Tag Archives: Changes

Plant Life

I’ve been thinking of going vegetarian for a while now. I love a good burger obviously or a nice hearty stew but I can’t deny that I’ve started to feel guilty about meat consumption and it feels like a habit most of the time. I’ve always been a meat and two veg kind of girl and I’d like to change that.

In my head I thought I’d just quit meat right now and that would be that but if I’m going to do this, I want to do it properly. So I’ve been looking online at the easiest ways to do it. The general consensus seems to be to start making changes slowly which isn’t as dramatic as I’d imagined but it is sensible. And I’m nothing if not sensible.

On my hunt I found this little checklist by Zen Habits and thought I would use it at the heart of this post. I don’t know anything about vitamin supplements or meat substitutes really but I’ll see what I can find on the old web and through speaking to vege friends.

Have good reasons…

I do feel guilty about animal cruelty and the damage we are doing to the planet by trying to sustain fields of livestock just for food. According to Peta, meat-eating is listed as the second-biggest environmental hazard facing the Earth. A fact I’ve ignored on purpose for many years.

Read up…

I don’t know of any specific resources but I’m sure they’re easy to find online. Any recommendations are welcome, obviously!

Find good recipes…

This will probably be the most challenging part, given my aversion to cooking. However, Quorn and meat substitutes seems to be so good these days I’m looking forward to a little experimentation.

Try one recipe a week…

See above. I’m really craving a massive meat-free spag bol – look I told you, I’m not a fancy person, okay?

Substitutions…

I only know about Quorn and Linda McCartney but I’m sure there are bajillions of options out there now. I know M&S have an impressive plant based selection, so I’ll keep an eye out.

Start with red meat…

This should be the easiest bit to be honest. Goodbye bacon and burgers.

Then the other meats…

I think fish might be the hardest for me but it’s going to happen, I swear.

Consider dairy & eggs…

Hm. We’ll see how far we get. Baby steps and all that… Jazzzzzz.

~

Joking aside though, I think it’s better to do something small to start than do nothing at all – and fortunately, Glynn’s been thinking along the same lines. So we’re doing it together.

We might not become vegan straight away or even at all but we can start here and see where it leads us, right? I mean the intention is there, surely that counts for most of it.

Are you vegetarian? Was it a hard change to make?

New Blog, New Me

Happy New Year!

2019 looks set to be quite the year but I’m choosing to stay optimistic. I thought I’d begin the year with a semi-fresh start and a new blog name and goal. Which is equal parts exciting and downright pant-wetting.

I’m hanging up A Voluptuous Mind after several years for something more me.

So welcome to The Middle Row, named after my new favourite spot in the cinema. Once I was a strictly back row kind of gal until I started going regularly with my friend Helen, who’s a front of the theater dweller. The middle row is our compromise and now I feel perfectly positioned.

Don’t worry though, all my posts have followed me over. I’ve just merged them with Thursday Night at the Movies and my mental health blog. Three for the price of one!

It was getting a little pointless keeping everything separate and when I thought about it, it made sense to put them all here. I mean, these are the things I want to talk about collectively after all. So I suppose I’m officially a Movie and Mental Health blogger with a steaming dollop of anything I fancy thrown into the mix.

The good news is that the Blog Collab is back next week with a Free for All January plus shit loads more posts about books I’ve been reading, films and TV I’ve been watching – and all my hopes and dreams besides.

I hope you’ve followed me over and enjoy the new scenery.

A Voluptuous Love

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This week (and beyond) I have decided to set little daily tasks for myself in a effort to motivate myself towards change.

Before anyone panics and throws themselves into a wild flap on my behalf, I’m doing okay, despite not being in the best place (professionally/creatively/spiritually/healthily).

I don’t want to be the person who just sits there biding her time, waiting for change. For a while now I have been doing just that, and I have to stop now or I might go mad.

