I can’t even have cheese?!

I can’t tell you how elated I am to be in Ireland just as it’s reaching another temperature spike back home. I’m only half joking – when it hits 37 celcius at this time of year it is usually heavy heat, stifling, oppressive and unpleasant but instead right now we’re experiencing another day of piddly rain and we’re only about 300 miles away from being crispy bacon. Still, the air is at least fresher and the sleeping is easier and that alone is something to be grateful for. As a bonus ‘Irish child’ is really quite energetic and handily serves as some kind of thumping alarm clock, just in case we miss a minute of this lovely weather. She is very considerate.


It’s not all rosy though. I can feel conspiracy afoot. ‘Mrs Irish’ is a very health conscious creature and it hasn’t taken her long to persuade Wifey that a September detox is in order, the assumption being that once August ends the fun’s over and the nation will just have to get back to work, because the one thing Boris can’t afford to screw up is getting the kiddie winkies back to school. So we’ll all be working in some fashion or other and what better to support this than a clean system, tingling with positive energy? Healthy body, healthy mind and handily tacking a couple of worthless extra days onto the end of your life; rotting away in an armchair trying to remember what you used to do for a living.


To me the concept of detox has always been very simple: knock the booze and fags on the head for as long as possible, reduce junky, fat crap intake, drink more water and do as much exercise as possible in the hope that increased physical exertion will keep the inevitable detox rage at bay. These detoxes can often last as long as two or three whole days, after which the old habits, which I am led to believe tend to die hard, start to creep in and before you know it voila, welcome back to square one. This option, I fear, looks like it has been cunningly undermined by the whispered machinations of the female kind and I sense I am not going to enjoy an actual, working detox regime. That it has been suggested for my own good is not at all in any kind of doubt; it is nice to be loved.


I don’t know what the regime is called but it’s probably something like ‘Wave Goodbye To Fun’ or the ‘Deprive Yourself To Better Health Plan’ or the ‘I Bet You Never Knew You Could Feel This Miserable Detox’. More likely it will be called ‘Shine’ or ‘Lift’ or ‘Glow’ and will have been thoughtfully constructed by some perma-grinned yummy mummy who sells their own brand of galactically expensive soap from a six bedroom manor house in Cornwall, where she lives with her stock broker husband, two springer spaniels and a horse called Chilli Pepper. She will sell thousands of copies of her best selling book a week and will have a YouTube channel that others will use in order to aspire to a level of domestic and financial contentment that they know deep down they are never, ever going to get close to (needless to say this sweeping assessment does not apply to Wifey or ‘Mrs Irish’).


Anyway, I’m just being mean so let’s quickly look at some of the fundmentals and see what following this detox will mean in a very real sense. Alcohol and nicotine can go right out of the window for two weeks (or more accurately stashed away for easy access come day 15). Dairy of any kind is all gone and since there is no real substitute for cheese there can be no substitute for cheese (Cheese is the perfect food stuff. Discuss.). Milk will be of the soya/coconut/oat/almond variety and will just have to do. Anything with gluten is rigorously prohibited; that means bread, pastry, pasta and such and then you can obviously throw any crisps or chocolate away too because down such paths lie nothing but joy. Sorry, misery. When it comes to eating things that also eat things then chicken and beef are forbidden, presumably because of the crap they get fed, and the same goes for farmed fish (Scottish farmed salmon are reputed to have the highest rates of piscene alcohol and introvenous drug abuse in all of Europe). One must also remove nightshade vegetables (no, I didn’t have a clue either) such as white potatoes, peppers, tomatoes and aubergines, the last two of which are very welcome to go away any time and stay wherever they get to. Finally, and this is just in case you might be looking for a cheeky loophole or a guilt free midnight snack compromise, any kind of processed food is an absolute no-no. Any kind. Whatsoever.


Sounds fun, you might say, and you might be right but it does rather depend on your definition of fun. I have no doubt that after two weeks my system will be much cleaner and that at some point I’ll start sweating out some foul smelling, treacle like substance that has remained dormant in my system for years. I have already made it clear that I will not cope with removing all the nice things at once because that will just turn me into an axe murderer, but I think I am near to being ready for something exactly like this. We are just coming to the end of what has essentially been a six month summer break and it is time to fold myself back into a more reasonable, more sustainable way of life. Perhaps I should start early; August can be a long month. Either way somewhere out there is the perfect balance for mind and body, but I still can’t believe that the best solution doesn’t involve cheese.


G B Hewitt. 07.08.2020


A begrudging thanks to ‘Mrs Irish’, who is far too healthy for her own good. X




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