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Tuesday, 27 January 2015

Meat Mondays (26/1/15)

I realise the title and day might confuse some, but as I rarely have energy at the end of the day to form a proper sentence, I decided Meat Mondays doesn't necessarily have to be written and posted on Mondays; after all, if I were to post earlier in the day, I wouldn't have eaten the meat to write about. It will still be called 'Meat Mondays' though, as the actual meat eating happens on the Monday.

So for the past week I have felt a little lost in this world of food that has suddenly opened up for me. It's a lot like getting an expansion pack for the Sims and being faced with too many choices for what to focus on first, ending up avoiding playing anything new at all. To make sure I at least tried to keep eating meat, I went for a simple solution - buying something in a tin.  Turns out this was a terrible idea.

I wasn't feeling great after eating a sausage roll for lunch (though part of that may be due to a food hangover from Sunday), especially as the greasy, oily texture wouldn't leave my mouth no matter what else I put in it. Then in the evening I had what can only be described as the least appetizing bowl of meat in existence. It was, supposedly, beef stew with dumplings. The dumplings were a huge help in managing to eat any, as were the hot rolls I decided to have with it. In general, it was bad. I guess I should have known this; other than soup, I rarely eat meals out of tins as they just aren't the best quality, but I panicked. Having all this choice and not knowing where to turn, I clearly made the worst possible choice. Part of the problem is I don't want to get anything fresh as I'd have to do my shopping on either Sunday or Mondays for that to work, and it's very difficult finding meat for one that can be cooked fairly quickly and simply (many of my carers seem incapable of reading, or listening to, instructions and unless I have the energy to watch or help, I've found the safest option is to go with something that's almost impossible to screw up).

There are ready meals though, and I think this might be where I turn to next. Of course, I don't have a clue what most of the food is, unless there is a vegetarian alternative (such as lasagne or shepherd's pie), as I don't really remember what my mum served up before I was a veggie. Unless someone can give me some hints in the comments, I will likely go for things I sort of recognize, at least until I get a grip on the whole eating meat thing.

On the plus side, it is a weirdly liberating not to have to read the ingredients list on sweets and yoghurts to ensure they're vegetarian. I think it'll be a long time before I remember I don't have to look at the ingredients, but at least I'm not automatically checking for gelatine before considering buying them. This week I had wine gums which were so much better than I remember them, and surprisingly more-ish. That mixed with the gunky feeling of oil and too much food in general, didn't lead to the best experience, but hopefully it can only go uphill from here.

Saturday, 24 January 2015

Words and Thoughts on Words and Thoughts

Lately I have started quite a few blog posts but they’ve only been half-thought out. So I come back to work on them, and instead of becoming clearer in my mind, they simply grow and morph into so many different points and thoughts and ideas I have no idea what I originally started out to say, let alone how to go about breaking these ever-growing well-written mind-dumps (I honestly can’t think of a better word to describe these pieces of writing) into individual blog posts. I have an idea yet somehow it gets lost in the next one and the next one, leading me to become confused. And if the writer is confused I have no doubt that unleashing these semi-formed monsters onto the interwebs would possibly detract from everything else out there, let alone actually add to it.

As a blogger I know I want to create meaningful pieces, and thoughtful pieces, and the occasional random observation to share as posts. But as a writer (and being me) I want to explore ideas and concepts and words. So far there shouldn’t be a problem, but once I get started on the exploring my hands run away with it (via typing, as opposed to my fingers running akin to the hand in Addam’s Family) and anything meaningful or thoughtful or observational gets lost in the pathway to wherever I might be heading – it doesn’t help that I haven’t got there yet so can’t even backtrack,  but I have a feeling that if I were to wait, I wouldn’t get there til my last breath which is leaving it a little late to start working out what the heck is/has/will/was go through my mind.

If I continue typing there is a very high chance this will end up just like the other posts I’ve started in the past few weeks, meaning I’ll never get to share it as I’ll be too busy getting lost under the deluge of words. So, just this once, I’m taking a breath and posting without reconsidering or pondering or generally continuing it into infinity, just so you know I haven’t forgotten you, my lovely readers, I’m simply trying to divide the masses of material I’ve suddenly acquired into something remotely understandable.  (If you have any tips on how to do this, I’d love to read them in the comments.)