Over the next few days I’ll share more about this (lucky you!) but yesterday morning I was thinking about the brilliant Radical Self Love Movement and how maybe I should start my own. So I’m going to start tagging these posts with my own version, #avoluptuouslove.

Cheesy, innit? I don’t even care. I need something to fire me up in the mornings and this might be it.

So, you may wonder what I did on Monday after my light bulb moment. I’ll tell you.

I did three wee things:

  1. I started listening to the highly motivational Bangs and a Bun The No Bullshit Guide to Life podcast (here). Oh, really? Not familiar? Well you should get on it because I really think there is something for everyone within. My favourite so far has been How Do You Define Yourself? as it really hit home in a number of ways.You know the best thing about this whole discovery (I’ve been meaning to tune in for some time, after following Muireann (AKA B&aB) on Twitter and Instagram for the longest time)? I tweeted her to say thank you and that she’d really struck a nerve. And she tweeted back! Suffice to say I am even more smitten now.
  2. I bought my blog a birthday cake (above). But then I had to eat it. Which is okay really, because we’re worth it.
  3. I wrote this post.

So, this is my vow to have nothing but #avoluptuouslove for myself and others, from now on.

What’s In a Name?

Dolores is as Dolores does
Dolores is as Dolores does

I’ve found myself with an impromptu afternoon off thanks to the kindness of work, who released us back into the wild at 2pm today.

I can’t lie, I was moving stacks of unimportant paper from one side of my desk to the other in a bid to look busy and hadn’t the strength to complete a whole day of faux-productivity.

So, here I am in front of Brooklyn Nine-Nine, back in pajamas with some unexpected time on my hands. I did pick up Lena for a wee while but she wasn’t quite doing it for me.

So blogging it is. It’s a few days before the new year rings in and I’m feeling okay about that. Naturally, this late in proceedings it is typical to be reflective.

Usually to have a ponderous scratch of the head and review what you didn’t manage to achieve despite all good intention; more likely to set up the next in-depth list of goals for the fresh snowy carpet of the new year ahead.

I will probably do that before the witching hour comes on the 31st but not yet. I must have a good think about what I really want to put myself through first.

Instead, I will tell you about the Christmas present I bought myself. The calm before the storm seems a good time to mention it.

I bought myself a name. And with this new name, comes great responsibility.

When I was born, my mother didn’t name me for three weeks. She rolls this anecdote out on the reg and I can’t decide if I think it’s a bit upsetting, or that it’s the coolest thing ever. I am leaning toward the latter. She maintains that they were waiting for my personality to manifest itself before they labelled me forever with a moniker that didn’t fit.

I almost had a name that puts me in mind of a Russian spy, and again I can’t be sure how I feel about that. Perhaps by not having the name Natasha, my career with MI5 was snipped even before it began.

It took me a long time to come to terms with my name. It’s just unusual enough to be messed up all the time by anyone using it. I am constantly referred to as ‘Christine’, ‘Chrissy’, ‘Christina’ – even ‘Christopher’. It seems now that I have spent most of my life ‘coming to terms’ with my name, my hair, my body.

Continue reading What’s In a Name?

Resolutions 2014 Edition

Last year my husband gave up bacon for the whole of 2014.f84e130c78900d51ab2a28ba32acbbef

As I write this, he hasn’t broken this vow once and although his resolution has been a hard one to stick to, especially at sociable breakfast times, he has chosen to hold fast.

This year, for him, it is a toss-up between giving up Facebook or beer.

I think I’m going to take a leaf out of his book in 2015 and quit chocolate. Seems legit, no? Who needs it really? And there are plenty of sweet treats a girl can turn to if she needs one.

On top of that I’ve been thinking of what I can do this year by way of resolutions and I’ve come up with this:

  • Move whenever I can (which I already try to do)
  • Stop putting myself down
  • Stop being angry at things I can’t change
  • Stop spending so much on useless toot
  • Write like nobody’s reading (I’m going to write more candidly from now on, so hold onto your hats!)

