Sprouts. Fucking sprouts. I must have the worst luck, to actually like sprouts very much, but sadly, they do not return the love. My mother had followed a Nigella recipe and had simmered them in a large wok, softening their tough skins and filling the kitchen with fragrant loveliness. The kitchen smelt of Christmas cheer, and having managed to avoid all turkey and ham dinners so far this year, I was eagerly awaiting this one. The turkey, which can easily be bone dry and disappointing, was succulent and flavoursome; having not languished in the oven since my brother was there to keep an expert eye upon it. It was then up-ended to rest, so the juices ran through keeping it moist. ‘Good job,’ I said, as I tucked in. Alas, I knew not the havoc that the meal would later wreck upon my innards.
At three a.m. I woke after tortuous dreams to an acute throbbing of the lower abdomen. It seemed as though the sprouts had sprouted arms with mean little fists and were subjecting my large intestine to a succession of Chinese burns. How livid was I, for this Christmas I had exercised restraint. I had taken care not to overeat and had been respectful of my tender tum. After an hour of writhing I gave up and went downstairs where I sought some peppermint capsules and filled a hot water bottle. The tinkle of the cat’s bell was duly heard and in she sloped. This brought unexpected results. As she pontificated at the back door I squatted to give her a stroking, and this position, along with the chill night air on my face, brought unexpected relief, and the spasms relented a little. She opted to stay in when she felt the rain, and sought a chair on which to resume her rest. I did a quick bit of Googling which confirmed that sprouts belong to the cabbage family. These days I avoid cabbage at all costs, so why I thought I could munch on these mini versions without discomfort I don’t know. Sometimes my lack of gumption astounds me.
LSB awoke and sympathised with my plight. ‘I told you no good would ever come of sprouts,’ he said gravely. We drank tea upon the sofa, and watched an episode of Offspring (a fabulous hospital drama/family saga from Oz. It has filled my heart with glee for three series now, and makes me yearn for a trip to Melbourne.
You know your love is deep and true when each time you expel some wind your husband rubs your back and says ‘Well done, get it out of you.’ We went back to bed about half six. I’ve just woken after a two hour nap and it feels like ten at night. My gut still hasn’t forgiven me and I’m boasting my ‘five-months-gone look.’ I had hoped to don a cheeky Brit Pop ensemble as we are off to see an Oasis tribute band in the Limelight, but I’ll have to find some loose fitting garment instead. People will doubtlessly look at me with disappointment in their eyes when they see what they think is a pregnant lady swigging gin and tonics. At least the wind has subsided, which is a small mercy, for them at least. Well sprouts, I won’t look back in anger, and the babysitters arrived, so I guess I may just roll with it. (Sorry, I couldn’t resist but what’s Christmas without a crap pun? I blame the crackers.)