Vitamin Orange

A few months back,  I came home from work feeling pretty shitty. Not because I have another 6000 or so  days to go until I retire, but because I had a cold. This isn’t a sympathy gathering post. I have a cold, not some tropical disease involving 2 metre long worms under my skin. Its just a simple little virus with a capacity for making strong women weak and miserable and just a little bit pathetic.

Picking the girl up from the bus stop, I directed her to go in to the supermarket and get me some fluids as I was only strong enough to sit in the car and think up Pokemon strategies.

“I need drinks”, I whined, “Fizzy ones”

“Coke?” She suggested.

“No. Orangey ones. Or lemony ones”


“No..not lemony enough, something else”

She gave up at this point, and went in, returning moments later.

“I got you fanta”…and all is right in the world because she has my genes and no matter what manoeuvring we may engage in before hand, she knows that fanta is the answer. When I am sick I need orange food.


Orange consumption harks back to my grandmother. Growing up, she lived opposite us. Which had many benefits including that when I was sick my parents could go to work and leave me with her. My grandmother probably knew something about Vitamin C. She would have known it had something to do with oranges. Perhaps this is how she extrapolated this to mean that orange food was health giving food.


Being sick at my grandmother’s meant fish fingers.  It means the smoky, restorative powers of kippers and the milky comfort of poached haddock. Fluids were always the startlingly lurid Lucozade and drugs were always orange flavoured junior aspirin. I would say that it would be impossible not to get well with all that orange love going on, but I also can see that there would be a temptation for another days convalescence just for another day with her. Maybe the jackpot was that I had been banned from all orange substances as a child, because in those days they put difficulties paying attention down to an allergy to E110, the orange coloured additive in all my favourite things. Orange literally gave me life! Being at my grandmothers meant consumption of banned substances (and gambling). The original gangsta gran.

There’s probably not to much psychological digging to be done to understand why my car, water bottle, notebook and sports bag are all orange. I’m grateful to have been given such a gift of self soothing. Everything orange makes me happy, and triggers a feeling of being loved and cared for. But it also probably makes me high as a kite so perhaps that this the attraction.

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