even more so since lock down started and he began to cycle everywhere rather than take the bus. Also, as a gardener, he could breakfast on 12 Weetabix laced with whipped cream if he wanted to and still not put on weight.

He actually has fried eggs on thick buttered toast for his breakfast. And I hope it cho Which he really enjoys. 

'This'll have to do,' I said, peering down into the chasm where my partial-Weetabix lay. 'If I have two, I'll go into might-as-well-be-hung-for-a-sheep-as-for-a-lamb mode and have a packet of chocolate fingers for lunch.'

I sighed and opened the fridge to get the milk. I unscrewed the carton and poured. A thimbleful dripped out, dampening the surface of the Weetabix, but unwillingly, unhelpfully so, as though in league with the man with the leg brace.

'Dammit,' I said.

'You might have to open a new one,' my husband said. 'That carton was just about to run out.'

He's helpful like that. But I didn't comment on it. I've commented 380,909,372 times since we've been married and Comment #380,909,373 wasn't going to make any difference. 

It took me three seconds to eat my Weetabix. While I did so, I watched tiny birds out of the kitchen window, poking their beaks into the bird feeder. They're messy eaters and seeds scatter all over the path below. 

I swear one looked my way as if to say, 'You've got more in common with a tit than you think.'  


BOOK NEWS
 
In other news, my new book comes out in seven sleeps from now! Look at this lovely banner (below) that the publishers designed for me. If you want to join in with my lock down style book launch party on Facebook Live (and I'd love you to come) click this link at 8.30pm (UK time) next Thursday 21 May for fun, entertainment and a chance to win a free copy by writing a schooldays haiku!  https://www.facebook.com/events/263230455056350/  You might need to 'refresh' the page when you get there. 

If you can't get along but would like to read the book, it's in most online bookstores but here's the Amazon link for starters. Hope you enjoy it! 

 









 




 












Comments

  1. I'm going to assume your kitchen counter is at least as clean as mine and possibly cleaner, so why don't you scoop those wayward crumbs right back into your bowl and have a whole Weetabix? I remember eating Weetbix (no 'a' because we're Australian) as a child and I swear they were more square and packed more tightly together instead of loose-falling-apart like now.

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    1. I was thinking of your comment as I had my Weetabix this morning and they really do seem extra-crumbly these days, not resilient at all. So as I struggle to get them out of the packet, that's why so much is lost along the way. And as for scooping the crumbs back into the bowl, that just means spoonfuls of soggy milky crumbs and I don't like that. I know - I'm fussy!

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    2. In South Africa it's Wheatbix. I used to split and butter them, but now you have to, split them, very, carefully. Or you have a bowl of breakfast!

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  2. Magnificent as always!!!

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  3. I had a Weetabix once. ONCE. It reminded me too much of sawdust held together with glue. And not even tasty glue.

    Shreddies, on the other hand, are delicious! Warm or cold.

    But . . . "to each their own."

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    Replies
    1. If only they WERE held together with glue, that would solve my problem! Although it might give me others ....

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  4. I don't know how you can have eaten Weetabix for so long. I have the same cereal every morning for about a week then swear I'll never eat it again. I get bored so easily. Am fast running out of options. Breakfast is the most boring meal of the day! I loved this post. My favourite part was the bit about you and the bird having a lot in common 😂😂. Please can you publish a post every morning? Such a good way to start my day x

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    1. It's a Slimming World habit and I think perhaps I kid myself that if I have a Slimming World breakfast, that's the health regime done and dusted for the day ....

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  5. As a nutritionist sister, I agree with your husband. How is one measley Weetabix - or two-thirds to be accurate - going to fuel you all morning?! Nice bowl though...and I am not saying anything about you being a tit....

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    Replies
    1. It fuels me fine. It's not as though I move much.

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  6. Fran, why not treat yourself to 2 Weetabixes? 2 of them are allowed on Slimming World. Apart from that (and I never found Slimming World helped me at all to lose weight), I will say that I totally agree with you about the packaging. It really is appalling and it has never changed. I'm amazed that no body has ever designed better packaging. I would recommend you try banana pancakes instead (1 over-ripe mashed banana beaten up with 2 eggs and fried - absolutely delicious!) But of course they do have a tendency to run all over the pan and look like a mess, unless you are very skilful with the spatula. Still, it would give you wonderful raw material for your next post...

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    Replies
    1. That sounds delicious, and I think I could actually cope with the packaging on a banana!!

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  7. After reading of your trials with flaky Weetabix, I'm glad I have toast and a hunk of cheese every morning instead. I couldn't stand losing a third of the food allotted for my waking-up meal - it would make me grumpier than ever :)

    Congratulations on your FB virtual launch! Is the haiku contest limited to UK residents? I'll try to check in on FB; it will be supper hour here but my husband isn't always home on time :) Good luck!

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    Replies
    1. Jenny, put his supper to warm in the oven and come to my launch! I think I probably do need to limit the haiku competition to the UK otherwise I could end up with a hefty postage bill if all the international ones ended up being amazing (which I'm sure yours would be). My apologies :( Please do have a go at a schooldays haiku though and post it here! I'll read it out at my launch if you do :)

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    2. Oh, thank you, that would be a thrill! I completely understand about the postage - that's why I asked. I sent one (1) softcover novel to my mother-in-law yesterday. The book cost $11.99. The postage cost $11.83!!! (it went to a town sixty km away :))

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    3. Post it here, Jenny, or use the Contact form on my website www.franhill.co.uk if you prefer. Looking forward to it!

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  8. Hi Fran! Here is my schooldays haiku, inspired by my elementary teacher at a two room school. She had severe rheumatoid arthritis and had to sit to teach, but that didn't affect the richness of experiences she provided her students. For example, at the end of each school year she took us to the park across the road, leading our procession in her little Volkswagon beetle. She led us in so many other ways too, and provided a solid basis for further education.

    Teacher

    Chicks with mother hen
    Stepping out into the world
    Watch, try, learn, grow, fly

    Thank you for the chance to take part in this exercise, Fran. I've written about my teacher previously on my blog, here:

    https://www.blogger.com/blogger.g?blogID=3405619091794912972#editor/target=post;postID=1911776043280698010;onPublishedMenu=allposts;onClosedMenu=allposts;postNum=8;src=postname

    in case you want more background.

    I'm excited about your launch! I hope it goes swimmingly :)

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    1. Thanks so much, Jenny. That teacher sounds absolutely lovely. It's incredible - and daunting - how much impact that one person can have. I have your haiku in my collection - thank you!

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    2. I think teachers have the most impact after parents, and, in a significant number of cases, more than parents. Thanks, and again - good luck!

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