Birds Eye View - Easter without the chocolate

PUBLISHED: 12:24 07 April 2010 | UPDATED: 13:18 02 June 2010

It was lovely to have a break over Easter and potter about in the garden even though it was a bit chilly. I didn t get the vegetable plot finished, but I made a good start and pulled up an enormous amount of weeds, and the weeding was made infinitely easi

It was lovely to have a break over Easter and potter about in the garden even though it was a bit chilly. I didn't get the vegetable plot finished, but I made a good start and pulled up an enormous amount of weeds, and the weeding was made infinitely easier by all the rain we have had in recent days. I spent Bank Holiday Monday with my eldest son Martin and his girlfriend Kirsty and nothing makes me happier than spending time with family so I was a happy Easter bunny. I didn't eat much chocolate as in recent months I seem to have lost my craving for it, which can't be a bad thing I suppose. It's weird, and please, keep this to yourselves, but my taste buds seem to be changing. A work colleague suggested it was something to do with age (hormones) but I find that hard to accept as my likes and dislikes are so random. For example, I have always hated cucumber but it seems that suddenly I don't hate it anymore! I still can't eat it in yucky, slimly slices but if it is chopped up matchstick style it tastes fine. I have always loved chocolate, but even Turkish delight and peppermint Aero (personal favourites) just don't do it for me anymore.

I think I have mentioned before that I am vegetarian and there are some people who are convinced that vegetarians don't have a pallet anyway, but I would disagree with that. Surely vegetarians must have more discerning pallets by default as we have to work harder at creating flavour. Let's face it, it is much harder to derive dishes and extract flavour from courgettes and carrots than from a joint of sizzling beef or a lamb cutlet!

I have not eaten meat for about 20 years and I can honestly say that I don't miss it. I am never tempted by the smell of a bacon sandwich as all I can smell is the fat cooking. I made the decision to give up meat in 1990 after watching the then Agriculture Minister John Gummer, mid-BSE crisis, feeding his four-year-old daughter Cordelia a beefburger in a attempt to convince the waiting press pack and the rest of us that it was safe to eat beef. I often wonder what Cordelia thinks about her innocent role in that shameful publicity stunt now she is all grown up. My sons often tease me about the fact that for years I fed them soya mince and told them it was beef; I just tell them to Google 'Gummer and beef burger' and then tell me I was over zealous!

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