LAURA CARTLEDGE Life’s like That...I find the price to pay for eating healthily is too heavy for me

Food is a big part of my life. My favourite thing to wear is my apron, I read recipe books like people read novels and I will happily sit in front of the oven watching the drama of raw ingredients rise into golden cupcakes – like a child will sit captivated by their favourite cartoon.

Needless to say, when I do watch television you can keep your Z-list celebrities, costume dramas or debate shows. I’d rather be told how to turn a load of ingredients I have never heard of into something I will never make.

In short, I love food and as a result my philosophy when it comes to a healthy lifestyle is I would rather exercise more than miss out on cakes.

This worked fine when I was at university.

I was active without really realising it, whether it was running for the bus or the weekly trek to the supermarket, which almost worked off more calories than I carried home.

Now, however, I spend the majority of my day sitting behind a desk. And the only thing I have five a day of is cuppas.

So, in a quest to treat my body to less treats, I am making a conscious effort to bypass the bakery on my lunch break and instead head for something fruity.

This is when I realised it will be grumbles from my empty purse, not my stomach, that lie ahead.

A tiny fruit salad costs the same as two large packets of chocolate digestives. With maths like that it is no wonder people make the choices they do.

“You shouldn’t have to be wealthy to be healthy,” said my friend, and she is right. Yet everything from the shelves to swimming pool prices say otherwise.

It’s all very well having government campaigns and famous faces telling us to eat this and do that, but until it is practically translated on a day-to-day basis...I’ll be honest, it’s cheaper, easier and far more enjoyable for me to curl up with a tub of ice-cream and a dvd than join a gym.

You may argue that good health is priceless, but in our current climate we push what’s good for our bodies down on the list of priorities beneath convenience and cost.

Tightening our financial belts shouldn’t have to result in loosening others.

But until what’s good for our wallets matches what’s good for our waistlines, the sad truth of the matter is we might just be paying the biggest price of all.

* Tractor traumas

Tractors are weird-looking beasts. But despite being all wheels and no speed, they are an idyllic addition to the countryside.

And ploughing away in a field they almost seem at one with nature – even bordering on being picturesque as birds circle around them amid a freshly-cultivated cloud.

But put them on a road and nothing annoys me more. It is almost like they sit ready to pounce, or rather to saunter, in front of me as I make my way to work. I think if I had my way I would I would confine them to the farm – at least for rush hour.