Christmas – ‘Tis the season to pile on a stone

· Kicking off the season with a trip to Bettys ·

November 26, 2016 0 Comments

Although I was keen to, I couldn't commit to sober October as I had a girly weekend away in Dublin planned.

It involved being pretty much arse-holed from the moment we got in the mini-bus at 10am on the Friday morning, to landing back at Manchester 72 hours later.  A three-day diet of chips, pizza, two full Irish breakfasts and a 3am Doner Kebab with all the trimmings washed down with processo, wine, vodka, Guinness and Jager Bombs.  I don’t actually recall purchasing the kebab, or even eating it for that matter. I did however wake up with the remnants of it stuck to my left thigh and a rather disgusting pinky-coloured garlic and chilli sauce stain all over the hotel bed sheets triggering hazy memories of trying to stuff the entire thing in my gob in one go before passing out.

So November was suppose to be my month of abstinence. Not just from the booze but also from anything that increases the size of my love handles so that I can over-indulge for the entire month of December guilt-free.

I managed four days without wine, and about four hours without carbs and caffeine.

My little sister Kathryn bagged the good genetic material; she’s 5ft 8, legs up to her armpits and never seems to gain an ounce. If we were Kardashians she’d be a Kendall and I’d be a Kim…. from the neck down. Minus the tits. And without the personal trainer. I so much as look at a slice of buttered toast and I’m a pound heavier. I’m far from fat, but I do gain weight far too easily.  Luckily I can lose it pretty easily but that requires will power and no wine.

I spent my 20s and the first half of my 30s binging on a weekend and crash-dieting from Monday to Friday in an attempt to keep my weight below the nine stone mark. Not clever and certainly not healthy. My husband runs marathons and plays football; my exercise regime stretches to walking the kids half-a-mile to school three times a week and power-walking to the Co-op and back for a bottle of Sauv Blanc – a good mile round trip. I’d even change into my leggings and trainers for the occasion so I looked the part…  then some fucker decided to build a bloody Sainsburys Local right outside my front door.

I’ve recently starting seeing a personal trainer every Monday to replace my regular power walks to the Co-op and I’m actually quite enjoying it. The plan is to increase the sessions to two per week in a desperate bid to keep my weight under control whilst I spend December stuffing myself with festive treats. I have made a pact with my arse that on 1st Jan I will do all I can to reduce the size of it. Until then, I’m going to enjoy everything that December brings with it.

OK so technically, it’s not actually December yet. But I had Aunty Mandy visiting this weekend; she’d travelled all the way from Hertfordshire and we decided to treat her to a trip to Bettys.

We popped in for a quick cup to tea only to be presented with the Christmas menu. “We now have mulled wine on the menu ladies” explained the waitress. Well it would have been rude not to.

Tucking into Bettys Christmas Club Sandwich washed down with a glass of warm mulled wine was like that scene out of Charlie and Chocolate factory with the four-course-meal-gum. An entire Christmas dinner in a sandwich. A heavenly combination of roast free-range turkey breast, smoked bacon, melted raclette cheese, pork stuffing, caramelised red onion and cranberry sauce in a toasted Yorkshire Cobble. All that was missing was a few Brussel sprouts.


We popped into the shop on the way out and picked up some mince pies and some sugary treats for the kiddie-winkles.


As expected, Bettys at Christmas is a like something out of a Dickensian fairytale. Gingerbread houses, Christmas puds in old-fashioned pudding bowls wrapped in colourful muslin, cakes, biscuits, pies and all sorts of other festive treats.

Picture-perfect displays of hampers, gift boxes and bags filled with an array of treats are piled high.

We stepped outside of the shop on The Grove in Ilkley and two ladies from Bettys had set up a trestle table covered in crisp white Bettys linen and decorated it with a string was fairy lights. They were flogging coffee, tea, mulled wine and  warm mince pies to passers-by. Across the road the Santa-hat-wearing brass band was belting out festive favourites and everyone was in good cheer.


I’ve hidden the scales until 1st Jan. Let Christmas commence. Cheers and
bless you all.


On that note I’m popping over to Sainsburys in my PJs for a bottle of something festive to wash these delicious mince pies down.

December 5, 2016

Lyndsey Thomas