Hobson’s Choice

I visited my parents at the weekend. My mum, slightly freaked out by my new eating habits and unable to conceive of cooking a meal without meat or fish, booked us all in at a favourite local restaurant. There was much angsting over the menu, even on the internet before we left home. What would we all choose to eat? At the table conversation dwindled to nothing as the menu was scrutinised afresh. Such difficult decisions! Duck would be nice, but not sure about the sauce. The lamb was good and local, but could be a bit chewy, especially for octogenarian teeth. What about fish — hmm, sea bass or skate?

I had no choice, there was a single veggie starter and main, so I spent my time contemplating the wine list instead!! šŸ™‚ Oh yes, a nice glass of fizz to start from the local vineyard where we got married. Perfect!

Courgette arancini!

And in the end after everyone’s long decision-making I was kind of amused that no-one seem to enjoy their meal more than I did. They were all more or less disappointed. Nothing quite matched up to their expectations or desires. I had no decision to make, so I simply contented myself with what there was. It might not have been what I’d have chosen out of all the edible things in the world, but I was genuinely delighted with the food.

This isn’t a judgemental lecture about the virtues of a meat-free diet (I’m still a very reluctant vegetarian — this diet chose me, not the other way round!), it’s just a reflection on the beauty of acceptance.

The next day I was still feeling super-contented — but now I had more choice about how things were. I chose to walk in one of favourite places by the sea and then to spend time sitting with my wonderful mum in their garden. The warm sunshine and a slice of her cake were bonus extras.

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