Food has always played an immensely important part in my life. I loved preparing it, and spent hours poring over cookery books and magazines, selecting recipes. Nothing gave me greater pleasure than seeing family and friends gathered around our table, eating and chatting. I fancied myself as a good cook and a relaxed hostess. Of late Iain and I had had some success with growing and making our own fresh produce, and it was a great treat for us to have an excellent meal out. This fondness for all things culinary resulted in me having a constant battle with my weight – of fluctuating severity. However, at the time of my stroke I was reasonably slim.