Many years ago, before the farmer and I were married but when we were 'skirting around each other' neither of us actually saying anything but both within ourselves thinking that perhaps we had something worth developing in our friendship, we both belonged to a walking group. It fell upon me to organise the next walk so of course I had to do the walk to make sure I had it right - (nothing worse in a walking group, believe me, than getting lost when the leader for the day is supposed to have planned it down to the last blade of grass). The farmer said he could come with me on the planning walk after the Sunday morning milking. So off we set.
I undertook to make the picnic lunch and he said he had a rucksack he would bring to carry the sandwiches and the flasks. ('Never have a dog and yet have to bark yourself' as my mother would have said). Off we set - I had my map-reading skills well-oiled and the walk (and the picnic ) went off without a hitch.
As we sat in the car (we had left it in the village car park) finishing off the flasks before returning home, I noticed we had parked beside a red telephone box - not many of those around these days). I pointed it out to the farmer saying that it was a long time since I had seen one. He looked at me in astonishment, pointing out that there was still one in the village where we both lived.
I was sure he was wrong - I had never noticed it (these days we are almost all on our own phones so why should we need to notice one?) So sure was I that I bet him the very largest bar there was of Dairy milk Chocolate that I was was right. We drove home and on the way to drop me off at my house we stopped in the village - at the red telephone box!!
I knew he loved dairy milk chocolate. He put the bar on the window sill next to his chair. It took him almost a year to eat it - one square at a time - now and again offering one square to his young nephew who always came on a Sunday.
I also love chocolate (what's not to like?) - I would have had a job to make that bar last a week. Self control - that's what I lacked. At Christmas this year I bought two boxes of chocs - one for me at home to offer to callers along with a sherry and one to give a particular friend if she called. She didn't but by New Year's Day (when she did call) I had finished off both boxes single handed more or less.
The moral (for me at any rate) is do not buy chocolate unless you want a spreading waist line. I am weak-willed where chocolate is concerned. I allow myself one cup of hot chocolate a day (made with water - just a touch of milk) - I buy one tin of the mixture each week on my Tesco order and when it has gone it has gone, Too bad if I fancy another mug of hot choc.
A rather silly story about a rather silly addiction but believe me addiction is no laughing matter. I have a friend of more than forty years who is addicted to alcohol. I haven't seen him for a couple of years until this week. To say he has gone down is an understatement. My heart bleeds for him and the fact that things have obviously gone far too far and there is nothing left for him and he knows it. I said nothing when we met - what is there to say. When he went I cried = for a life governed by alcohol. The alcohol had won - as it always does.
I'm addicted to chocolate and always have been. I don't beat myself up about it, I just enjoy it. I quite often buy myself a box of chocolates. However I don't like cocoa but I do like Nutella.
Beautifully written as always Pat. I am also a chocolate lover. Unfortunately, I know a young woman that is addicted to alcohol. It is beyond devastating. Jackie from Georgia USA
Chocolate is my passion too so an elasticated waistband is essential nowadays. Sadly, my dad was addicted to alcohol which led to his mini strokes and vascular dementia. It is difficult to witness something like that.
Lovely memory of that walk with the Farmer.
My name is Meike and I'm a chocaholic...
No, you're right, addictions of any kind are no laughing matter. My late husband was a binge alcoholic (his early and sudden death had nothing to do with it, though); he could go for half a year or longer without a single drop and then would drink himself into oblivion for three to five days in a row. It was very hard to handle, and for a long time I partly blamed myself. The book "Craving", which I reviewed on my blog in 2013, was quite an eye-opener:
Sorry to hear about your friend having gone further downhill since you last saw him. It is heartbreaking, and no wonder you cried afterwards.
I enjoyed reading about your picnic because it sparked so many fond memories of my own childhood picnics. My mother was good at orchestrating a picnic lunch and I remember them fondly. It occurred to me my husband and I have never been on a picnic lunch together. As soon as the weather warms up, I'm determined to take him on one...and there will be chocolate!
