The bedtime drink is now a mug of milk heated in the microwave.
Once it would have been hot chocolate, then there came a realisation of how many calories there were in hot chocolate (it was in a branch of Costa where I had ordered a deluxe version that I discovered that the mug in front of me had more than seven hundred calories).
It is not that I particularly want to be slim. At sixty-one, few people notice what you look like, and fewer still care. The attempt to avoid unnecessary fat arises from having had bouts of angina nine years ago and a cardiologist pointing to the junk accumulated in my coronary arteries.
Stepping out of the football ground this evening after a less than satisfactory 1-1 draw against lowly opposition, there was a temptation to step into one of the numerous chip shops in the vicinity. Queues of red-and-white scarfed supporters stood waiting to be served and the tempting scents wafted through the open doors.
Once a bag of chips would have rounded off any evening at a football match. Once the odours of football crowds would be superseded by the smell of fried food and vinegar.
But it wasn’t just football matches that demanded suppers.
A night out at the King William Inn in the Polden Hill village of Catcott would conclude with bread and cheese and pickled onions. Pubs went with pickles, there were country places that would have had jars of pickled eggs on the counter. (I was never quite sure if there was a polite way of eating pickled eggs).
Calling at someone’s house would often mean supper. Sometimes the frying pan would come out for sausages, bacon and egg. Sometimes there would be sandwiches. Sometimes there would be biscuits and cakes. Once I remember having baked beans on toast in a house, there seemed to be a tin of beans for each person.
Undoubtedly, there would have been a strong correlation between drinking beer and eating food, perhaps the beer made you feel more hungry. No-one would have thought of frying eggs at midnight on any other night, but after a night out it seemed the most ordinary thing in the world.
Looking at a box of free range eggs in the fridge this evening, there was a moment of temptation. It was withstood. The bathroom scales this morning told me that I had put on ten pounds since I returned to Dublin, to be at least a stone overweight.
I took out a slice of whole grain bread and put it in the toaster thinking about the suppers I had foregone.
Instead of super-sweetened hot chocolate try a cocoa drink.
Add a spoonful to your milk.
I mix 4 teaspoons dried skimmed milk and cocoa powder to a little cold water and add slightly cooled boiled water while stirring.
That sounds much healthier!