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Breakfast, or why the hell am I awake?


Personally I think the Anglo-Saxon perception of early rising being a virtue is profoundly misguided, and the root of most, if not all, evils. I mean look at Descartes. Left to get up late, and cosy up to a warm fire, he creates works of true genius in multiple fields, making significant contributions to the history of human thought with his writing, philosophy and mathematics. His masterwork Meditations on First Philosophy is still a standard text in most universities’ philosophy departments, and the entire Cartesian mathematical system owes its existence to him, hence its name. All of this he achieved after a nice lie in, usually near a big warm fire. A few months of being made to get up early and hang around in cold draughty rooms, and he was stone dead, at 53.

There is a lesson there for us all.

The second reason that I am not a fan of breakfast is that most breakfasts – at least most things that can be made and consumed in a bearably short space of time – are depressingly boring. And depressing is the last thing I need in the morning. I have learned to accept my breakfast lot during the weeks – commutes and school runs must happen on time, and food must be taken on board to get people through the morning. That is all one can hope for.

(There is actually one breakfast that I do enjoy during the week, and that is an oatmeal smoothie *.  It can be made the evening, bunged in the fridge in a wide rimmed plastic bottle, and quaffed in the morning in double quick time. It is even healthy. What more can you ask for (other than a lie-in)? I make two day’s worth at a time.)

Weekend breakfasts however, can really be pleasurable (click here for a perfect weekend breakfast “recipe”). You have time on your hands, no-one needs to be somewhere else (we’re not a family for 17 activities every weekend), we will have had a monster lie-in, (anything up to 7.30 if we remember to leave the Lego out for the kids, and they don’t fight), and the world, generally, is a little bit more on our side.

(* 1 banana, 1 pot yoghurt, 2 handfuls of oats, handful of blueberries, milk of choice – say half a glass depending on how thick you like your smoothies. Blitz the heck out it. Done.)

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