The complete joy of breakfast is that, by its very nature, it is a meal that can be eaten literally within seconds of waking up. None of this ‘Dinner will be in an hour’ rubbish, or ‘You can’t possibly be hungry Becky, you only had lunch forty minutes ago’. No. The moment you stir from your slumberous coma and become aware of the world around you, it is perfectly acceptable to think ‘I want to eat something. Immediately.’
Whether that something be a simple bowl of cereal – perhaps your wholesome multigrain or something more exotic, like Coco Pops – a couple of slices of toast lovingly swathed in butter and Marmite, or a perhaps a smattering of jammy sweetness; a pair of plump, shining poached eggs wobbling on top of toasted rye, nestling in earthy spinach with a vibrant streak of smoked salmon; or a full English breakfast with all the trimmings, a veritable banquet of joy – whatever that something, it shapes your mood, sculpts your day. It is the most important meal. Ever.
So imagine my disappointment when I was faced with this this morning:
It’s a simple bowl of All Bran and Cornflakes, both of which I love, separately and united. Usually, the All Bran settles into a fibrous soil underneath, while the Cornflakes provide a pleasing crunch on top – a breakfast I am happy with. But this morning I got distracted. I made the breakfast, poured the milk, set the bowl down – and wandered off. I had a conversation, I put some washing on, I got myself a glass of water, I put on my dressing gown – all of which took a matter of minutes, but those minutes were enough for some kind of terrible reaction to take place in my breakfast bowl.
When I returned, I was faced with this:
The All Bran had formed some kind of branny cement, compacted to the extent that I could have used it to build foundations for a small house:
The Cornflakes had congealed to an unrecognisable soggy stodge. There was no trace of milk left, no liquid relief from the bowl of stodgy doom that was my breakfast.
I mean, look at it.
If I had had the time or the inclination, I could have used the All Bran to fill the pothole outside our house, or sold it to NASA to help build their spaceships, because nothing was getting through that stuff.
Why, WHY did I let this happen????
The one positive to come out of this breakfasty hell is that my day can only get better. The most traumatic event is surely over. Nothing can come close to the bitter, crushing sadness of a disappointing breakfast.
I still ate it.