Wednesday, October 31, 2012

How We Live Now...

Just back from the surgery, and as I've to make some popcorn and muffins for the Trick or Treater's this evening, my time is a bit limited this morning, so this will be a shorter than usual blog.

Firstly, a big thank you to Eileen who has emailed me the photos she took of the canapes at the social last Saturday.  I've forwarded them to Steve in the hope he can find some way to get them onto this site for me.   I've suggested he just titles it 'canapes' and then publishes only the photos, I can then fill in the details later once I know they have been published.

Watched a programme yesterday morning called 'Rip Off Food', this about how the supermarket's way of 'persuading' us to buy what we don't need, also how the packaging can make it appear there is more than there really is. 
Later that evening watched a thought-provoking  programme about people who can't afford to buy food at all and had to rely on 'food banks' to give them free food - usually using food vouchers given by social security. The idea was good but open to abuse.

When one man (who did turn out to be a con man) waved a £10 note in the air and said this was only enough for milk and bread, it did make me think how so many people (esp. the young) cannot see beyond the basics.  For one thing, a loaf of bread is now expensive, and the money spent on one loaf would pay for eggs, baked beans, flour, and vegetables.  Far more nutrition there than in just bread.

There was a girl who seemed fairly able to manage on her £20 a week, but obviously believed that she could never afford to buy a whole chicken (less than £3), when actually a whole chicken, with vegetables would make at least seven good meals (plus the carcase for stock).  With porridge for breakfast,  soup for lunch, chicken for the main meal - then it can be done well within the £20 per person per week.

As ever, managing the food budget comes mainly from learning how to get more for our money and make the best of what we have.  The 'food bank in the above programme was run by an evangelical group (I found the religious part a bit off-putting). Providing food was of course the main reason, but cookery demonstrations showing how to make the most of what is provided would be even more useful, or even some of the food cooked on site so that people could go and have a free meal once or twice a week, and I'm sure there must be members of the congregation who have had years of experience 'coping', and would be willing to share their expertise in one way or another.

Anyway, that's my lot for today for if I don't start cooking, there won't be time for me to have a sit down with a warm drink.  Must first reply to Les:  I do have a heated blanket specially to cover my body when sitting in a chair.  Even that doesn't really seem to warm me up as much as a hot water bottle.  I keep the electric cover for the really cold days when I need even extra warmth. 
Usually I find if I can keep my neck warm, then I feel far less cold, so am now wrapping silk scarves or lacy wool scarves round my neck when I sit down (or even when working in the kitchen).

Had the same thought Alison, felt I did need to take iron again, but had run out of the pills. However found some 'multi-vit plus iron' pills in a drawer so took a couple of those over two days and did feel much better.

It's a cold day today, the rain has ceased but it is quite breezy.  As soon as I've finished working in the kitchen and bagged up the stuff for the 'Trick or Treater's', then will go and read the newspaper to find out how they are coping on the east coast of America.  It looked pretty bad on the news, although have to say I've seen the same depth of flooding here in this country, and quite often after heavy rainfall when the rivers break their banks, but never in a large city, so suppose that does cause more chaos.  Thank goodness we have the Thames Barrier ready to protect London in case of an extremely high tide.  It may never need to be used, but at least we are prepared.   With New York (and especially Manhattan built on an island) with no real protection from the sea, suppose it was a disaster waiting to happen.  All too often we learn only after the event, never giving a before-thought to what might happen.  Let us hope this is a once off and things soon return to normal.

If nothing untoward happens, then should be back with you again tomorrow.  See you then.