Here we are. 32 days DC – during Covid. Or should it be enduring Covid?

If you’re anything like us, you’re not used to eating at home day after day after day. It can become a bit wearing conjuring up ideas for new meals. Or new ideas for old meals. On the other hand, planning and cooking meals lends structure to our days at home.

As Barbara Cartland famously once said, “You are what you eat.” Nowadays we’re all well aware of the importance of a healthy diet.

If you go online to shop, you may see that many of the supermarkets are out of stock of canned and packaged soup. Making your own soup is clearly the way forward. It’s tasty, nutritious – almost a meal in its own right. And one batch will feed a family for days – unlike a tin or packet which probably only feeds two people if you’re lucky.

We often have just soup in the evening. I make my own from scratch. It takes about half an hour. Not that much longer than it would take opening up a can or packet and heating up its contents.

We began having soup as a regular evening meal when ten years ago OH (other half) was diagnosed with prostate cancer.  Before they could do the surgery, he was told he had to drastically lose weight.

The way to do it, he was told, was to have his main meal at lunchtime and something light – such as soup – in the evening. Like most people, we were used to having meals the other way round. But we thought we’d give it a try.

He was also told to exercise more. Not go to the gym or do anything he’d never done before. Simply to walk more.  And not at a gentle amble. But to walk briskly. So he started walking from the station in the evening rather than having his normal chauffeur driven service – me.  On our way home that afternoon we also took a detour to John Lewis where OH bought some running (aka walking) shoes.

He began walking more every day. And at lunchtimes he would try to have the kind of meal he would previously have eaten in the evening. Not easy when you’re working full time but he managed this most days. Obviously there were times when we couldn’t stick to this regime such as when we were going out to eat with friends. Remember those days?

The weight immediately started dropping off him. It was amazing.

Not along after OH started losing weight, he had a function to go to straight from work.  He took his dinner suit into work with him so he could change into it at the end of the day. But when he put on his dress trousers they just fell off him! They were miles too big! He had forgotten about the weight loss and had just assumed his dinner suit would still fit him. He ended up having to wear his jeans belt under his dinner jacket to keep his trousers up – not an ideal solution!  But as long as he kept his dinner jacket on, it was fine.

As for me, I had never dieted in my life.  But I felt it only fair to keep him company. So, whatever he ate, I ate. And what he didn’t eat, I didn’t eat. As a consequence, I also started losing weight.

I started out a size 16. Within three months (yes, three months!) I was a size 12.  OH (other half) lost three stone!  He looked amazing – slimmer than either of us remembered him ever being. We both had to buy new clothes because nothing in our wardrobes fitted us any more. This was actually very handy timing because about two months after the prostate surgery (which was successful I hasten to add) it was our daughter’s wedding.

The good news is that not only did OH lose weight (and get cured from the cancer) but he has kept the weight off.  My other half is now half the man he was. And we still enjoy a bowl of soup most evenings.


© Andrea Neidle, My Life in Poems



  1. We read your blog with great interest. We have always been a walking family. Enjoyed many Lake District and Derbyshire holidays due to our Nottinghamshire location.

    I agree with your comment about the cooking at the moment, there is far too much. We too are a very souped family. I love making soup and make a great deal. Our family home in Nottingham had a large garden, so we grew our own vegetables and some fruit. At times it was a bit of a pain, too many vegetables!!!!!!!

    As it is lunch time we shall now go and eat this morning’s soup project, butternut squash.


    Sent from my iPad >


  2. Loved your posts. Presently sitting with ice on a foot I twisted earlier in the day. Nothing serious: all bones intact. XXX

    Sent from my iPhone



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