Many of you who read my blog know that a large part of my counselling work is with people learning to manage their weight. I wrote this piece for a newsletter after returning from a trip to Spain earlier this year and I thought it deserved a wider circulation. I hope you enjoy the pictures below and the story that goes with them.
We were in Cordoba and everywhere there were orange trees with fruit on them.
They looked amazing – a real burst of Spring time colour. While we were visiting the gardens of the Alcazar I just couldn’t resist stealing one to try. It’s like they were shouting at me – I bet that sounds familiar to many of you – and I kept looking for one that was in reach but most were just too high for me to pull off the tree. Besides I wanted to get one without being seen by the people working in the gardens – just like whatever you’ve got in the cupboard that you’ve reserved just for yourself that you don’t want your family to see you taking.
And I had an accomplice – Jason my husband. He was egging me on to do this – you know like some of your friends do when you meet them and you’re supposedly eating healthily but they meet you for a coffee and persuade you to have “something” with it.
In one quick movement I had an orange off the tree and we scuttled away into a corner of the gardens like two naughty children to try it. It was firm and smelled amazing. A real tang of citrus just in the skin as I held it and the smell of summer that seemed so distant to the two of us from a cold and wet wintry Scotland. I broke into it and the juice sprayed out everywhere. Oh the joy of the thief! And I split off a large segment and popped it into my mouth and this is what happened…
My mouth was filled with the taste of orange and almost immediately replaced by a sourness more bitter than any lemon I have ever had that dried up my mouth to a shrivel immediately. There is a good reason that Seville oranges are left on the trees and not eaten by the locals. They have learned from bitter experience that they are good for two things only – marmelade and compost.
And the moral of this story? Stolen food often looks attractive but inevitably leaves a sour taste in the mouth. So if you’re thinking you might want to snaffle something out of the cupboard or fridge or if you’re tempted by a friend to lapse from your healthy eating plan, remember the story of the Seville orange!