Fasting. It’s not everyone’s cup of tea. (You’re allowed tea when you fast. As long as you don’t add milk or sugar. Fun times.) But it is a thing. A thing people are doing.
It all started with a Horizon documentary about the benefits of going 5:2. I haven’t seen it yet because my attention span for documentaries is embarrassingly short. I quite enjoy them once I get going but I avoid getting going in the first place. But I’m told fasting provides such health benefits as a longer life, a healthier heart, lower cholesterol. While you give your organs a break from digestion, they can get on with other things, such as warding off cancer and other pests. Apparently.
But the greatest benefit, for me, is that I’ve finally got the marriage I always wanted.
See, I love talking about food. What did you have for lunch? Genuinely, I want to know. I love lunch. I’ve got the next 21 meals planned in my head. When my husband can’t remember an old date we had, I say: ‘You know, you had the burger with the brioche bun and extra cheese, I had the risotto, how can you not remember?’
All events are categorised in my brain by the food associated with them. Food is great. Before a meal, I like to talk about what I might eat. After a meal, I could squeeze another conversation out of the topic of what we just ate. It’s riveting stuff, being in my company.
But Gaz isn’t that kind of food-versationalist. He doesn’t like talking about food, he doesn’t like cooking food, he doesn’t remember the food he’s eaten. I know – he’s clearly unhinged. How do I live with such a strange man, I hear you ask. It’s tough. Sometimes I talk to myself about porridge, such is the lack of chat I get out of him.
Not anymore. Now Gaz is a strident faster, twice a week I get a husband who will talk about food ALL DAY LONG. Last week, we went on a walk to ward off his hunger for the last few hours of his fast. Chat went like this:
Gaz: Tonight let’s have macaroni cheese, with bacon and sweetcorn. Hey, remember that tuna steak and chips we had on honeymoon? Back when I was travelling in South America, I had the most amazing cheese thing. It was like a volcano of cheese, with bits of chorizo in it. Mmm, chorizo. I am sure I could find that cheese online. I’m going to hunt it down and buy it.* What would be your last meal on Earth, if you had a choice?
Me: I don’t know, maybe thai green curr-
Gaz: Ham egg and chips. Don’t you just love the way halloumi tastes? Let’s get some halloumi. We haven’t had halloumi in ages. What are you cooking for the party this weekend? I could fire up the smoker, pull some pork. Mmm, pulled pork…
The marriage I’ve always wanted. One where we just talk about food all the time. All these years, all I had to do was starve him and he’d finally start talking about food. If only I’d known, some of my conversations might have actually had two people in them.
*We got home an hour later and he did indeed track down Oaxaca cheese online. He bought 1kg of it.