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Eating whilst sprawled on the sofa? Not for me.

Thu, 28 July, 2016

I’ve got my dining room out of bounds as I announced last week so eating has moved to the sitting room. Not to worry - research shows six out of ten meals in British homes are eaten on the sofa, in front of the TV.

Not such a huge success with me - or am I weird?

The thing that bothers me the most is not at all what bothers the authors of alarmist articles about the breakdown of family, no more sitting down together at the dining table, TV plus smartphone plus iPad having replaced conversations. Personally, I don’t give a stuff about conversations. In fact, if all those families glued to the telly still have a proper table and chairs where they can perch with their food, even if not en famille - best of luck to them, here’s your remote. Because what bothers me is the eating whilst sprawled on the sofa.

I don’t think my sofa is an unusual shape or height. I also have a perfectly boring, ordinary coffee table in front of it - as you do. The coffee table is roughly the height of the sofa seat - as they tend to be. Now if I place my plate on the coffee table and try to eat, I end up folded up like scissors hovering over my plate - and I’m not that tall - with my knees trapped painfully under the table, lifting it slightly every now and then if I forget myself. The scissors position is hateful and gives me indigestion something awful.

Plate, where are you?
Plate, where are you?

The alternative that the Weather Man likes to practice is a tray balancing on his knees while he perches on the edge of the sofa, legs slanted, knees and ankles together like a debutante or Duchess of Cambridge. I think I’ll pass on that one.

The third option is the sprawling proper, your body at least at 140 degrees angle, bum forward. And how do you do it then, unless someone feeds you?
I concede that a curry or a stir-fry, especially eaten with chopsticks, is doable - and anything that fits in a bowl held in one hand and can be shovelled up with a fork held in the other hand. But even pasta is problematic as an odd strand of pappardelle or linguine invariably lands on my cleavage, not to mention the chin covered in sauce.

Is that what they do, those six-out-of-ten-meals in Britain, a third of Aussies and two thirds Americans (is that remotely likely?)? Just eat curries every night? I find it hard to believe - I know, it’s easy (relatively), tasty (debatable - I hate curries) and nutritious (seriously?) but don’t they have a piece of chicken sometimes? Something that has to be cut with a KNIFE AND FORK? Which is how civilised people indigenous to European continent customarily eat??? And how on earth do you eat with a knife and fork while a/ sprawled, b/perched or c/hovering in scissors mode?

So I’ve identified a temporary solution which is extremely crafty and I’ve probably seen it on the internet somewhere: the ironing board. It goes up and down like you tell it to, the sofa seating level all right only you have to get a plastic placemat or the thing is a write-off after the building works. It works - just about, TWM doesn’t like it as too wobbly and spongy-surfaced. And he can’t work out his legs to board legs ratio comfortably. Back to his debutante stance.


And so it might be for the foreseeable future. All the same, I’m trying to cook mainly the kind of kiddies’ dishes that can be eaten just with a fork. Or your fingers. And to think that I totally detest ironing.


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