Thursday, 24 February 2011
WRITING, AND CHOCOLATE
Today I’ve eaten:
3 chocolate biscuits
1 Magnum Classic
1 cream egg
and a handful of licorice
...between lunch and tea-time. Oh, and a bag of cheese and onion crisps.
This is not good.
For a while now, I’ve been struggling to maintain my weight at 9 stone 3lbs. That is, to stop losing any. I only had to get a wee bit stressed and the weight would fall off me. Now, suddenly, I’ve a little beachball for a tummy and am beginning to waddle like a penguin (Note to Self: don’t mention Penguins).
What, you may ask, has this got to do with writing?
The answer is, Everything.
It’s no coincidence that I’ve begun writing properly again. Writing and chocolate seem to go together like…waistband and elasticated. There’s something about the writing process that demands time out. Have a break – have a You Know What. A break! (think I) I'll take an internet break. I fool myself that because such breaks are virtual, they can't lead to calorific indulgence. The slippery slope proceeds like this:
- Yay. I finished a sentence…I’ll just see if anyone’s sent me an email
- Huh. Well someone’s probably posted something interesting on WriteWords
- Just a quick game of word-bubbles then. After all, that’s literary.
- Wonder what Jonathan Cainer’s forecasting for Pisces today?
- Or, for that matter, for this month?
- Someone’ll have sent me an email by now.
- Huh. What’s the latest on Katie Price and Alex Reid?
- No!!! No!!! No!!!
- Who’s eating what on Facebook?
- I need chocolate.
The synapses of my brain have become hard-wired between chocolate and writing. Write, I tell myself. And – zzzzpppp – chocolate’s right there too. I tell myself it’s because there are so many similarities between them. Yes, there are. Really. Chocolate is narrative, innit?
Look at the adverts. Always set in the world of fairy tales – animated bunnies with West Country accents conducting endless flirtations in meadows; young, thin women (always thin women) reclining on moonlit couches or voyaging on chocolate boats through Swiss chocolate landscapes. Of course the writer in me is seduced. This is a story. And I know exactly how it’ll end. But hey, the insidious message goes: Live for the moment.. You’re worth it.
The names of chocolate bars through history have been as carefully considered as the titles of novels: Aero. Flyte. Flake. Wispa. Drifter. Relax, they coo. Let us beguile you. You can come to no harm with us. We’re so…insubstantial. Or, in the case of Mars, so far away. Smarties. Clever you for choosing us. Poppets. Small, cute and innocent, just poppet in.
At least you knew where you were with a Yorkie.
Porkie, that’s where.
And have you noticed how the eating in these adverts is always really slow? Have you noticed the sensual unwrapping, the lingering eye-to-chocolate contact, the holding-it-in-the-mouth-for-eons-with-a-self-satisfied-feline-smile-curling-about-one’s-lips process? With respect, m’lud, these are not Real Women. Real Women grebbit-n’stuffit (apologies, Marina Lewycka).
Darn. I hoped that by writing a Whole Blog about chocolate, I might have indulged my craving by proxy.
Fat chance. I’ve just been working up an appetite.