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Friday, January 2

Still awake, alive and kicking. Not a bad result for the second day of the new year.

I've managed to put a stunning non-entity of a poem online for the pleasure of my fans (all none of you). Called On a notepad in starbucks it was written on a... you can guess the rest.

Today saw me spending some time outside of the house and I've been away from my duvets for a staggering 7 hours already without feeling the need to curl up in the foetal position and mewl. This is a good result. However, there was much confusion and disappointment to be had over the course of my voyage through the real world - or at least the world in as real a form as it gets on Friday the 2nd of January 2004.

The thought of a cooked breakfast from Tesco made me giggle with glee as I contemplated it in the wee small hours of this morning. 4 or 5am, I think it was. I can be forgiven. I hadn't eaten properly in two days and my appetite was recovering. I find it hard not to eat - even when my stomach and metabolism have shut down, there's a psychological problem I have with not eating. Who am I without my food intake? Clearly I have a food-related personality. Anyway, the beauty of a Tesco breakfast is that it's served all day. This is good, not because I intended to eat it for the entire duration of the day (that would be a crap joke) but because I knew that I had to sleep, wake, shower, dress and maybe even stick some shirts in the washing machine before finally reaching the in-store cafe of which dreams and late-night/early-morning giggles are made.

I arrived at Tesco to find that their cafe was no longer in existence.

In fairness to them it was a product of some current in-store development. I was disappointed, but I vowed to be resourceful. There's an Asda Hypermarket at the Metro Centre. It has an in-store cafe. It wasn't far away. I know how to get there. I'm very good with routes and that. All I had to do was pray that they had an all day breakfast.

Asda do serve breakfast and they had a vast quantity of the ingredients required to serve me a rip-roaring breakfast. I was thrilled. I had a choice of the "super six" - six items, "big breakfast" - several more items, or "Full Monty" which looked outrageous, including three of everything, except for fried eggs (only one) and hash browns (two). I hadn't eaten in two days, but I was keen on moderation and so decided on the "big breakfast". Not too big, but big enough for me. I was happy. I had my order planned and it was only about £2.18 or something equally inexpensive - that's Asda price.

It was 11.45 when I ordered. Breakfast ends at 11.30. My request "a big breakfast please" was answered with "no". I didn't miss a beat. I didn't even lose my temper. I simply answered pragmatically - "Please may I have the nearest equivalent". I was told that I was going to be given the "mega brunch" - £2.98. It sounded big. It was huge. They'd taken the full monty, swapped the hash browns for chips and added a fried egg. I wasn't going to argue. So long as there was brown sauce and a coffee, I was going to be happy, and if I couldn't eat it all, then I wouldn't need to go home in tears.

Coffee was another bizarre thing. They had "instant" and "fresh ground" coffee, both from a machine, made by Kenco with about 10p price difference. I don't know about you, dear reader, but I'd always prefer the better quality drink. Asda choose to provide both. Why? Surely if you account for the complexities of keeping two sets of supplies and the wastage and the people on the fiddle, buying the more expensive and claiming it's the cheaper... well, surely you could take 5p off the price of the more expensive and sell only that. Everyone's a winner, then. I bought the fresh ground and was honest about it.

I managed to eat the huge plate of food I was handed by the lady at the counter.

It strikes me as a little inflexible to call an end to breakfast when all that means is that you've stopped making hash browns. All day breakfasts rule. At the very least, I'd have preferred to have been offered a subsitute for the missing hash brown on my big breakfast, rather than be loaded with a hell of a lot more food... which I ate anyway... in fact, never mind. It could have been worse. I like food.

I was so disappointed in Asda that I proceeded to spend a good 45 minutes shopping there. (So not really all that bothered) I have purchased a number of essentials and goodies for the next week. I'm still trying to avoid behaving like my own carer ("You like them, don't you?") but perhaps I appreciate how lucky I am to have someone to take care of me, even if it is me. I may have been away with the fairies a bit over the past couple of days, but I've managed to keep myself safe and warm. I'm recovered (ish) and pretty much ready for the year ahead. At the very least, I can face the weekend. Life could be a lot harder.

And on that bombshell, I must get on with something productive.

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