Friday 4 February 2005

and now back to your regularly scheduled programme

Good news, my blood pressure has come down quite a bit today and I don't have to endure bad hospital food quite yet. There are more details on the baby blog for those interested, but in a nutshell, Pip and I are okay. I will need more checks and tests over the next couple of weeks, so we shall see what happens.

Now about the bad toast. Only about 2/3 of the bread had actually been toasted, and I can only assume that the other third was poking out the top of the toaster. This partially toasted toast was also cold, so when I attempted to spread butter on it, it shredded into little bits. Bad Toast. Jamie Oliver has a new series about sprucing up school dinners (or cafeteria lunches, as we call them in the motherland), but I think he should pay a visit to some hospitals as well. It is not difficult to make decent food on a tight budget for a lot of people. It's like airline food, it doesn't have to be terrible - it just is, and we accept it as a fact of life.

If you are not on a special diet, why can't hospitals offer you more interesting food like fresh sandwiches, steaming bowls of homemade soup/stews/chili/curries, "comfort" food like macaroni and cheese, sausages and mash, and lasagna? All of these items fit the criteria: you can make them in mass quantities, they can sit for a while without going horribly wrong, and you can make healthy versions of any of these dishes. When I had to fill out my meal selections at my hospital, it was like being on a 500 calorie a day diet at an old age home. For breakfast, I could have Bad Toast or a selection of very fibrous, bland cereals. For lunch, my choices were vegetable soup, a jacket potato (plain baked potato), tuna salad, or the "vegetarian option" of a salad sandwich (I can only assume that literally meant salad greens on bread). For supper, my choices were the same soup, quiche, chicken and lentil stew, or a cheese sandwich. Interestingly, I could have selected a huge variety of cakes and sweets on this same menu. I could have biscuits (cookies) with my breakfast tea, chocolate sponge (cake) with chocolate sauce with lunch, a midafternoon snack of cake, and more dessert selections with supper. So sugar is widely available, but meals containing important elements like sufficient protein are not. Let me guess - sugar is cheaper than protein, right?

At any rate, I am packing one helluva picnic basket the next time I go into hospital.

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