Things have been hectic lately and so blogging has been way down on my list but I now find myself in a situation where one of my freelance contracts has only 5 days to go and I have to say I am not sorry. I went back to work for one of my old Colleagues (a Solicitor) to get him out of a hole he had dug for himself, on the understanding it would be for a few weeks at most. He did try and get me to go back permanently but there was no way I wanted that, yet eighteen months down the line I am still there and now I want out. I have worked in offices for 30 years and if truth be told, have disliked every minute of it as it was not what I would have chosen for myself and I now think that it is time to do something I want to do.
Anyway, in 5 days time I will be free of one commitment that means I regain 3 days per week to do whatever I want and I think for once in my life I am actually going to do that. I want to learn to fuse glass, I want to actually read a book without my eyes being too tired due to all the paperwork I read at work, I want to try out lots of new recipes and even get down to writing them down in a diary that Pub provided me with for that specific purpose. All in all I am looking forward to it and will worry about the finances later, so I know I have been neglecting my ADF bit for a while, hopefully I will be back in force. Roll on the end of April, yippeee.
As you know, not so long ago I wrote to Alpro asking why they didn’t manufacture individual portions of soya milk along the lines of the UHT cartons available in food outlets. I expressed the fact that it would make life so much easier for anyone with a dairy allergy/intolerance in that they could pop a couple of cartons in their bag and then it wouldn’t matter where they were, they could get a cup of coffee/tea or whatever. Their response to my letter is below :
“Thank you for your enquiry regarding the availability of individual portion size alternative to dairy milk.
Unfortunately, this is not a product we are at present producing, however as the demand for soya products grow it is something we may consider in the future. Thank you for your suggestion, which we will pass onto our Production Team.
I hope you continue to enjoy the range of Alpro Products and if you have any questions or would line information on Alpro products please call….”
Yesterday Ella was at Paddington Station and rang me, highly delighted, to tell me that there was an Alpro dairyfree event/give away going on at the Station and that she had been able to get some milk (so good as she had run out) and other freebies. She also said that the carton of milk was exactly the right size to pop in her bag and take to College.
Now, my point is that Alpro obviously have the facility to manufacture these tiny cartons for their ‘give aways’ so why on earth don’t they capture the market and supply the shops with them.
I think another letter is about to wing its way to them.
PS: As they state the demand for soya is growing, one of Ella’s housemates has now found that she has a dairy intolerance – more and more people I meet or hear about have this problem so why can’t manufacturers make life easy – if it is a supply and demand matter, if they can supply it I know the demand is there.
Went to Sainsburys this morning to do the usual weekly shop – yes, have foresaken Waitrose just for this week – and went to the ‘free from’ section where I noticed two large displays of chocolate on sale. How insensitive is that, I was absolutely flabbergasted so I grabbed one of the assistants and asked her to look at the section and see if she could spot the mistake. She looked and looked totally mystified so I informed her that I thought it was bad form to not only put chocolate, but sale price chocolate in front of a section for people who couldn’t eat it. I also informed her that it wasn’t the case that they didn’t like chocolate but that their systems just couldn’t tolerate it and that most people I know who are intolerant are former chocoholics and absolutely crave it. She did have the grace to apologise and said that she could totally see where I was coming from – which was a result in itself. Anyway, I politely asked her to inform her managers of my comments and request that they engage brain when setting out their sale products in future.
I think I must be their nemesis but blow it, a little bit of thought would be nice.
Yes, I will be returning to my favourite Waitrose next week, they do think about things.
Woke up this morning da dah da dah… pulled back the curtains dad ah da dah and yippee no work today as it’s snowing.. The village where I reside is on top of a mega steep hill and if you are lucky enough to make it out when it snows, there is no way you are going to get back. The last time it snowed it took me 2 ½ hours to travel 3 miles and then I had to abandon my MG in the next village. Never again, have found that MGs do not do snow!
Anyway, Andy did not go into work either and so he said “let’s go sledging”. My face must have been a picture and my first words were “don’t be daft” but then I thought ‘no, let’s go for it’ so we togged up and off we went down through the fields to Sandwich Hill. We had various comments from passers by e.g. ‘two big kids’ or ‘you haven’t even got kids with you’ which made us laugh all the more. We found our hill and we were off. Just picture in your mind two 50 somethings, two plastic sledges and a hill. Woooo hooo! Just shows how out of practice we are, it took us a bit of time to actually get the sledges going but then it all came back, just like riding a bike. We raced down the hill screeching and whooping, it was just great. Several goes later Andy decided that the sledges would go much better if we went head first. I chickened out on this one but oh yes, off he went whizzing down the hill. We are now just hoping that no-one had a camera! The funniest thing was when we decided to both go down on one sledge – it was never going to happen. We are just toooo heavy and the sledge said no.
Completely knackered by this time- I mean our normal day is spent in an office – we decided we would cut across the fields to my best friend Georgie’s house and surprise her. Well we loomed out of the deepest darkest depths of her garden (she does have an acre) and the look on her face was priceless. When she had stopped laughing at us she did provide tea and cake so it was worth it.
We eventually trudged back across the fields and through the village to home where Andy was highly delighted to find a case of wine had turned up – is his day going to get any better?
What better way to spend an unexpected day off?
