'SO, WHY do I have to take fish oil again?'
The youngest looks at me patiently. I sigh. We are revisiting old territory.
'This is a very high grade fish oil. And it's excellent for your skin and your brain.' I put an emphasis on the last word, hoping that will call a halt to the questions. It doesn't.
'So what's in it?'
I look at him. I know he's winding me up.
'What do you think?'
'Well, fish oil obviously. But is there anything else?'
'So they just take the oil from the fish and put it into these little gel thingys and sell them in bottles.'
Where is he going with this?
'So if it's so important, why can't I just eat fish every day?'
'Because we try to have a balance of fish and meat and vegetarian meals, that's why. I cook fish at least once a week.'
'Some weeks you don't do fish,' he points out.
'Well, all the more reason why you should take your fish oil every day.'
'I wouldn't mind eating more fish.'
'We're not talking fish fingers, you know. You'd have to be eating oily fish every day. You know what that is, right?'
'Salmon, mackerel, sardines...'
Obviously one of my lectures has sunk in.
'The truth is, it's expensive.' There. I've said it. 'Maybe not mackerel, but that's not available all the time. I know we all love salmon, but it's dear.' Especially when you're feeding a family of four adults and one boy who seems to be permanently hungry. Not that you'd guess. Not a pick on him, as we say here.
'Which is something else I don't understand,' he says. 'We're an island, right? And there's fish everywhere in the sea. We should all be eating fish all the time.'
'Ah yes, but it's not quite that simple, you see.' I try to sound knowledgeable. 'It's all about EU quotas.'
He shakes his head.
'What the hell are they?'
I smile. And I say what I often say in these circumstances.
'Go and ask your father.'
He shrugs and turns to go.
'Hey?' I hand him a glass of water. 'Take your fish oil first.'
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