A Breath Of Fresh Air

wodslI have the afternoon off work! Yayyyy! I am going to go out for a walk and fill my lungs with some fresh air. Well, that is a relative term for London air!

This is my post for this week’s SHARE-YOUR-WORLD questions! I am sure you know it, but these delightful questions come from the wonderful Melanie, creator of sparksfromacombustiblemind. Take a peek at Melanie’s original post below and see all of the other bloggers sharing some of their world this week:



When was the last time you tried something new?

IMG_20200205_161039If we are talking about food, I am always on the lookout for fresh flavours for my tastebuds to trial. I have been vegetarian since I was six years old. For many years I had a fairly boring diet, and finding new flavours became very important to me. I tried the new Greggs vegan steak bake recently. I think I prefer their vegan sausage roll. Oh and then there is The Cornish Pasty Company – they have some lovely vegan options that are quite exciting There is a limit to how much pastry I can face in a normal week, but I will look out for them when I am on my travels around London.

I have a number of “foodie” friends and they often give me something they have recently discovered to try for myself. A friend of mine bought me a jar of passionfruit curd. I have always loved lemon curd. Who would have thought passionfruit curd would be so delicious!

leosI recently tried a vegan burger from Leon. It was yummy! Because it has been January / Veganuary, there have been lots of new vegan products to try. I have enjoyed most of them. I love their lentil masala, and their cheesy jackfruit bites. I also liked their vegan hot chocolate which I had made with coconut milk. One or two of the savoury vegan products I tried tasted too much of coconut for my liking, but everything else was lovely.

IMG_20200205_161241Jack bought me a jar of sea salted caramel spread just before he went away. I have tried caramel spreads aplenty, but this one tastes just perfect!

I have been working in a medical field again these past few months (after over a twelve month gap away from anything medical). I really do like the team I work with. They are wonderful, everyone of them. But during my normal shifts (I have done a lot of overtime to help them out recently) the colleague who I work with most is always getting me to try something new to me. She is a lovely person and I like the way she teaches me. It does feel like every shift I work with her I try to do something new to me.

I must admit my friends and I are like hungry vultures! We talk about new food, new cafes and restaurants a lot! I guess I try new recipes on a regular basis, new cafes and restaurants. My friends sometimes take me to places that are new to me. I like discovering new music. There is a fair amount of NEW that I encounter in my life and enjoy.

If you were forced to eliminate every physical possession from your life with the exception of what could fit into a single backpack, what would you put in it?

Well, I have an emergency backpack under my bed with some useful things inside it already:

  • Photocopies of important documents like a passport, birth certificate, driver’s license
  • Bottled water and non-perishable food. (Every year we check the food in our grab-bags is still in date)
  • First aid kit
  • Wind-up torch
  • Wind-up radio (not to listen to my favourite tines)
  • Some cash
  • A list of important contact details and phone-numbers
  • Waterproof jacket
  • Several pairs of clean underwear
  • A little purse with a fold away toothbrush and toothpaste and soap in it
  • A tiny fold up microfiber towel that opens up to be the size of a bath-sheet

Backpack, Bag, Woman, Girl, FemaleIf I was told I had the time to add a few things, I guess I would probably stop to add some of the contents of my handbag and some other useful things. I have a bunch of keys which has front door keys for all of my close family member’s homes. I would pop that in the back-pack, My little basic phone, it’s charger, and my debit card would go in. My London A-Z maps book.

I don’t know how much space I would have left, but maybe I should grab my sleeping bag? I would make sure I was wearing my walking boots and my fleece and waterproof. I might add a notebook and a couple of pens or a pencil. I have a very small pocket Bible too. I would make sure I had written down all the important phone numbers of my close family and friends and I was not just relying on my phone to be able to contact my loved ones.

Nobody really can know for sure when they are going to have to grab whatever is in reach and run run run!

What simple fact do you wish more people understood?

Simple fact? I feel a bit cautious with this question. Everything that has popped into my head seems a bit patronising! But meeting volunteers who work part-time and keep their life simple was a huge breath of fresh air to me as a teenager. I met them at just the right time. Before I complicated my life with debt.

desI guess I am baffled by how many people spend their time/life to reaching the goals this system thrusts in front of them. Students study at university, often accruing thousands of pounds of student debt. They have no choice but to then take on a full-time job (some of which are soul-destroying) to start repaying the debt. The first big pat on the back they receive from this system is when they are told they can have a mortgage to buy a box to live in and call their own. That means they are now trapped for many years to come working full time to repay the mortgage.

