Slightly ridiculous blog post title, granted, but the story of ‘How a strawberry tart tried to kill me’ is a story that needs to be told. It’s not, but I’m going to tell it anyway.
I had a lovely evening in London yesterday. I went up for a meeting with a potential new client and then attended a swanky press conference for P&O Cruises at the Jumeriah Carlton Tower hotel. And then a camel walked in … and the whole evening became rather surreal. #StoryOfMyLife (We were there to learn about the new Arabian Gulf cruises on the Oceana happening in 2019.)
Before the press conference, I had an hour to spare and so I went wandering around Knightsbridge. As you do. (Well I don’t – suffice to say, I really didn’t fit in.) But it was lovely. I went to Harvey Nichols and looked at ridiculous designer clothes and got sprayed liberally with several different types of perfume I pretended I would totally buy. Honestly, my perfume banter was embarrassing:
Me: Oh, I was thinking of buying this for my son’s birthday (erm, in January) – would you mind if I had a spray?
Assistant: Sure. *sprays* So this is £75, but we do have a smaller travel-sized bottle for €30.
Me: Oh that’s a great idea, I think he’d love that. Do you sell it online?
Assistant: (He’s now realised I have zero plans to buy anything and backs away slowly.) Yes, yes, all online.
Me: Great, I’ll do that then.
Etc. I’m just so bad at that inane small talk when I should have just bowled up, sprayed myself and walked back out again. I just felt so out of place there, and I I think my awkwardness showed. But everything is JUST SO DAMNED PRETTY! And here are a few of my favourite things …
So I went somewhere even more unfamiliar – Top Shop!
I could probably fit into some of their size 16 clothes now. Would I want to? Probably not. I went to have a look at their infamous Joni jeans but they just looked like … normal jeans? Not sure what I’m missing and at £40, I’m not going to find out any time soon. It was a short-lived potter. I did find this really pretty wrap top though:
And then I went somewhere I did know a lot about … a poncey cake shop. Directly opposite Harrods. Oh my, it was so pretty. It was called Caffe (two f’s don’tcha know) Concerto, and it was full of crystal chandeliers and silver teapots. I had had a 300 calorie lunch, knew I wouldn’t get to eat dinner, saw a strawberry cream tart in the window that had my name written all over it and just thought, why not?
When you’ve been watching what you eat for as long as I have, one thing you realise is that sometimes you need to just have a little of what you fancy. I refuse to deny myself treats in life, which is why my weight loss is slower than perhaps it could have been, but I know that psychologically, if I don’t let myself eat it, I’ll crave it, think about it non-stop, and then buy three. I know how my mind works, I had the calories spare (although not particularly nutrient rich), so I treated myself.
£7.50 for a strawberry tart. By the time I realised, it was too late – I was sat down amongst a room of botoxed, lip-fillered women and couldn’t walk out again and besides, in for a penny (or £7.50) … so I went for it. But just look at her … a real thing of beauty.
It was so pretty. SO pretty. If I was a man I’m pretty sure I’d have got an erection. Perfectly swirled cream with the shiniest, reddest strawberries known to man sliced on top. The pastry had a dark chocolate lining so that the pastry remained beautifully crisp and I sat and admired its perfection for five minutes before I even attempted to eat it. With a knife and fork of course.
So I got stuck in, trying to eat it as poshly (is that a word?) as I could. But of course, being the absolute peasant that I am, there was pastry and cream flying everywhere. And it really was delicious, but I found that I didn’t want all the cream, and scraped most of it off, and the strawberries were actually the nicest part of it. And overall, it was nice, but I didn’t get the boner I thought I would. That I used to get.
And the worst thing? My heart was racing afterwards. Like proper palpitations. Now I don’t follow a sugar-free diet, but my diet is considerably lower in sugar than it used to be and I only have the very occasional sugary treat, so my body was like WHAT THE HELL ARE YOU DOING TO ME WOMAN?! And in that moment, after a whole 14 months of not eating cream cakes, I realised that they had no hold over me anymore.
It’s a bit weird to say that cream cakes ever had a hold of me, I know, but they did. They were always my go-to treat when I was sad. Or happy. Or bored. Or feeling anything. There was no emotion that a cream cake couldn’t fix. Couldn’t make better. Until now. It just doesn’t have that power over me anymore. I felt nothing afterwards. Not satisfied, not particularly happier, not guilty, just nothing. I didn’t regret eating it, I still went to bed 500 calories shy of my daily intake (which is not a good thing), but I could happily wait another year before eating another one.
After twenty minutes, my heart calmed down and I went on to meet the camel and drink wine with ‘Very Important Travel Journalists’ who, I’m sure, didn’t believe that a blogger like me should be there. And I actually ended up having a very interesting conversation with one such woman and I hope that after talking to me she a) regrets suggesting she, as a journalist, is better than me, as a blogger and b) after regaling her with my entire back-story of studying writing for four years (whilst working and raising a family single-handedly), and blogging consistently and successfully for seven years, she might think twice the next time she suggests something as ludicrous. *Gets off soapbox.*
So a strawberry tart tried to kill me last night, but it will be at least another year before our paths will cross again.