Posts tagged ‘shopping’

October 25, 2013

A month without supermarkets.

Last month, I had a bit of a meltdown in the local supermarket. I’ve written before on the paradox of choice and how, sometimes, when faced with too many options, I go into some kind of paralysis. When forced into a supermarket, I often find myself wandering aimlessly round  as though drugged, then like the proverbial deer in the headlights, standing in front of an entire aisle of soup, unable to drag myself away, nor make a decision about which to buy.

And that’s precisely the reason that I’m quitting them. That, and the knowledge that half the world doesn’t have enough to eat and the other half, well, me at least, is deliberating over what seems like an endless variety of food.The balance is quite clearly off and it makes me uncomfortable. I want to have a better feeling about my food than I do now.

So. What to do? Well, I’m about to move to a new area of Leeds which has an array of small independent shops. I’ve just started getting a weekly veg box delivery again. And I’m determined to make the most of my allotment produce. All of these things add up to one answer. Stop going to the supermarket. See what other suppliers are out there; the Leeds Bread Co-op that delivers locally, the farmers’ market, Leeds City Markets, Handpicked Food Hall, and a myriad of other folk. I want to know where my meat comes from, try raw milk, eat seasonally, cook more, meet the people who produce the food that I’m buying and eating. I don’t want to be that person that I become when I’m in the supermarket, making choices like a zombie. This isn’t about me being a ‘foodie’. I don’t really understand that term anyway; surely everyone who eats is a foodie? This is about making more sustainable choices, being comfortable with what I’m eating and enjoying myself. Fewer, better options feel better for me than the vast warehouse-style supermarkets that just make me uncomfortable.

It’s also not an exercise in deprivation. I’m no Jamie Oliver with his unthinking ‘ buy ten mangetout from the market’ type comments. I appreciate that this is going to take more time and is likely to cost more money. I also know how completely fortunate I am. Believe me, if I worked awkward shifts or had a very tight budget, I would stay in the supermarket, without question. I am grateful that I can make this decision.  I’m also hopeful that perhaps I’ll waste less food, use less packaging and appreciate what I’m buying, cooking and eating a bit more.

So, my statement of intent: For the whole of November I  will make sure I don’t step foot in a supermarket. I’m very hopeful that my lovely boyfriend will join me in this challenge. I think he will. As long as we find a decent beer shop! Who am I kidding, I shall need that too. At this moment in time I can only think of one problem. I need fishfingers. So, I need a non-supermarket place to buy or a great recipe to make fish-fingers. Otherwise my lovely, incredibly fussy, four year old boy will starve. Any ideas on that?

During the month, I’m going to blog about the places I find along the way. I’m also doing the Blog Every Day in November Challenge with Rosalilium, so November is going to be a busy old month on Margot & Barbara. If this month works out well, then the plan is to keep going to the end of 2013. And then, who knows. Can we get through the whole of 2014 without Tesco? Sounds good to me…

 

Bloggers: Fancy joining in? Let me know, and we can link up. 

Readers in Leeds, are there any places I should try? I’m thinking of independent food growers, producers, shops, markets etc. Let me know! 

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June 27, 2013

Converse All Stars

I love my Converse. Apart from the occasional foray into my ‘grown-up’ shoes and summer sandals, I’m generally to be found in a pair of worn out All Stars. So, my birthday gift this year – a pair of bright red high tops – was perfect. I love them. And so does my daughter. She’s already decided that she needs a pair too, in pink and that my son needs a pair too, in blue. Though if he gets his own way, he’ll be in pink too, which is fair enough.

But her love for them has made me worry a little. Am I too old for Converse? I’m thirty seven now. Will I still be wearing them when I’m forty? Fifty, even? Longer? And is that a problem? Perhaps the day I become too old for Converse is the day my kids go from wanting to emulate my footwear to being embarrassed by it. I know that every parent reaches the day when they stop being Practically Perfect in Every Way (thanks Ms Poppins) to being Embarrassing Parent. I’m ready for that day. In fact, I’m going to embrace all aspects of being Embarrassing Mum when that day arrives. Might dye my hair blue. Or take up the robot dance.

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I know that the physiotherapist chap I went to see about my poor knackered old feet wasn’t too thrilled when I told him that I mainly wear Converse, though he did say  ‘at least they’re not ballet flats’ which apparently, along with the dreaded Ugg boots, are worse in terms of support. So maybe the day I hang up my Converse is the day my feet are well and truly too rubbish to cope with the lack of support and I’ll move straight from my high-tops into the velcro-fastening things my beloved Grandma wears. But then she’s 90, so I reckon if I can still bend over to tie my laces by then, I’ll be happy enough.

After a long and hard (or, truthfully, short and flippant) think about it, I’ve decided to keep my Converse on for as long as I choose. To decide for myself whether I’m too old for them or not and not be bullied by anyone into changing into grown up shoes. Unless, I want grown up shoes, of course. But that’s another blog post entirely…

What do you think? Is there an age limit for wearing sneakers? Let me know in the comments!