I was diverted from a full BreadBitch melt-down today by a toasted sandwich.
Those who are gluten free out of necessity and who are not super organised will probably recognise the scenario to some extent:
I have an hour for lunch. I had to run some errands, make a couple of phone calls. I ended up bumping into a friend in town which slowed things down and then I needed to grab something quick to eat on the way back to the office. BIG MISTAKE.
I have a couple of safe places that I visit, which are within a few minutes of work – it’s a bit of a running joke that I’m addicted to felafel, but it’s tasty, it’s quick and it doesn’t leave me swollen like a balloon and aching for 3 days. But – I live in Brighton – known for being health conscious, a little alternative. It is, according to a friend, the easiest place to be gluten free in the country.
But I wasn’t near the ‘alternative’ bit of town – I was slap bang in the centre and in a rush. Sainsbury’s didn’t haven even their usual sad selection of 2 varieties of gluten free sandwich. All the lunch options in Boots had either pastry, bread or pasta (yes, even the salads). EAT, seemed like a slightly more expensive safe bet, but all they had were side salads, which were not going to fill me up.
When I mention ‘BreadBitch melt down’ what I really mean is that I wanted to cry in the middle of the shop. I wanted to sit on the floor and kick things and shout at the manager for not making it easier for me to just ‘grab a quick lunch’. It actually meant that I held back the tears, ground my teeth slightly and considered the fact that salted popcorn might be the easiest ‘savoury’ option available to me. It made me appreciate the word-smush ‘hangry.’
On my march/sulky walk back to the office, I decided to pop my head into a coffee shop that I’d never been into before (oh yes, I’d also called in at Starbucks, who were all out of their gluten-free wraps) – NY Coffee Club, famous for being owned by Peter Andre. I did not have high hopes, but was wrong. I could have kissed the server when she said ‘oh yes – we ALWAYS have gluten free toasties at least. If you don’t like what’s on offer, I can make you up something else.’
She even wrapped the sandwich in paper to prevent the risk of cross contamination in the toaster and thoroughly washed the knife before cutting the sandwich in half.
So, I didn’t have a tantrum in public, or cry, or go hungry. And although I will probably stick to making my own lunch or having felafel for the 800th time, at least there is another safe option in town.