Clare tells me that on Friday we are to fast - apparently it's for CAFOD (The Catholic Agency For Overseas Development). So now I'm getting worried:
"We don't get to eat on Friday? How long is that then? When's the start and finish of the fast period exactly?"
Clare is uncertain but breezily confident.
"Twenty four hours."
I can't believe that.
"During Ramadan Muslims fast but it's between sunrise and sunset only. So we get to eat after 7 pm, is that right?"
She demurs: "We're not Muslims."
Now I'm on the case. Straight to Google to look up "Catholic Fast". Here is the Wikipedia definition of a Catholic Fast Day.
"Current Canon Law requires that on the days of mandatory fasting, Catholics may eat only one full meal during the day. Additionally, they may eat up to two small meals or snacks, known as "collations". Church requirements on fasting only relate to solid food, not to drink, so any amount of water or other beverages - even alcoholic drinks - may be consumed."
"So," I proclaim triumphantly, "we have one collation in the morning, commonly called 'breakfast' and another collation at lunchtime, normally called 'a light lunch'. Then in the evening we'll have a proper dinner, known as a 'full meal'.
"I'm beginning to warm to this Catholic notion of fasting. Looks like we do it every day!"