/ loved reading about the picnic and the chocolate bar. My mum used to make egg sandwiches with a little grated cheese for picnics I had forgotten this until I read your blog today,,what wouldn’t I give for a sandwich with her a cup off tea and a chat. I have a story about Lyons chocolate bar. We lived in Kent in a small village my dad heard on the news sweet rationing had been lifted so he got his bike and rode to the village store my mum asked for a Lyons chocolate bar it came in a purple wrapper, I dont remember what I asked for, the person working had not heard that rationing had lifted, but my dad managed to convince her and rode home with our treats.
Well, you led me on that journey from walking, to telephones, to chocolate, to alcohol, with no hitches at all. When I was a walks leader we rarely got the opportunity to explore the walks in advance and had to rely on our experience and map-reading skills. While I could get a group off the Brecon Beacons in a white-out without too much trouble, I did once contrive to take the wrong street in Bourton-on-the-Water - a slip-up that took a long while to live down!
Count me among those with a weakness for chocolate. I cannot keep chocolate (or lemon) Oreo cookies in the house as they call to me from the cabinet and I am helpless to ignore their siren call. Sigh ... I suppose it is not the most dangerous addiction to be had.
What a lovely memory of your courting days and I imagine that huge bar of milk chocolate was the best money you ever spent!
Love your witty post titles, too!
I do not eat much chocolate as it gives me headaches. Lemon bars/cookies/pies are my favorites!
I am sorry about your friend. My exhusband is an alcoholic which is one of the reasons he is an "ex".
I enjoyed that sweet story about your farmer!
A moving story about the early days of getting to know your dear farmer and the spectre of addiction, Weaver. Having grieved deeply when the dear young man I met by the ocean when we were 17 and who died of alcoholism when we were 58, I can say that alcohol has deadly power over some of the dearest people I've known. I've also known many who have found a way to keep alcohol from winning. As an alcoholic, I learned that I can't drink at all unless I want to die an alcoholic death. It has been 36 years since I learned that I can live without alcohol. I grieve for those that alcohol takes from us in such a cruel way and have been astounded by instances when people like your old friend find recovery from alcoholism before it wins. My heart goes out to you and your old friend.
I know a family father and two adult sons who all have their own addictions, the father to smoking which has badly affected his health, one son an alcoholic unable to work, the other an online gambler to the tune of many thousands of pounds. I wonder if some people are just addiction prone, whatever causes it it can be life destroying. However, I don’t think you need to worry about your chocolate habit at this stage of your life, just enjoy guilt free. x
My ex could go for months without a drink, but when he did, could not stop. As far as I know he is still alive, and hopefully more in control of himself. It finished our marriage. He thought I should disregard anything that was said or done in drink. Not easy when on the receiving end.
A piece of dark chocolate a day is supposed to be very good for you. A glass of red wine is too, but I usually cannot restrict myself to one.
I share your love of chocolate. My favorite is Godiva and I've just finished my V-day box. You and your farmer had a very nice start. Walking and enjoying the outdoors is always lovely. Alcoholism destroys lives. It is a sad and very destructive disease.
Treat yourself to chocolate every day, it does no harm I think.
Ah, chocolate! I am not as into it as I was when younger. But our public radio station offers a pound box of local handmade chocolates with a monthly $13 membership renewal. We just finished it off! It took a month, just one or two a day, and was such a treat.
I enjoyed your story of your walk with the farmer. What good memories you have.
I daren't buy chocolate as I know I will gobble it all down. I live in fear each birthday and Christmas that (a) I might be given some, or (b) No-one will give me any!
A serious addiction is a different thing altogether and I am so sorry for your friend and others like him.