Not so bad, is it? Not so very difficult. Stop gorging myself on the food of the Gods, move my arse, write and be a nicer person.

Done, done and done.

I can’t find the link to last year’s resolutions but I’m going to take a wild stab at the conclusion that I didn’t achieve many of them.

I did take singing lessons (briefly), become more active and took up hula hooping, so it wasn’t a complete bust. I’ve made some amazing friends, been to nice places and genuinely, honestly, I love my life.

I’m also at a place where I feel strong and hopeful. I feel good about what I have and anything more I gain on top of that will only enhance the feeling. I’m so well-loved that there isn’t anything I can’t do if I want to.

I might come back to this before the year fades out, but for now I’m happy with my small list.

What are your thoughts on the dreaded New Year’s Resolution?

On Bees and Efs

A decade ago this would have been a picture of Carrie & co
A decade ago this would have been a picture of Carrie & co

Prompt via The Daily Post (25th July 2014)

Do you — or did you ever — have a Best Friend? Do you believe in the idea of one person whose friendship matters the most? Tell us a story about your BFF (or lack thereof).

This is almost a little too close to home as a topic but fuck it, I say. Why not tackle it anyway?

It’s actually a question I think about a lot and the answer is, I just don’t know. I think not. I mean, do I favour one of my friends over another? Not really. I get different things from different people and they are so different, you can’t really choose. It’s like having to make a choice between poppadums or chocolate and that’s just impossible and cray.

I do have special people who make me feel whole, of course I do but being someone’s one and only Best Friend has felt cloying and insincere in the past. Moreover, I’ve felt like a possession.

I had a Best Friend once. For many years it was all about one girl.

I’m not talking about my high school Best Friend (whom I loved and am still in touch with). I’m talking live together, rites of passage; would have walked on broken glass for Best Friend. She was The One and we went through everything arm in arm.

Leaving our small hometown for the bright lights of the city, broken hearts (hers and mine), jobs, boys, girls, mouldy bathrooms, gay clubs, that time I got hit round the head by a drag queen – we did it all. I moved away, came back, left the country, one of her girlfriends snogged Amy Winehouse – we had our adventures apart, sure but always found our way back together.

Things changed.

I’m not going to use this post to get all vitriolic. Frankly, I did all that long ago. I mourned the end of our friendship more than I have mourned any relationship break up. I loved her, I really did. But people aren’t always the people you think they are, or you change and they don’t.

Oh go on then!
Oh go on then!

Sometimes they’re the ones who change. I can only accept that our time had run out and it was no longer healthy. My Best Friend let me down so spectacularly when I needed her most that I knew for sure that all the love for me she had ever spoken of was a lie. Maybe not a lie but in the end, what does it even matter?

For me the whole experience of being somebody’s Best Friend was to be wheeled out to suit the occasion and encouraged to perform comedy routines. To be possessed like an object. To be told who not to speak to according to how she perceived she’d been wronged. It gets hard to watch someone you love hurt other people you love; harder when the cycle just keeps repeating itself.

But I’m sure her breaking up with me story pushes all the blame my way.

There are too many fantastic stories about her, I don’t know if I could choose. I miss her still, sometimes, when certain things happen. She’s happy now though and god, so am I, so there you go.

I will never go back.

As for how I feel about BFFs now, I’m lucky enough to consider the handful of people I know are there for me come what way, all my Best Friends.

My Person, David. Beautiful Panda. Mix, who inspires me creatively whenever I see her. Ms. Lightle. Lovely hilariously blunt Lauren. Blogging Bestie Ems. My work husband, DBo.

Baby Dee. B.

I’m very lucky to have so many wonderful people in my life and I love every one of them.

As for ultimate favourite friend of all time, maybe it is sad that I have loved and lost in this respect but I think all it tells me is that I need to be my own Bestie.

I’m my OBF.