August 6th, 2003

breaking bad


'I am Very Bothered'

I am very bothered when I think
of the bad things I have done in my life.
Not least that time in the chemistry lab
when I held a pair of scissors by the blades
and played the handles
in the naked lilac flame of the Bunsen burner;
then called your name, and handed them over.

O the unrivalled stench of branded skin
as you slipped your thumb and middle finger in,
then couldn't shake off the two burning rings. Marked,
the doctor said, for eternity.

Don't believe me, please, if I say
that was just my butterfingered way, at thirteen,
of asking you if you would marry me.

-- Simon Armitage
breaking bad


For some reason I have developed a terrific craving for organic flax seed. You buy it as 'golden linseed' in health food shops. Nutritionally it is pretty good stuff, very low carb and packed with Omega-6 and Omega-some other number fatty acid, like fatty fish are. In fact, my vegetarian friends may like to try this as a nutritional supplement. I have just been researching it and discover it also contains 'phyto-oestrogen' which may be part of the semi-addictive response I am getting to it.

My addiction really came home to me when I went to France, where you can't get the stuff (or I couldn't find it anyway) and I experienced quite powerful cravings. Something like I imagine smokers feel on quitting, only without the concern for one's health.

The only other time I have had food cravings was when I was pregnant. At that time I craved calcium. I started by chewing chalk and limestone, but when I figured it out I started buying health food tablets of Dolomite (a kind of digestible limestone) and crushed oyster shell. You have to be careful because normal calcium supplements have Vitamin D in them, which is dangerous in excess, so I had to avoid those due to the amount of calcium I was wolfing down at the time (like two week's supply in an afternoon).

Like calcium, flaxseed is quite bland and crunchy/chewy. I have never met anyone else who actively likes the stuff. But I find the sensual process of eating it much more satisfying that (say) chocolate.