This isn’t the title of a book. This is the Pronutro Box. The one that I read when I’m eating breakfast and there’s nothing else for me to lay my hands on. The back of a Pronutro Box can be fascinating when there’s nothing else around. As can the back of the Coco Pops box. It amazes me how healthy the manufacturers claim their cereals to be. Balanced, nutritional and full of essential vitamins and minerals. Especially Coco Pops, which we all know are pure crap full of sugar and refined wheat and not much else; yet the blurb on the back manages to make me think that maybe they aren’t too bad for my children.
I have scrutinised every item of print of cereal boxes, as well as milk cartons and vitamen boxes. I have compared nutritional values, ingredients and endorsements. Did you know that there isn’t much difference between the fat content of full-cream milk and 2% milk? Did you know that reading the Woolies Ayreshire milk bottle is so much more interesting than the PnP no-name one, because the Woolies one has a story about the beloved cows who produce the delicious milk and it makes you feel warm and fuzzy before you’ve even started your day properly.
I used to think that I wasn’t too hooked on reading, until I was working my way through Julia Cameron’s book, The Artist’s Way. Apart from really battling with writing morning pages (morning drivel), I reached a brick wall when I got to the exercise where you are not allowed to read for a week – a whole week. It’s supposed to free your mind up. So I didn’t read books or newspapers, and that’s when I realised how often I read cereal boxes, vitamen boxes, milk bottles, yoghurt cartons, anything on the the kitchen table.
Needless to say, I didn’t do well that week. I was irritable, depressed, insecure and felt like I had given up smoking cold turkey. In fact, I couldn’t last a week without reading and I’ll never put myself through that test again. If I can see, why not read?