Thursday, February 28, 2013

Avocado for Tea

We are having avocado for tea tonight. Buying an avocado is an art; if my thumb dents the skin it has reached the age of ripeness; doesn't move at all - needs to ripen; sinks into the flesh -.  awarded it’s over ripe certificate.


I slice into the skin to reveal the dark brown stone housed in two tone flesh, saliva seeps from the corners of my mouth. I peel away the skin and like licking the spoon after childhood cake making, my reward is the remaining flesh scooped out and sucked from my green fingers.

The peeled avocado pear is like an unfilled boat, prawns are the ideal sailors, splashed with pink Marie Rose sea-spray; ready to sail on waves of lettuce.

Rewind four years, the smell of avocado plays with my taste buds as the high dependency nurses appear by my bed to roll me onto my side. My rumbling stomach is incessant even though I have cleared every plate of hospital food. My only thought is of avocado filled with juicy prawns,  sauce dripping down the sides, sitting on fresh crisp salad.  I describe this to the nurses in minute detail as they roll me, they want it too. They suggest asking the kitchen if it can be provided; but it has to be Bottelinos’ avocado prawn salad.

The following days despite hoovering up every bit of food given to me, avocado prawn salad still floats before my eyes, fills my nostrils and dances on my taste buds. I learn that increased appetite is one of the side effects of the steroid Dexamethasone given to reduce the swelling in my head. 

Increased appetite!... if the curtains were closer I would munch those. Chris comes to my rescue, turning up at my bedside with tinfoil containers. My eyes never leave her hands until a plate is fetched and the contents are tipped out. I devour it all to the point of nausea!


I restrict myself to half a packet of biscuits a day. My sister watches in horror knowing that weight gained will have to be shed.  When my bedside neighbour starts rustling her foil wrapped cheese and biscuits it could be enough to get me back on my feet.