Fiona Duff: Toast the return of plain food

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The expression ‘comfort eating’ is one with which I am well acquainted. I love my grub, and I like it to be easy. I am distinctly ­uncomfortable with odd pieces of meat on a menu which I am more likely to feed my dogs – pig’s ear ­anyone?

The return of normal food is on the way back; places where producing a plate of food doesn’t require a degree in home economics coupled with chemistry.

In London there is a cafe called Breads Etcetera which produces a range of their own baked bread and every table has a toaster.

What on earth could go wrong with this – toast features large in my breakfast nearly every morning.

Without a piece of semi-charred bread smeared with Marmite it’s difficult to face the day, in fact I perhaps wouldn’t even get dressed without this lining my stomach.

Later this month the ultimate in a comfort cafe is set to open in Stockbridge – Maison de Moggy will serve tea and buns in a room over-run with cats. Obviously not for those who are allergic to all things feline, it will however allow those for whom having their own kitty is not an option the opportunity to stroke some fluffy friends.

When life feels a bit stressful there’s nothing like having a pet to calm you down and take your mind off worries.

Personally our cat, Rita the Mouse Eater, is a bit of a nutter so I might just head down there to relieve myself of the sight of the shredded sofa that takes pride of place in the sitting room of our home.

Wedding date a spur for weight loss

I DON’T go in for New Year resolutions – it just leads to disappointment and a feeling of personal failure when it all goes wrong somewhere around January 13.

However, this April, two friends who have been a couple for nigh on three decades have decided to tie the knot. Wedding invitations are few and far between these days, and of course this event will bring me face to face with many people I have not seen for several years. I have less than three months to make myself presentable. So I weighed myself on New Year’s morning and know exactly how much weight I need to lose; my niece is starting to teach yoga at a new studio on Hill Street (Jennifer Dennis at Yoga Mountain; see you next Monday at 6.15pm) and I’ll be going along in the hope that a few Downward Dogs will ease my creaky joints and I’m going to learn how to apply make-up to disguise wrinkles.

I don’t expect anyone to tell me that I haven’t changed a bit, but I just want them to recognise me as the Fiona they knew all those years ago.

Bank bonuses still sickening to me

I OFTEN think that I perhaps took a wrong turn in life when it came to choosing a career.

Whilst I know that I am a lot ­better off than so many who cannot find work or indeed are unable to work, there are a heck of a lot of people out there who made more in their bonus last year than I am likely to in a lifetime

At Goldman Sachs bank those in the top jobs were awarded an average of £2.57 million each to stuff in their back pockets, which will have made sitting on their

backsides and wondering where to invest other ­people’s money a very ­pleasant experience.

Even at RBS, owned by the likes of you and me, the top dogs (the polite version I use when writing in a family newspapers) were given an extra £600,000. Oh, how they must have hung their heads in shame when meeting their mates at Goldman Sachs for a pre-Christmas magnum of Cristal champagne.

Oddly enough I wasn’t invited to join them, which is probably just as well as I may have put a bit of a dampner on the proceedings by pointing out that anyone running RBS should be happy to have a job and any bonuses would be better served being distributed to nurses, firemen and anyone who risks their lives to save ours.

Actually, I think it’s a ­saving grace that I didn’t end up with top-level banking – being able to sleep at night is so much more important.