MATTHEW CHATFIELD WRITES: I've never eaten a McDonald's. Bizarre though this may sound in the twenty-first century, I've never even been in a McDonald's restaurant. I say this with no particular pride or zeal. I'm not judging you harshly if you enjoy an Egg McMuffin or Filet-o-fish. Drive through with impunity, but I shan't join you.

It started by accident. I was born before McDonald's even existed in this country, and grew up in places free from it - mostly here on the Island. The year I turned 18, McDonald's opened in Gosport, not far from where I was then living. It was promoted by that horrific clown mascot Ronald McDonald, which I didn't like the look of. Like the rebellious teenager I was, I wouldn't go with my peers and try the exciting new American hamburgers. Instead I ate cooling fish and chips from the wrapper, huddled in a drizzly seafront shelter with the meagre comfort of my own angst. The habit stuck, and I never went.

Some years later when I first got a job I found myself sorely tested. Stuck in Paris, at night, some colleagues and I needed food. I was the only French speaker, and the sole available option was Mcdonald's. Would I break my McDuck for such a humanitarian reason? To the irritation of my travelling companions, and perhaps to my own surprise, I would not. I realised that I had somehow managed to avoid going into one of the most popular restaurant chains in the world for my whole life to date, and I wasn't going to start then. Food was obtained by charades. I remained sulking outside.

Thus it has been ever since. By the time my own children were old enough, the Island had McDonald's of its own and the kids happily went there, first for children's parties and later to spend their own money. They seemed none the worse for it, and learnt to taunt me with tales of incredible bargains and delectable treats to be had beneath the golden arches. Still I resisted, and I do to this day.

I suspect the loser in this irrational veto has been me. Based on some childish whim I've managed to make a lifelong policy of avoiding McDonald's. I can't say if I like it or don't like it - I've never even tried. That zany cartoonish oaf Ronald McDonald is long gone - thank goodness - and the venue is now marketed as some kind of artisan hipster paradise, all rough wood surfaces and barista aprons. There's a 24-hour drive-thru Mcdonald's within five minutes of my house. I could go there right now, but I don't. After thirty years I suppose I feel there ought to be some Damascene conversion or dramatic intervention before I pop my McCherry. But if McDonald's quietly invited me in, and muttered a brief apology about that damned clown, I suspect that would do the trick. The wait would be over and I'd be just the same as the rest of you.