when we used to eat those Morning Coffee biscuits - slathered in butter - for morning tea?"
"M....used to eat those big Bush biscuits. They were about three times the size of the others."
"And dip the Milk Arrowroot ones in the tea..."
"And the waxed paper around the sandwich at lunch time..."
"White bread of course...with cheese and pickles..."
"Left over lamb on Mondays..."
And so the conversation went on.
I was waiting for a meeting to start. People were bringing in their cappuccinos in their take away cups. (I was swigging this year's rainwater from my trusty plastic bottle brought from home.) Everyone at the meeting had once been a teacher. Oh yes, this is what they had eaten for morning "recess" in the good old / bad old days.
I remember other people eating those things too. In one rural school there were also "finger buns" - long rectangles of sweet doughy bread topped with pink icing and coconut. When the local baker had enough currants he would tip them into the mixture as well. You never knew whether it would be a currant day or not. Nobody complained.
And I do not remember people being obese either. There were of course some people who were overweight but not grossly overweight. My brother had a friend called "Tubby" and he was overweight but not remarkably so. Most people were just a normal size. Look at school photographs of the secondary years at the time and we were all, if anything, on the thin side.
We ate butter. We ate cream. Our mothers fried the lamb chops in the frying pan. Most nights we ate vegetables that had been boiled in salted water along with the chops. Fish (in batter) and chips would be "deep fried".
So what went wrong? Now we supposedly eat "healthy" food. We are supposed to avoid butter and cream and anything which has been fried in anything more than a smidgeon of good oil. The vegetables are steamed and no salt is added. People don't eat biscuits slathered in butter for their morning tea and the cappuccinos they bring in are made with low fat milk, soy milk or some other "healthy" alternative.
And yet they grow "fat". They are "overweight" and yes, "obese".
Oh yes, I know I weigh more than I should - and I was the only one who pedalled to the meeting. That is not fair.
Tonight the Senior Cat and I will eat the last two slices of the cake we had on Monday with Cousin Cat and his wife - and, for once, I won't care about the calories or the kilojoules.