As a small child I remember certain things that were supposed to be ‘good for me’. Back then I wondered if it was only me that these things were good for, I don’t remember any other children I knew that had these ‘good for you’ experiences. The earliest GFY was Cod Liver Oil, teaspoons of it. I can’t remember the taste, more the idea of it. I mean it hardly sounds appealing does it? Surely it might have been easier to swallow if it had been called Golden Smile Squash or something, any other ideas? Even as an adult – well outwardly, the idea of extracting oil from a cod’s liver is gruesome and quite strange. Who first thought of such a thing and how and when was it decided that it was GFY?
Next, when I was in infant school, a third of a pint of full cream milk in a glass bottle was thrust upon us every morning at play time. No doubt it was the government’s attempt to keep the countries children well nourished. Well it was wasted on me. The fact that I was made to drink it was guaranteed to make me rebel, but aside from that it made me sick. Luckily a willing victim grateful recipient in the shape of one of the Henry sisters was waiting for me to sneak it to her as soon as Miss King’s back was turned. I’ve never been able to drink a glass of milk and can only tolerate skimmed milk in hot drinks.
Also in school, where the classroom was converted into a dining room at lunchtime, ready to serve the dreaded green vegetables. I don’t think anyone liked them but everyone but me managed to eat them anyway. I would move them around my plate until they were stone cold and eventually teacher – who was probably desperate for her own lunch, took pity on me and let me out to play. That is until Miss Dunn arrived and saw me as her personal challenge. She would stand over me with a very stern face and a sharp tongue insisting that I would sit there until I had eaten it, or until class resumed. On one lovely sunny day I really, really wanted to play with my friends so I stuffed my cheeks, hamster fashion, with a couple of Brussel sprouts, smile sweetly and she let me go. Sadly for me she caught me just outside the door, spitting them down the drain. Headmasters office for me, but I’ve never, ever, eaten a sprout.
Medicine is GFY and when I was about ten with an ear infection; it was bright yellow anti-biotic pills, big enough to choke on. I’d never taken a pill before and these tasted nasty. The doctor suggested mixing them with something to disguise the taste, and at the time I had a craving for oranges. Tucking a pill into the flesh of my orange should do the trick it was thought. I cried and cried because all it did was spoil my orange. I suppose I must have taken the course of pills but I can’t remember it or imagine how.
All these memories were triggered by this evenings GFY experience. Green tea. A few years ago at the end of a Tai Chi class, green tea was served from a punch bowl, I tried a sip to be polite but as I wasn’t a tea drinker I didn’t expect to enjoy it. Since I had swine flu a few years ago I haven’t been able to drink coffee and so I have become a tea drinker, not bog standard tea, but Lady Grey or Earl Grey, and lately I’ve braved out and can do the odd Rooibos, all poncey stuff, according to most people. So perhaps I would now like green tea? Perhaps my palate has acquired the necessary degree of sophistication to appreciate its beneficial properties. Uh, no, I won’t be drinking that again. Good for me? Someone is having a laugh.