I’ve never been one for indulging myself. Oh, if it’s there I’ll take it, but treats are not built into my psyche. Mind you I come from a world where having ice in your water was a real treat and a slice of lemon or lime… Well, that was really pushing the boat out.
I’m not saying that I live frugally, because I don’t. But my idea of a treat is probably most people’s idea of normal everyday expenditure. Let’s take cooking. If I find a recipe that calls for an expensive and frivolous ingredient, let us say coriander, or cilantro as the Americans call it, I will: (A) either substitute with something else (like parsley which grows in our garden), (B) use some of the dried stuff that lurks at the back of the cupboards, or (C) not use anything and pretend it didn’t need it.
The fact that fresh coriander can be bought for less than a quid at Aldi doesn’t change anything. Coriander is without doubt a treat.
And then there are fish and chips. Fish and chips have always been and always will be a treat. There’s something so decadent about just going to the chippy and buying your tea freshly fried over the counter. In the old days they came wrapped in newspaper and I could go on about that for hours, but I won’t (even though they did taste better). In fact it isn’t just fish and chips; all takeaway food is ‘a treat’ in my world. Chinese, Indian, a kebab, even a Happy Meal; although I would no more order a takeaway pizza than run a marathon. Expensive cheese on toast in a box is really a treat too far.
Wine is another matter, and sometimes I will treat myself to a good bottle of the red stuff. The problem then is that I find it hard to drink it. No, not drink it, that’s easy enough, but finding the right time to drink it can be a problem. I’m always looking for that special occasion to drink my ‘treat’ wine and somehow most occasions just don’t seem special enough. I have bottles I bought as a treat which are fifteen years old at least gathering dust on the wine racks. One day though. Yes, one day.
Fortunately I’m not much into cars, so I’ve never treated myself to anything special. For me a car really is a way of getting from one place to another (shall we say Aylesbury to Zoar in
This brings me to holidays. Holidays are a treat, and perhaps the biggest treat of my life is soon to come about. Two weeks in
Barbados in a beach house with a cook and maid
with the Caribbean at the end of the garden is
about as good as any treat can get as far as I’m concerned. Of course I agonise
over the cost, knowing full well that the money could have been far more
sensibly spent or put away for a rainy day.