Equipped with my Serious Reading Matter, and just as I’m about to settle down into deep contemplation of exactly what it is about seeing people out-of-place that so fascinates me and prompts me to draw, I am required to jump into action mode because of an SOS from the 12 year old at camp.
The food, apparently, is disgusting, and a food parcel would be hugely appreciated and then I will be the best mother ever. Of course, there is probably nothing wrong with the fare on offer, but I realize it’s probably more about the significance of a parcel from home than its contents. Which is a good thing too, because I am in Paris at present, and the challenges of sending highly nutritious food aid in a parcel through customs is, I know from past experience, going to defeat me.
It means I have to settle for buying all the brightly coloured packaged sugar-hydrogenated-artificial-colourants-and flavourings-laden crap which would never normally darken the doorstep.
No wonder this annual package is so highly sought after. If I’m lucky, it will arrive sufficiently soon at the camp so that I am not dealing with the hyper consequences of the delivery. All this rubbish will undoubtedly be consumed late at night in a situation where everyone is sleep deprived from night one.
I struggle every year with the challenges. Nuts aren’t allowed because of potential allergy issues, and cheeses and yogurts wouldn’t pass customs. Salamis and cured meats won’t do because it’s a haven of vegetarianism. Eggs don’t really travel at all, so what can I do? Packets of nasty crackers, biscuits, sweets and chocolate. All the hard work and nutritional indoctrination of the previous 12 months cast aside.
I try and look on the bright side though. The packaging being in French, maybe it’ll improve her language skills.