Tuesday, 11 October 2011

Goodbye old friend

Something sad happened the other day. If you read this blog regularly you will know that we have been busy writing the final draft of our new book: Beyond Temptation, which is all about overeating. So overeating has been very much at the forefront of everything in these past months. Anyway, last week, my partner J was out one evening and, as usual when this happens, I organised a little dairy fest. J is allergic to dairy so we have very little of it on the menu but I love it so when he’s out I take advantage and make up for it. Depending on my mood I’ll go for cauliflower cheese, VERY buttery mash, cheese on toast , creamy deserts - that kind of thing. Yesterday, I found a particularly scrumptious looking piece of Lancashire cheese which I intended to enjoy with some olives, salami and soft, chewy bread and butter, followed by my favourite creamy rhubarb yoghurt. I’d done my shopping and the goodies were in the fridge waiting when I realised we’d run out of milk so I dashed back out to grab a pint. 
As I was making my way to the shop I thought about how times had changed. In the past, an evening on my own at home would have been the perfect excuse for a binge. I thought of all the things I would have bought in preparation: cheese, salami and bread and butter would probably have made an appearance...along with chocolate and crisps, nuts, something cakey and certainly some sweets too. Any type of Haribo or maybe liquorice torpedoes. As I pictured the bags of sweets in my mind, I was hit by some sort of weird nostalgia. I haven’t scoffed my way through an entire packet of Haribo for some time now and a part of me missed that. A part of me longed to have that numbing, repetitive, sugary experience again. As I waited for a red light to change I decided that tonight I was going to eat me some sweets, a whole bag of sweets. Like the old times.
So as I rushed in to the supermarket to grab the milk I made a quick detour to the confectionary aisle. By now, I was quite excited at the thought of a date with a bag of Haribo. I stood there scrutinising the dozens of different types on offer for quite a while. I looked at the Cola Bottles and at the Gummy Bears. I considered the Tangfantastics and the Strawbs and even the Milk Bottles. None of them really appealed. Sure, I would gladly have a few but the idea of a eating a whole bag of Cola or Milk Bottles made me feel quite nauseous. So I changed tack and studies the mixed bags instead, maybe variation was the key here. I surveyed the Star Mix and the Super Mix and the Liquorice Favourites but they didn’t feel quite right either. As I stood and dithered, it suddenly hit me that the reason I couldn’t make my mind up was that I actually didn’t want them. Standing in Sainsbury’s at 6pm on a Monday night in front of the sweets I had a revelation: after years and years battling with Haribo, the war was over. I JUST DIDN’T WANT THEM.
I paid for my pint of milk and walked home, feeling a bit sad. It feels like I’ve lost an old friend. And in a way I have. Today, I know how to reward myself for surviving a tough day without diving into a bag of Cola Bottles, I know how to treat myself without turning to the Strawbs, I know how to enjoy and evening at home without the company of Gummy Bears. And yet, knowing that my friend Haribo was always there if all else failed was comforting, reassuring. Haribo has always been my plan B, my back up. 
But hey ho, if the time has come to bid a fond farewell to my old friend Haribo then so be it. 
So goodbye Haribo. And thank you. Thank you for the years of comfort and childish delight. I’ll miss you.


  1. As usual you capture the experience beautifully Audrey..

    It is weird, isn't it? But feels good!


  2. Really relate to the sadness of letting comfort foods go, like saying goodbye to a lover. Brave stuff and great writing thank you!

  3. It is a very strange sensation, facing a situation where I would have eaten to cope and no longer wanting to do that .. I know exactly how you feel, a bit lost but also glad that I'm not using food in that way any more.

  4. It happened to me few weeks ago. I felt low, so I thought I want some cookies. I went to the supermarket, looked at the cookies and cakes. And couldn't make up my mind. After good ten minutes of staring at the colourful packets, I realised I do not want cookies. I want to cry! So I went home without buying anything and had a good, old cry. It felt good.


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