If there is anything I have learnt from the horror film genre, it is that the concurrence of a certain number of creepy circumstances will inevitably lead to a gruesome demise.
For instance, if it is a bitingly cold day with miserable rain and an ominous grey sky, and one is walking alone amongst warehouses in the middle of nowhere in a small European country where they speak a strange language, there is a 100% certainty that an axe murderer/possessed twelve year old twins are going to drag you into an abandoned warehouse, from whence you shall never leave and your screams will echo unheard through eternity.
In Australia, far removed geographically and by generations from major conflict, it’s easy to be ambivalent about Remembrance Day. War is a terrible thing, and the arguments that Remembrance Day glorifies militarised violence carry a lot of weight when we see so many conflicts around the globe driven by ignorance, fear and greed.
Moving to Europe, however has lent a new perspective on the importance of Remembrance Day. We live in a time when travel and communication are incredibly easy. It is not difficult to contact your loved ones, see their faces on a screen, hear their voices, keep up to date with their lives and experiences and share your own. Yet even so, living overseas can be an incredibly lonely and isolating experience at times. And it is in those times that I can only begin to grasp the enormity of what the ordinary men serving in the World Wars did.
If I had to describe myself in three words or less, I’d go with “raging sugar addict”. It shames me to admit it, but I have been known to add five teaspoons of sugar to a cup of hot chocolate. Those desserts that most people outgrow by the age of eight because they become nauseating to eat? Yeah, I eat those for breakfast (when I bother to eat breakfast). When The Wasp asked me what to include in my next care package from home, I insisted on CSR brown sugar, because I had not found an acceptable version of brown sugar in the Netherlands. Yes, I’d tried out more than one type.
So facing the not-medically-confirmed possibility of having my legs amputated from diabetes at age 30, I decided drastic action was needed. I was going to face my kryptonite, wrestle my delectable demon, conquer the cake. I decided to quit sugar.