I need to lose weight. I know I do. The last time I was properly slim was when I did a ski season in Vail, Colorado. It didn't matter what I ate because I was skiing every day. Although it is tempting to return for another svelte-inducing season, I'm not sure Silverbrowess or the boss would be too impressed. Basically, I need to go the gym. I hate the gym, but unless I want to buy a new wardrobe (which I don't) it is an evil I am going to have to endure. I wish that I could properly kick-start my diet by cutting out unhealthy food, (un)fortunately I rarely eat anything really unhealthy. I'm not a chocolate fan, I can't stand fast food. I probably do eat too much of good food and I don't exercise nearly enough. So, quite simply, if I want to continue my love affair with good food, I need to go through the purgatory of an exercise regime, either in the gym or elsewhere.
What got me thinking about this (apart from the shirts that are a little tight around the neck) was a recent stroll along Upper Street. Upper Street is the main thoroughfare of Islington, an area of London that one way or another, elicits groans - people love it or loathe it. I'm growing to love it. One reason for my new kindled relationship is that I was reminded that it is the home of Euphorium, a truly fantastic bakery. Seeing Euphorium reminded that I have not been putting my all into my personal attempt at fostering world peace: discovering the ultimate pain aux raisins. I instinctively felt confident that Euphorium might make the Kofi Annan of pain aux raisins.
At the time, I was with Silverbrowess and I would have been on the receiving end of significant tutting and murmuring had I tried to buy one of these totems to love and the free world. She doesn't get the importance of finding world peace, you see. However, this morning on my way into work and free of the shackles of despots, I was able to nip in and pick one up. I was right, oh so right. This was a fine example of the species. It was slightly warm when I bought it, it was soft but not doughy, sweet but not sickly, enough raisins to keep you wanting more and enough butter in the dough to keep a cardiac surgeon occupied for some time. True, it had an unusual hit of candied orange peel, which some might consider outre, but I felt added depth and sincerity. I could eat one of these every day, several times a day - but then I'd be in real trouble.
Personally, I don't consider this to be too unhealthy (no preservatives, additives or the like) but I realise it is fattening. So, if I want to continue my odd foray into world peace, I appreciate that I have to go to the gym, or at least do some real exercise - more than the one hour daily stroll I currently undertake. It's not going to be easy, but if it means that I can justify eating another one of Euphorium's pain aux raisins, then it will be worth it.
Euphorium Bakery, 202 Upper Street, Islington, London, N1 1RQ, UK
Tel: +44 (0)20 7704 6905
Google Earth (download)