So far I have managed to avoid all of that. I have avoided debt, I have lived in beautiful homes, none of which were my own, mostly rent free (in exchange for being “security” when the owners were abroad).

basicAs a volunteer I have been provided with basic accommodation (sometimes I was in my sleeping bag on the floor wedged in between a bunch of other volunteers, but mostly we had a bed to sleep in). I have learnt many many new skills in a wide variety of fields, travelled all over the UK and several other lands, worked with many people of other cultures and languages and made wonderful friends for life.

Although I have not been paid wages for all the work I have done as a volunteer, it has been incredibly enriching and simply a wonderfully exciting life! The thought of being tied to full time paid work to pay for a box is suffocating to me.

Buildings, Skyscraper, Sky, CloudsThe way this system works is frankly baffling to me. I have fought against it’s mindset since I was a child because I saw it as unhealthy. I have been inspired by people who have managed to avoid becoming a slave to this system. One of the stories I have heard many times, I included in a post. I think it highlights the trap of being sucked into a system that defines success in a way that does not make sense: There’s More Than One Way To Skin A Fish

So, I guess I do wonder why many people fall into the trap of pursuing the goals and dreams that this system suggests. Why people celebrate having a stressful full-time job that robs you of really getting out there and living and enjoying creation and the rest of the human race? Why people celebrate being given a mortgage that will enslave them for many years? The attitude many have towards debt is quite alarming to me.

What food item do you go through fastest in your house?

Hummus, Chickpeas, Paste, Basil, FoliageI eat a lot of salad. Every day I have a large portion of fresh salad vegetables.

I go through a lot of hummus each week. (I make my own.) I experiment with flavours. Coriander, basil, or sun-dried tomatoes, beetroot, caramelized onions, spices. I am always looking for new ideas to give a different flavour to hummus.

I have been vegetarian for years but I am not very good with dairy anymore, so hummus has become one of my staples.


Please feel free to share something that really makes you happy!

mesaI love seeing messages from people I love. Sometimes text messages, but because those close to me know I don’t use my mobile phone much, most of my loved ones send me emails.

I love emails from friends and family. Most of them are volunteers and work on projects both in this country and all over the world. When I come home from a long day of work and look at my inbox, there are messages and photos from my loved ones near and far. My heart lifts to see them and it brings me enormous pleasure to read their words and see what they are experiencing in their little corner of this amazing planet.

I love my friends!

19 thoughts on “A Breath Of Fresh Air”

  1. The debt thing is crazy. Cars too ~ some people never stop paying for cars, I read recently. They simply roll their unfinished leases into new leases because they must have a newer, upgraded model. They’re paying interest on interest. So nuts.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I must admit I would be scared of debt. I think it would feel like a huge chain restricting my freedom when it comes to decisions and forcing me to do what I don’t want to.
      But some people seem so comfortable with it.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. I have a small loan for my car I can easily afford. It has helped my credit score rise, since the banks like people who take on debt and then pay it. They prefer them to those with no debt ever. So stupid! But here we are lolololol


        1. I knew a guy who sold some shares of his business and it ended up meaning he could split the money between himself and his sons (who had invested in their father’s business). One of the sons used the money to pay off his mortgage. His father was furious. He told him he should have kept the mortgage and used the money to buy a bigger property. He continually juggles money and loans….and he has had losses in the past and declared himself bankrupt…only to start again when he is legally allowed to. I don’t know how he slept at night taking out so many loans and rolling the dice hoping his bids would pay off.

          Liked by 1 person

  2. I had a very different experience from the hypothetical one you described. I greatly enjoyed university and came out debt-free because of scholarships. I worked full-time for years in a career I loved. And buying my home was one of the best things I ever did. Since I paid my mortgage off several years ago, my home has provided a tremendous sense of security given that I’m not well enough to work much,


    1. I think you have avoided some of the pitfalls that many of my friends and colleagues have fallen into.
      I have seen so many friends struggle with enormous debt.
      Maybe you have been able to use the system well, instead of letting the system use you – if you know what I mean. I have known so many who have had a harsh experience.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. I’m very glad that my parents raised me with the message that the only acceptable debt was mortgage debt, and that was to be paid off as soon as possible.


    1. My dad has been training us to look after our grab bags since we were teenagers. We used to have fun checking the date of the food each year and replacing it. We would eat all the old food while we checked everything in our grab bags was in good order and up to date.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Good policy to be prepared. We didn’t ever have a kit as such, but we were always prepared for when we had to go to the cellar when tornadoes were close by.


  3. Luved ur preparedness towards anything and ur survival bag contents. That’s like wholesome kit. I m a foodie too, liked ur idea of sharing different goodies from the market. Tht makes ur post really unique n interesting.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you Gauri!
      I guess you never know when you might have to quickly depart from your house with extreme weather conditions causing so much damage.
      Food is so wonderful!


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