Monthly Archives: March 2008

Vegetarianism

I had a request to blog about how my new veggie diet was going. So I thought I would do.

Generally very well. The only meat I’ve really missed is bacon. I think its the smell. I’m beginning to find that my instinctive, internal reaction to meat is negative. Except bacon. That still requires some self control.

Since the first week I haven’t forgotten. Not that I really forgot in the first week, but I did have a couple of moments when I nearly picked out the ham sandwich, before I remembered. I’ve only eaten meat once since deciding I was veggie. I was at Birmingham New Street station, desperate for a pasty and also in a mad rush from one platform to another. Given there was about 1000 people also rushing to the change of platform, I figured I had time to stop at the pasty shop and buy a cheese and onion pasty. It wasn’t until I got onto the train and had eaten half the pasty that I realised I’d been given a chicken and onion pasty (I was very hungry). Anyway, I decided it would be wasteful not to eat it, now I’d accidentally ended up with it.

I haven’t yet used up the meat in my freezer. There are three pieces of chicken left. This is partly because I’ve dived into the veggie thing, and it seems odd now to cook chicken. And partly because I’ve had an offer from a Very Good Cook to make a yummy dish for me with these last pieces of meat.

I’m quite enjoying trying out new meals within these new limits. In fact, I’ve not really found it limiting, I’ve found it liberating because I’ve been trying all sorts of new food that I wouldn’t have touched otherwise. I have been eating more fish and sea food. Which given that I’ve allowed myself it, because my main reason is the impact that meat production causes on CO2 production and consequently on the environment, is justified. I think. I know fish farming isn’t great either, but in terms of my diet balance I think its important. And I do love fish.

My mum’s initial reaction to my vegginess was to be concerned about my diet. I have a medical condition which is affected by diet. But having read around it, I don’t think that cutting meat out of my diet will impact badly upon this. Basically as long as I eat healthily, and make sure I am getting my protein from elsewhere, then I think its ok. Given that I have been anemic in the past (I never ate much red meat anyway), I will probably get this tested after a while, to check its ok. In the meantime I’ll have to eat lots of spinach!

I spent Easter weekend with some friends in Bristol, who had an interesting reaction to vegetarianism. One guy there, who I didn’t know prior to that weekend, declared that vegginess was a way of living, beyond just your choice of diet. This was an interesting theory, which I was initially sceptical of but warmed slowly to. Basically, if you are a true veggie, then you will always choose the less selfish, least comfortable option in life. So you walk into a room full of sofas, and you sit on the floor. Or you cycle / walk instead of going by car. My argument against this, was that I enjoy cycling and walking, so therefore it is the preferable option when possible. It was an interesting theory, but I’m not entirely convinced.

Changes

Its odd how your own coping methods and relationships that you have with friends, etc, evolve over time. Evolve with situational changes within individuals lives. Its something I’ve noticed recently anyway. And I think ‘evolve’ is the right word, they build upon the foundations that were there before, but sometimes in unexpected way.

Over the past 6 months or so, my life has undergone quite big changes, with the move and starting a new job, etc. The quantity of friends that I have has increased, because I’ve met new people and made new friends. But within that move and that change, the roles of a lot of my friends has changed. I know longer see my Swansea friends on a week to week basis. And although generally the *amount* of stuff that I talk to them about hasn’t changed, the frequency in which we’re able to do so, has. Which makes sense, given the changes. I’ve also been developing friendships in my New Home and it feels good that I now have people here who I can talk to properly about stuff.

I’d also just like to take this opportunity to say thank you to a few friends (you’ll know who you are), who gave me some advice a year or so ago, which I recently recalled and it helped me mentally through a tough few days. It feels like, I’m taking the altered Swansea support and putting it with my New Home support, and being more independent as a result of both. I’m not entirely sure if that makes sense, but I know what I mean!

Not good enough

I heard back from the really nice house. The one that I really wanted. And no, I didn’t get it. Neither did anyone else. They’ve decided to continue looking for people. I wouldn’t mind so much if someone else had got in there first. Or if I didn’t truly believe that I’d get on with this woman really well. I think I could have made more of an effort to prove this to her, in the 20 minutes we spent together, but I didn’t realise till towards the end that it was basically going to be her decision. Its frustrating. I wish I could wind back the clock and make more of an effort to show my personality in those 20 minutes. The fact that I was the first to say ‘yes, I’m definitely interested’ is insignificant. Sigh. I know there will be other houses. Went to see somewhere last night, and all it proved to me is how much I want this really nice house.

Houses

Regular readers and friends may remember that I’ve been trying to make plans to move out for the past 6 months that I’ve been living here. I think I must have planned and half arranged to live with at least 6 different arrangements of friends in that time, and all of them have fallen through somehow or other. A few weeks ago I decided that I was fed up waiting for other people to sort themselves out, and that I’d look for somewhere myself.

At first I investigated a couple of rooms that I knew that were free through contacts, but the first one wasn’t suitable and the second was taken before I got to look at it. So then I started looking on Gumtree. It is full of lists of houses, flats, rooms, etc, available for renting in my area. Earlier this week I fished through them all, emailing and phoning the relevant people. It is a fantastic site. But v.popular. So all the best places get snapped up very quickly. I’ve been to see a couple more places this week – the first wasn’t suitable, but the second is really, really nice. And I really want it. But theres 7 people potentially interested in 2 rooms. The person who is organising it (not the landlady), basically gets to choose who gets to live with her. I think I would get on with her really well, but I don’t quite know if she thought the same thing. And she did say that 2 guys had visited the place before me, so if they wanted the rooms then she’d be likely to give it to them, as they were first. So now I’m just hoping that one of them doesn’t want it!

The thing about Gumtree is that it all moves so quickly. Its designed for people who need accommodation fast. Both of the places I visited from there were available from next week. So if I was successful with this house, then I’d have to spend next week packing and sort out a moving date around my shifts (and my promised car/van driver). Oh, and this place had unfurnished bedrooms, so I’d need to buy some bedroom furniture. I’ve been sitting here thinking I would move sometime in the future, for the past 6 months, and now it all seems to be happening very quickly! When I was a student I knew when I would be moving house for months in advance. I could plan. Now I don’t even know whether I am moving next week or not. :S

Realisations

Swansea isn’t home anymore.

Almost 3 years ago I called Swansea home. And since then, Swansea had become more and more like home. Since leaving Swansea, I have been missing it considerably. And to a certain degree, I still do. But at the weekend when I was in Swansea, I missed my New Home. It felt like I used to feel going back to Manchester from Swansea. And that feeling struck me by complete surprise. I know I still have a lot more settling to do in my New Home, but it felt good that when I got a signal on Saturday I had 3 texts from New Home People, all asking me if I was about to do something. Don’t get me wrong, Swansea People will always hold a special place in my heart. But now, for the first time, it feels like I’m beginning to settle elsewhere. I actually missed my New Home. At times over the weekend, I wanted to be able to split myself in two, so I could be in both places at once. As a friend pointed out though, this would be quite messy.