Part 119: Cereal


Cooie! Hello again. How’s life? Sorry about those last few posts. Particularly that maudlin, January blues thing I subjected you to last week. That was a bit self-indulgent and attention seeking wasn’t it? And crassly predictable. The literary* equivalent of putting a sad face status on Facebook and waiting for my frenemies to inbox me going, ‘arr. Wot’s up Hun? You alright?’ (Which – as my frenemies know – is something I have, on occasion, done.)

Oh dear. I apologise. I went deranged for a few days there. Blame January, my menstrual cycle, and whoever it was that invented Internet dating.

I’m back on form now though. Feeling as perky as can be expected considering the looming PhD submission, empty fridge and 600 calls a week from debt collectors. Things are looking up. But not on the man front. Of course not on the man front. You will be pleased to hear I’m still failing in that department, what with the twisted dates that culminate in him serenading me with a brass instrument and my continued nurturing of international fantasy romances, which have limited scope for becoming reality – although, let’s look on the bright side, at least that means I won’t end up naked and distressed, sobbing into a towel in a hotel bathroom because what I thought was love, potentially, turned out to be just sex and emotional immaturity, again.

Where was I?

Oh, yes: I’m back, and I’m determined to give you what you came here for. Namely, amusing reasons to be single. So here goes:

I do often feel that the world, at large, is mistaken. That all of the people, all of the time do things that are foolish and disgusting and time-wasting. And I shake my elfin head, and I put on a leopard-print dress, a chiffon scarf and a pair of Doc Martens, and I feel superior. But then some daft cad fails to text me after a sub-par night of pseudo romance and I’m overcome with self-doubt. And I look to other people’s lives for guidance.

There are all sorts of things that other people do and tell you about – in conversation or in blogs or in newspaper columns or similar – which they appear to find pleasurable, but which you have thus far failed to enjoy. Things such as fellatio, The Simpsons and any film the Coen brothers have ever made. Once or twice a year you try them out – because they do seem to make all the other people happy – although you really should have the courage of your convictions by now.

In my life, the main one is cereal.

The existence of cereal as a twenty-first century foodstuff is baffling to me. It is literally grain, pulled from long grasses, processed and served in a bowl – just as it was served to medieval labourers, who only consented to consume the vile stuff because they couldn’t afford steak, sushi or water with which to boil vegetables. For the knackered, medieval farm worker, it was cereal or dirt scratched from the wet ground with gnarled, chapped fingertips.

There is nothing less glamorous than cereal. Even the woman I spotted at a car boot sale last year, sat in a cracked plastic child’s dining chair, with lank unwashed hair and a stained beige anorak, attempting to light one cigarette in the left corner of her mouth while she smoked a second cigarette in the right corner of her mouth, possessed more glamour than your average box of Kellogg’s. (Actually, that’s probably not a great analogy, because she was almost certainly the most fabulous thing I’ve ever seen.)

I do not want to feel like a poor person from a depressing period of history when I eat my breakfast. I want to feel dazzling. I want my taste buds to squirt forth fountains of sour saliva in anticipatory pleasure. I want my morning meal to make me feel as if the future holds promise, as though today is the day when the stars will align, when fate will deliver, when I’ll walk out the door with my head held high and the world will take notice, at last.

You know, pretty much exactly the way I want to feel in the first flush of a relationship.

I’d like to argue that my repulsion towards cereal, my annual consumption of it regardless and my lack of luck in love are connected. Which is why I started writing this post. But I’ll leave it to you to join the dots. Because, frankly, I’m clutching at straws here.

*yes, I do think of the words I write on this blog as literature. And what, haters?

*Image by Grant Cochrane at


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