Claudia Winkleman: Take It From Me

'I couldn't really hear my husband because I was speed-eating Mini Eggs while listening to my iPod'
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The Independent Online

Prepare yourselves. Really, I mean it. This is not one of those "STOP PRESS, I've got a shocker to share but it turns out I don't really 'get' teapots" columns. This is going to stop you in your tracks.


I'm going to try to write it casually...

So, my husband just came back from a health farm.

I know. I know. I know. I know.

The following things are going through your head:

1. He wasn't at a health farm, you moron. Men hate being told that carbohydrates are bad for them. He's HAVING AN AFFAIR.

2. How unhealthy must he be? I mean, what IS she feeding him? To go to a health farm? And one that focuses on poo? (Don't get me started. We don't know each other well enough to go there...)

3. She is obviously a nightmare to live with. I mean, she comes across as quite highly strung and a bit mental and it's obvious she'd be a tricky wife, but wow. Seriously, Jesus. To go and leave his house to eat bracken and to do yoga?

Well, well done you. But I decided to embrace the idea. He was off with his two great friends and said he'd come home with a sparkle in his eye and a new hole in his belt. Or, I think that's what he said. I couldn't really hear as I was speed-eating Mini Eggs listening to my iPod.

Now, the only thing that made the whole idea OK was that I knew he'd hate it. Two minutes after he left the house I thought: "Any minute now he'll call and ask if I'd smuggled a family pack of Haribo in his bag." I laughed with my girlfriends: "Aren't they cute, those boys? They'll be calling us begging for a Domino's by the end of day one."

Ah. First mistake. The one thing I always forget about men is their ability to throw themselves into any situation and to just get on board. Whether it's drinking, playing dominoes ("BABY, DON'T CHEAT. This is SERIOUS...") or painting a shed, they can't help but do it with fervour and finish the course.

Day One Phone Call

"Baby, can you buy some wheat-free thins for when I get home?"


Day Two Phone Call

"Honey. Hey. I miss you. Listen, I don't want you to panic but I think I'm not great at the whole cow's milk thing. I just wanted to let you know in case the kids react in some way."

"They're not allergic."

"We don't always know what we're allergic to, sweetheart."

"Um. Well, in my world, you'd normally see signs. And one of the kids is five. I think we'd have had an inkling."

"I think we should consider soya."

"Soya milk?"

"Sure. And we should get more tofu in."

"Tofu in? In where? In what capacity? What's the matter with chicken?"

"It clogs us up. Seriously. I've got the video of my colonic and you should see the chicken..."

"I'm not sure this is a good idea."

"Tofu is most definitely a good idea. There can be a downside to eating too much of anything, but tofu? Tofu is food of the gods."

"No. I mean these discussions."

"You want to do it face to face? Sure. We'll sit together and talk about tofu, baby. Anyway, time for my EKG. Love you."

(I stare at the phone receiver for a good five minutes.)

Day Three Phone Call

"We can't eat after 6pm any more, munchkin."

"Uh. How's that going to work? You're at the office and sometimes I'm at the office, and if we are here, that's when the kids have their bath. Are you joking?"

"It's about the digestive juices."

"Did you just say 'digestive juices'?"

"They're nothing to be scared of, honey. The juices are your friends."

"Oh God, I think I need to sit down."

"It's just that they can't work late into the night. What we'll do is set up a table in the kids' bathroom. Like on their sink and while they're in the bath you and I can eat."

"I want my husband back."

"Tomorrow, sweetheart. Tomorrow. And your husband weighs six pounds less. Hey. Do you want to turn the playroom into a meditation centre?"

"Make it stop."

"That's what I'm saying. Let's put the brakes on and ease up on life and just hum."

"Anything else?"

"Sure. No wheat. No raw food after 3pm. We've got to eat by six and there's no more coffee. Ever."

Day Four Phone Call

"Hey there."

"Is your flight on time?"

"It's been delayed by 30 minutes."


"Which has been sort of good news because it meant I could have a cappuccino, a sandwich and a slice of cake."

"Thank God."

"Let's never mention tofu again."


"Oh. And let's not mention my trip to anybody, baby. It's not funny."

"Au contraire."