Thursday, 10 November 2011

Say Cheese

To celebrate Vegan Month, say cheese. This statement in bold, underlined in my diary. A code, for it has nothing to do with a lens, a grin, and a pose. A relief that for once it's not a captured image of me. A moment caught and freezed. My love-hate relationship with cameras well known. An unwilling subject, yet life's stages recorded on film. From babe in arms, to teen, and adult. Photography, an art I admire and despise. There's no avoiding the fact: a picture may say a thousand words, but the camera can and does lie.

Flaws airbrushed out, colour enhanced, and background scenes added or improved. The finished image so distorted it fails to even closely resemble the truth. Due to this, I began an affair with cheese. I associate it with comfort and memories. The different types, textures and tastes. Strong, medium or mild. Crumbly, creamy, or smooth. Used grated, melted, in thin silvers, thick slices, or chunks. It has holes and mould, similar to pictures held at the back of the mind.

My cravings for cheese were remarkable. Lunch, main meal or snack. Smothered on bread or layered on crackers. Grated or sliced, the need to ensure the cheddar block looked even. Not allowed back in the fridge until it was. I'd inherited a maternal habit for straightness. Socks pulled up had to be the same height, and school cardigan cuffs equal. At night, I fantasized the moon was made of cheese like Wallace and Gromit believe. How could I get a piece? Like a thief I plotted to steal it. Cheese topping the list as the most stolen food in the world.

My own love affair came to a stop when I realised this craving wasn't delightful. It wasn't doing me any good. I was advised to switch to goat's cheese, which I've grown to enjoy, but doesn't evoke the same passions. Going without, I was surprised to survive without cheese. An addict. It wasn't a need. Even suppressed, an indelible mark has been left, so I've turned to cheesy alternatives. The trial has commenced with Cheezly and Tofutti. Impressed with their texture and quality, but in the words of Wallace, “I don't know... it's like no cheese I've ever tasted.” Not a critique, for both are uniquely moreish. The experiment to be concluded, but think I'll continue to mock, turn to the camera and say cheese.