Have been trying very hard for the last three weeks to lose weight, have cut out all goodies and have eaten so healthily SO WHY IS IT SO HARD. Having done all these things only to be told that I had put on half a pound last week – I don’t know how I didn’t kick the scales – I decided that I would try and walk the weight off. My husband and I (how grand) have now walked every path in our village, we go out each evening after work and before dinner and tramp our way round at a brisk pace. I have to say the first night was hell, it was so so cold and I am sooooo unfit that I got halfway round and thought I would faint. Needless to say my husband was fine and thought it highly amusing, that is until he realised that I really did feel horrid. I got home with an extremely ruddy face and it took ages for that to fade. I have persevered though and over the weekend we had two lovely walks to neighbouring villages which I thought was really good for me. I have to say I do feel much better for it but as for it having worked, well tomorrow night will tell…
We also went out with friends on Saturday to an Italian Restaurant that we like, big mistake, friends do not do diets, do not understand diets, do not have any intention of helping you with the diet. It was a nightmare with tiramisu and the like being shoved at me BUT I refrained, I had to sit on my hands to do this but I succeeded. Did I feel better and smug for being big enough to refuse, NO I didn’t I just felt deprived, but hey I will get rid of this weight if it kills me.
Am now off for my evening’s route march in the hope that tomorrow I will be able to go to WW with confidence – fat chance (excuse the pun).
Condition or fad, let’s see…
Yesterday (23/1/07) the Daily Mail ran an article titled “Food Intolerance – a real condition or nothing but a fad”. Well I read this with interest and learnt the difference between an intolerance and an allergy, causes, how common it is, etc., but I was most concerned about the paragraph on how common it is.
As you all know my daughter suffers with a severe dairy/lactose intolerance and over the years it has become clear that she is not on her own, far from it. That being so I was perturbed to read that Dr. Hurlstone (from where I do not know) claims that :-
“people are quick to jump on the bandwagon”
Is he mad? Why on earth would you forgo certain foods if you did not have to? It is not easy, is certainly unenjoyable, sidelines you from being able to enjoy meals out, purchasing normal everyday food and increases your food bill by vast amounts of money. Taking this into account why would you do it if you didn’t have to?
I take his point that people get misdiagnosed and that is sad, but the old chestnut of the ‘bandwagon’ is really harmful to people who do have an intolerance and the way they are perceived by other people. My daughter has suffered for years and has been called an attention seeker and anorexic. She is neither of those things and found it quite distressing. Her intolerance affects her health and well being and she copes remarkably, she rarely moans and just gets on with it.
Imagine this scenario: you are at work and it is someone’s birthday. As usual it is cakes/chocolates all round and everyone gets stuck in, except you can’t indulge. Your workmates are all aware you have an intolerance but that doesn’t stop them shoving cakes/chocolates at you saying ‘go on, have one, it won’t hurt’. Well yes it does hurt and it does make her sick and it doesn’t matter how many times she tells them, it still goes on. It must be hell to have to sit and watch them and I know if it was me I would have had a hissy fit by now. There is nothing she would like more than to sit down to a large piece of brie or a slab of chocolate but she can’t so she doesn’t, her willpower is amazing.
It is the same with restaurants/cafes. We all take it for granted that if we want to dine out or go for a snack we can go wherever we want. Not so for someone with an intolerance, it is incredibly difficult. It is embarrassing to have to keep asking the chef if dishes contain dairy and my daughter usually ends up cobbling a meal together, settling for what is on offer rather than what she actually would like. Recently we ate at a hotel and she chose red cabbage, luckily she asked if it contained dairy – now why would it – but just in case she asked. Yep, it had been cooked in butter, why? It is a minefield trying to choose a complete dinner that does not contain any dairy.
Maybe the Daily Mail could do some articles on places to eat that cater for intolerances, where to shop for ‘free from’ foods that are reasonably priced and easily obtainable, that would be of more help.
I did fire off an email to them with my thoughts on their article but will not be holding my breath for it to be published.
Maybe I should contact Jamie Oliver, he seems to like a cause. You never know I might just do that…
Now I have to say food shopping comes way, way down on my list of enjoyable pursuits, I get bored trying to come up with different meals each week especially as by the time I get home from work I want to eat and don’t want to spend ages in preparation. It is at this time of night that I fall off the diet wagon and sneak a biscuit or a piece of cheese (dairy free cheese of course) or heaven forbid, a couple of chunks of chocolate.
Anyway, I digress, today we decided to go to a new Waitrose nearby and it was shopper’s heaven. I think Waitrose is really the only civilised supermarket in this country, it tops M & S in my book. The shops are light and airy – well the ones round here are – and the food is soooo good. Even the pre-packaged food looks so much better than in the bog standard supermarket. The downside to this shop is that I go in for just a couple of things and come out with bagfulls of food because it all looks so good.
The best thing for me though is the fact that they have a huge ‘free from’ section comprising of all sorts of goodies so that if you are dairy/lactose intollerant or coeliac there is actually a choice of goodies. They sell sheep and goats milk yoghurt as a matter of course alongside cheeses of the same ilk and various different types of milk.
I can’t praise them enough so if you have a store near you go on in, I dare you. Be warned, you will not come out empty handed.