Rambling Discourse

I don’t know what I want to write, so here goes ….

Stephen moved in on December 14th and brought a Luton van full of boxes and bags. After the removal men had gone we were left standing amongst the mountains of his belongings wondering where on earth we were going to put it all. A small 19th century cottage wasn’t built to accommodate a department store sized delivery. Needless to say, 3 weeks later, we now have room to move.

It’s been quite amazing how these Victorian walls have soaked up vast quantities of accumulated personal property. The cathartic act of removing unnecessary and duplicated goods has been … cathartic. There is still a goodly amount of tweaking to do but the old house is starting to feel comfortable and habitable. At least Stephen is here and the wonderful realities of living together are sinking in. The dream has changed; what was once a dream is now real and the new dreams now begin.

As I write, we have a fire in the grate, a cat curled up on the sofa, a glass of rum in hand and a curry on the go … almost – Stephen is about to put that together. Homely and comfortable is how I would describe it. In fact, things are starting to feel so together that I’m feeling the urge to write again; surely a sign of feeling settled.

I do love using the semi-colon, I’m just not always sure whether I’m using it in the right place. A quick check on Writing Forward reveals that I’m pretty much headed in the right direction. You will have spotted the abrupt change of direction there; the swerving, tyre screeching leap from one topic to another. That’s because I’m writing what comes into my head rather than a flowing discourse that is designed to be story telling. This is a rambling narrative, much like the posts contained herein.

And now … wouldn’t you know it? … it’s the next morning. We’ve eaten our parsnip curry and dahl, fallen asleep on the sofa (that was me not him) and had a lazy lay-in before getting up near midday.

It’s a grey old day outside and we need to think about what we’re doing today. Literary discourse is not on the agenda methinks, not today anyway. Sorting the recycling, making breakfast cereal and bread are though.

How cute

Some time back, not long after I met Stephen, we were walking hand-in-hand to see friends of his. A young girl of about 13 shouted from across the street, ‘Excuse me, are you two gay?’ We paused and I said, ‘Yes, why?’ She grinned and replied, ‘Aww, how cute.’

I thought that was lovely and we went on our way with big grins on our faces.

Food Waste

Waste food feeds 5,000 for lunch at Trafalgar Square

My God! Are we in the West really able to be so choosy about our food that we can afford to throw almost one third of it away? How much expendable income do we have in these times that we can afford to put such a large percentage of it in the bin? That’s what it amounts to – throwing money away!

It is an obscenity that such a large part of the world goes hungry through no fault of their own while we can afford to quite happily send food to landfill. I can only presume that most people are happy to throw money away while complaining about low wages and rising prices, otherwise we wouldn’t have a situation arise where 5,000 people can be fed from food that would otherwise have ended up in landfill. And when was the last time you got indignant about the size of that landfill site on your doorstep?

Did you know that a misshapen carrot tastes exactly the same as its perfectly straight counterpart found on your supermarket shelf? Did you know that an apple with blemishes on its skin tastes just as good as its perfect same-sized counterpart? In fact, the misshapen carrot and the blemished apple probably taste better because they are more likely to be from a small local producer or a back garden and not mass produced to fit some exacting standards laid down by a large conglomerate who wish to present uniform characterless food.

Some years ago I used to deliver chickens to supermarkets and got talking to the drivers of the articulated lorries delivering fruit and vegetables to the big supermarkets. They used to dread the checks on their consignments when they arrived at the delivery doors in case some fault was found in one of the pallets because this would mean loading the entire consignment back on the lorry and rejecting it all. It would then all be returned to whence it came. This is obscene in itself, but it points to the root of the education we have been given as to what we expect our goods to look like. When was the last time you chopped up a carrot that was twisted or appeared to have grown legs? When was the last time you shopped at a farm shop or high street grocer?

Food Waste Facts
Source: Waste & Resources Action Programme (Wrap) –  (the italics are my responses)

7.2 million tonnes of household food waste is thrown away annually in the UK
How big is your local landfill site and when was the last time you (or anyone else) complained about its size?

4.4 million tonnes of food binned annually could have been eaten
Try telling this to the starving people of the world.

The environmental impact of avoidable household food waste is around 17 million tonnes of CO2e – equivalent to the emissions of one in five cars on UK roads
That’s over 6,000,000 cars! In 2010 there were almost 32,000,000 cars on British roads. And how many miles are driven each year to buy food that ends up in landfill?

The average family wastes £680 of food a year
I didn’t know so many people had so much expendable income. And we all seem to complain about low wages and rising prices. Why?

The total value of food wasted in the UK each year is £12bn
How many mouths would that feed in the world?

See also:

Power and Fear

“Our deepest fear is not that we are inadequate. It is that we are powerful beyond measure. It is our light, not our darkness, that most frightens us.

We ask ourselves, who am I to be brilliant, gorgeous, talented and fabulous. Actually who are you not to be. You are a child of the universe, your playing small doesn’t serve the world. There is nothing enlightened about shrinking so that other people won’t feel insecure around you. We were born to make manifest the glory of the universe that is within us. It’s not just in some of us; it’s in all of us; it’s in everyone.

When we let our own light shine, we unconsciously give other people permission to do the same. As we are liberated from our own fear, our presence automatically liberates others”

Nelson Mandela quoting Marianne Williamson