I oh-so enjoy your recounting of your long-standing and romantic life with the farmer. We are well-served by your telling and giving glimpses into your past as there are morals contained in each and everyone worth pondering. Ponder and comment everyone does. Life is an adventure and you explored it well. A picnic with a purpose to explore a trail and a man. Sometimes it is good to have a jaunt out and about, sharing of a simple meal and exploring your surroundings and the one you are with. I had to laugh when the farmer proved that there was a red box right there in town. Sometimes we can't see the forest for the trees. Since early childhood I have had an affection for all chocolate but especially for the richness of expensive dark chocolate. At age 6 I was gifted an exquisite Bissinger's dark chocolate rabbit for Easter. It was over 16 inches tall and hollow. Inside was several dozen Easter eggs. My mother had to show me how to break it open so the egss could spill out. The candy eggs were covered in foil and were all colors of the rainbow. These Easter eggs were creme filled. The favorite of mine was black raspberry. This was the start of a very expensive love affair with chocolate that lasted to even now. The Bissingers were chocolatiers to the French royal family and their ingredients that they use are very expensive. I am almost embarrassed by my being addicted to dark chocolate covered black raspberry gel anything. I can understand the farmer rationing out his chocolate as you never want to over indulge. Your keeping your promise to him was a very special thing. I love my dark chocolate with a glass of Port. Alcohol contains a substance that in some causes dependancy. I am fortunateto tolerate alcohol but for so many others it is a poison that can be a cause of death. I know only too well as my mother was an alcoholic and died at the age of only 50 from its effects on her liver. Weaver, keep doing well. You inspire me to keep fighting to overcome my own personal health issues. Your blogging has been enjoyed by so many for so long. I believe blogging is the force that keeps you 'crackin on'! All the best of regards from Woody in Ohio
Alchohol and violence are a lethal mix, but the alcoholics I've known are decent, kind people, many high-functioning, but living with something they cannot do without to the detriment of their health, and loved ones concerns.
Recipients love expensive chocolates I occasionally buy as gifts, but I'm puzzled why my late father and my husband much prefer blocks of Cadbury's milk chocolate. I love chocolate liqueurs as a rare treat, and am unable to stick to a promise to eat small portions of a Cherry Ripe.
As a child,my brother-in-law would lick all Easter eggs given to him, chocolate and lolly ones, so no-one else could have them. He kept them for months this way evidently!- Pam
Chocolate will not make you put on weight if you eat the dark almost non sweetened kind as it is the sugar added that is the problem. The chocolate must have been in cool place to not melt and last so long. Alchohol will destroy a persons liver if they drink more than one drink a day... I feel sorry for anyone who has to drown out their troubles that way.
Some of us have addictive personalities. Being addicted to chocolate is better than the other stuff.
Some addictions will physically destroy you. Chocolate is not one of them. A bit of chocolate does no harm, in my opinion. I love your stories about your farmer.
I used to be addicted to Maynard's Wine Gums. I suppose I still am, although I'm now a member of Wine Gums Anonymous.
If I get to your age and I'm pretty much housebound, I will eat and drink whatever I fancy and in whatever quantity, what else would there be to look forward to.
I like the really dark chocolate - 80%. One good thing in its favour is that I find it too strong to eat in large amounts.
Oh Pat...two bars of chocolate are calling me from the kitchen cupboard...got to go...back soon!!!!!!
Poor chap , I hope he can have some sort of help . Made me feel sad thinking about him too .
As for the chocolate I am only allowed very small pieces of the darkest chocolate . I love the Bournville Old Jamaica dark chocolate Rum & Raisin ...mmmmmm
I can take or leave chocolate….can’t say the same for cheese! A couple of years ago I discovered Baron Bigot, a Brie style cheese made in Bungay. Amazing stuff.
Love the story of your early days with the farmer. You write beautifully, always a light touch - even when addressing some more controversial issues.
Sweets do not tempt me, but don't leave me alone with an oven-fresh loaf and butter.
A chapter in my writing career included working with a Hollywood script doctor. As his "nursing assistant", I saw alcoholism as the disease that had kept him in business for decades. "When they pass out, we get paid to paddle their canoe."
He would tap the famous faces on his office walls and say, "These are the drunks that die in clean sheets. The others don't." He was an alcoholic who had trained himself never to drink with his shoes on. He explained that's why he sometimes wore them at breakfast. He told me he'd wanted a drink every day for more than 50 years -- but he died sane and sober. RIP Sam.
Chocolate lover here. My oldest brother could keep his Easter eggs in the fridge for months. I used to nab a bit every now and then, I'm sure he knew it was me but being the only girl has its advantages.
Thank everyone. It is good to know I am not alone in not being safe left alone with a chocolate bar!
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