With Xmas just around the corner, chocolate (and many things related to chocolate) seem to be constantly in my face.

Poverty is a real trimmer and I know the times when I am not so poverty-stricken because there will be purchased fruit in the fruit bowl and purchased biscuits in the pantry. I have always considered myself a 'chocoholic' but, after a substantially long period of 'poverty trimming', my personal view about chocolate has now been tempered.

During past times of opulence, my fixation with chocolate would become a habit and I could easily scoff a whole Crunchy Bar or a large Peanut Slab on the way home from work. Opulence has not been part of my everyday life for some time now and the pleasures of dark, rich chocolate have faded from my gastronomic memory. But, the other day I was standing at a checkout counter and my arm slowly stretched out, followed my eyes, reached into the stand behind me, and, without much assistance, the fingers on the end of this arm clasped a golden wrapped Luxury Flake. My heart was saying, "Don't look at the price – it's Xmas!". My head was saying, "Don't be stupid, Althea, this is something you don't need!". My heart won.

I ate the Flake on the way home finding each mouthful a little harder to swallow as I went. My memory didn't match the thick, fatty flavour and, by the time I had pulled into the driveway, my tummy was saying I should have been sensible and listened to my head! I was disappointed.

The good thing about this disappointment though is that I have certainly cured any Xmas chocolate cravings that may make my present financial status harder to bear.