I am not being nosy? Most of you live alone so in that case you have just what you feel like having - porridge, cereal, crumpets, toast and marmalade - your choic e - to suit yourself. If you are still 'two of you' then by now you will probably have reached a consensus or will each get your own and I imagine you sitting companionably in a favourite place and relaxing and chatting or watching the News. And I think of John (Going Gently) with his 'bucket of coffee' - no problem.
Today's Times Two says that most heart attacks occur in the morning. Writers today speak of the stress of getting children off to school - and even getting them up. And the fiddle of getting breakfast when children all want something different.
And it immediately called to mind my breakfast as a child. My Dad had already gone off to work when I got up. I had to catch the half past eight bus into Lincoln, so got up at about 7am. Just one call from the bottom of the stairs - no having to chivvy about getting me up. Then it would be wash (in the bowl in my bedroom - no bathroom in those far off days), dress and go down stairs for my breakfast. The table would already be laid - cereals(always Cornflakes and porridge in winter) and the toast rack full of toast and a pot of home made marmalade and butter. A mug of tea completed the scene. I ate it and got my satchel (packed the night before with my homework) and went for the bus- giving my mum a quick kiss on the way out.
No such things as 'sleep overs' in my day but I remember staying the night at my friends. I can't remember why but I do remember that at breakfast (set in a similar way to mine) her cereal was Shredded Wheat and I adored it. When I got home I asked my mother if I could have ShreddedWheat instead of Cornflakes. I remember her telling me she was sure I wouldn't like it but when I said I had had it at M's for breakfast and she listened to me singing it praises, thought a bit and then said she would buy a box on her next order but I had to eat it all even if I didn't like it. I promised and the next week a box appeared - I loved it and have done so ever since.
Now there is such a wide choice. There were no Supermarkets, choice was limited to what was available in the co-op. Sugar came in large sacks and two pounds was weighed out and then put into blue paper which Mr Clipsham, the manager, cleverly crafted in to a bag.
We ate well within the bounds of what was available (and affordable - we were never well off)- and we ate what was put in front of us. My mother knew I didn't like fat meat so she always put my fat meat on her plate. At tea time once a week she would use up all the bits of cheese, an onion and any tomatoes that were available (Dad grew them in his greenhouse). She would grate the cheese, chop up the onion and the tomatoes - cook those gently until cooked, add the cheese and let it quickly melt. Then she would break an egg into the pan and then off the heat beat the mixture until the egg was cooked and the whole became a paste. My mouth waters to think of it. It would appear on the table with a plate of home-baked bread and a dish of butter, No need for anything else - by the end of tea the cheese paste would have disappeared. The same goes for when she made a jar of lemon curd in the double boiler and it appeared with usually a few lemon curd tarts as well.
Now I think with the large Supermarkets and with mums taking the children with her often when she does the food shopping there is a lot of food bought on a whim and not used up. In my teaching days when I went in for school dinners I used to notice how picky children were and how many of them just had chips.
Really there is little wonder that breakfast has become such a frantic meal - especially in a home where there are several children.
Especially - as the writer of the article says - the children do eventually appear at the breakfast table -"underfed, underdressed but remarkably well made-up the girls eventually leave the house at T plus 40 in the sure knowledge they miss the bus and get a 'late' and parents adrenalin takes a while to subside.
Oh dear Miss Cleave (my old Headmistress) will be turning in her grave.