It’s Official – France Makes You FatMon Dieu. I’ve become fat.
Of course I blame the French. Not content with banning our beef, ‘re-locating’ all their illegal immigrants across the channel tunnel and bleeding the EU dry so they can pay their farmers to sit on their fat subsidised arses they’ve somehow made it impossible for me to button up my jeans.
By way of explanation I should mention that I’ve just returned from a week’s holiday visiting family in the tiny village of Fonroque some 20 kilometres south of Bergerac. Stepping on the bathroom scales this morning I saw to my absolute horror the needle nudging the 80 KG mark for the very first time in my life.
That’s twelve and a half stone in real money.
I put it down to the rain. We had the misfortune to arrive at the start of the wettest March in the Bergerac region in living memory.
To escape the miserable weather we retreated into bars and restaurants, where we spent hours gorging ourselves on French food, from foie gras, delicately smoked ham, roasted quails, oysters from the Bay of Arcachon to rough country pates and saucisson-sec.
And then, sacre bleu, there was the cheese.
If there’s animal walking on God’s earth that produces milk, the French can turn it into cheese. And we ate it. All of it. Every last delicious bit of it.
Of course, the French custom of eating a white baguette with every single meal didn’t exactly help my rapidly expanding waistline either.
And have I mentioned the wine? Each day we started off around 12 noon with a chilled bottle or three of sweet Bergerac Rose (to refine our palate after the five glasses of Grimbergen Belgium beer we’d been drinking since 10.30am). We then progressed to uncomplicated reds (often the very drinkable local ‘table’ wine that you can buy by the litre if you bring your own empty plastic bottle for just 1.90 Euro) before popping the cork of a red with a bolder tannic structure to ensure we felt suitable shitty the next morning.
Six days of total culinary abuse that would make a Roman emperor proud have resulted in happy memories and two additional kilos of fat.
So now I’ve embarked on a one-month detox regime, surviving on a strict diet of water and low GI foods, avoiding pasta, rice, bread, butter and practically everything else I like. I’ve also been to the gym every day this week. Next week I’m even planning on going inside it.
Before you know it I’ll look like a condom full of walnuts. Until then, my mind keeps drifting back to those long, smoky evenings leaning against the bar of Le Pub, drinking wine and playing darts with rich French farmers………