View “Flying the (shredded wheat) nest”

“Flying the (shredded wheat) nest”

She did not mind her youngest child leaving the nest; she just wished she could have gone with her. My client described her 19-year-old daughter as beautiful and bright; she was a young woman who had vitality and curiosity, who wasn’t afraid to ask questions or to find what she wasn’t looking for. “The world’s…

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View “Unhappy soup at an unhappy table”

“Unhappy soup at an unhappy table”

Her friends had different homes. And different mothers, who cooked different dinners. Her friends had cheery foods, all yellow in family: golden chicken nuggets, giant corn cobs, chunky chips and eggs with sunny, hope-filled yolks. At their tables there was chitter-chatter and cheekily stealing morsels from each other’s plates and squeezing as much ketchup over…

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View “She had Marmited her world”

“She had Marmited her world”

I wanted toast after the session finished. Nothing else would do. This time, however, I found myself reaching for Marmite as my choice of spreadable companion to my toast, which was somewhat unusual for me. As was my relinquishing of tea; today was not about the soothing tag-team alchemy of tea and toast. No, this…

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View “I’d get upset when the packet finished”

“I’d get upset when the packet finished”

Every day at school, two bells would ring at 1 o’clock sharp. The school bell, with its loud, shrill ring, signalled that lunchtime was finally here and that it was time to take care of hunger – of one sort, at least. The other bell started quietly, inside my client’s head. It slowly and slyly…

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View “I love you” … “I know”

“I love you” … “I know”

This truly is a food love story; it starts with “I love you”. It also starts with a stew. And it starts a long time ago in a galaxy far, far away. A father-son relationship is the backbone of both Star Wars and of this story my client told me about his own father’s Force-wielding, which was…

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View “I always put two cocktail cherries in his because he loved them. Probably more than he ever loved me”

“I always put two cocktail cherries in his because he loved them. Probably more than he ever loved me”

Our conversation had snowballed into Snowballs. There was no doubt we had been jingled some of the way here because Christmas was only a few days away. Therapy, like any conversation, changes with the seasons, just as food does. To eat or drink seasonally is to know what it’s like to long for something and…

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View “It’s not Mum food”

“It’s not Mum food”

It was the story of a little girl who used to defy bedtime on Fridays, with fierce fists and fiercer tears. She would wait, with both patience and pain, on the landing in the dark for her mum to return from work. Her little heart would skip a beat as she heard the quiet scrape…

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View “No man is an île flottante”

“No man is an île flottante”

No man is an island – it’s true. But more than that, no man is a floating island – we are anchored in our relationships, from the very beginning. We aren’t isolated islands. As children, our parents are the stronger and wiser ones we expect to rescue us, and provide refuge to soothing shores when…

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View “I’m not eating that. Fish fingers are not circles”

“I’m not eating that. Fish fingers are not circles”

My client once told me about a childhood summer holiday where, under the heat of the Mediterranean sun, she hotly refused to eat her squid supper. She had been introduced to calamari by her mum as the “circular sister” of the straight and familiar fish finger, which she dearly loved. As a child, fish fingers…

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