Monday, 19 January 2015

Meat Mondays

Those who know me, know I’ve been a strict vegetarian for over 15 years. Those who know me really well, however, will know that for the past year I have been toying with the idea of eating meat.

When I was 11 I became vegetarian because I was concerned with how animals were kept, and in particular, killed. After about 10 years it became less about ethical reasons and more because it was part of who I was, my identity.  So seriously considering eating meat again threw me off a bit; I didn’t know what I wanted.

I believe in being true to myself, and the idea of not being a vegetarian felt as if I was turning my back on who I am. Last week I realised that if I want to eat meat then that’s who I am now. I was worried about not being true to myself, but in truth I was simply holding on to the person I used to be. A lot has changed in the last few years, and I guess this is just one more change. I never expected to eat meat again, and it’s taking a lot for me to take this step as I have a lot of pride and I dread to think of the reactions I’ll get, but I’m sure in time whatever happens will simply become the ‘norm’.
As I haven’t eaten any meat or fish (Even though I want to, I’m still not going to eat fish as I disagree with how they’re killed so can’t bring myself to) for so long, I’m going to take it very slow. On the blog-o-sphere there is “Meatless Monday” and so I thought I would do the opposite and have “Meat Monday” and only eat meat on Mondays just to see how it goes.

I have always said if anything was going to tempt it would be a ham sandwich (though in all honesty I can’t remember why) and so today that’s what I was going to have for lunch – the first meat I’ve eaten in 15 years or so. Actually, ham was the very last thing I ate when giving up meat at 2 weeks after eating vegetarian I caved and ate about half a pack of sliced ham in secret. Somehow the ham I bought got lost on the way to the fridge, but as I visited a friend, she kindly made me one. I had to bookend my vegetarianism with ham as I refused to eat anything else first. I also bought some sausage rolls (the shop didn’t have pork pies which is what I actually wanted), some chicken soup for dinner, and some jelly babies.  Even though looking at, considering, and buying meat, all feel completely weird to me, at the same time I know this is the next step in my life – I don’t know whether I’ll hate it or love it, but it’s time for me to make this change, at least for a little while.

So today I’ve eaten a ham sandwich, which tasted good though left a strange oily texture as an aftertaste.  I had some spinach and chicken pizza for dinner, still not sure what I thought of that; and some jelly babies, which honestly were not enjoyable.

Let me know if you want to follow my journey into eating meat, and post every Monday with my thoughts, let me know in the comments. Also I’d love to know if there’s anything you think I’ve been missing out on as a vegetarian.

Tuesday, 6 January 2015

2015 Goals

As you know, I'm not really a fan of new year's resolutions, simply because I know I'm going to set vague ones (like spend less, eat better, etc) that are impossible to actually keep. For the past few years I've been choosing 3 words at the beginning of each year to focus on. As I can't tell you without looking what the words for 2014 were, I think we can count that as a fail.  So this year I'm trying something new and setting goals for myself.  Hopefully these will be sensible and therefore possible to keep, but I'm not going to beat myself up if I don't manage to keep all of them.

I have only just come up with these over the past few days, so technically not starting right at the beginning of the new year, but I figure better late than never. In no particular order they are:

1.       Make an advent calendar
2.       Finish cross-stitching baby sampler
3.       Finish writing ebook
4.       Finish organising my flat
5.       Cook at least one meal from scratch each month
6.       Save min. £10 per week
7.       Read 50 books
8.       Put 1hr per week into scouting (not incl. Weekly meetings)
9.       Write a letter every Saturday

I got to nine and tried to rack my brain to come up with a tenth, as that would be a nice round number, but then I realised I wanted to make goals I wanted to meet, rather than forcing a goal upon myself just so I could have a nice round number.

I don't know how these goals will go (for the past  few years I've aimed at between 50-60 books yet never made it past 48 - this year I read 46), but it's nice to have something concrete I can focus on, and something less ambiguous than 'blog more' (though that is something I want to do).

Do you make new year's resolutions? Let me know in the comments below your hopes and dreams for 2015 and what you think of mine.

p.s. I have a post of pictures of my holiday season in mind, but unfortunately left my camera at the new year party I went to, so guess we'll just have to wait.