I’m not great at many chores around the flat (a certain someone can confirm that) but the one thing that really brings me joy is unpacking the groceries. It’s a bit pathetic to admit but I like the comfort of having well stocked shelves, and the satisfaction of having a place for everything and everything in its place. But today it was a joyless task because I was riddled with guilt. It seemed like every second item I pulled out of our shopping bags contained some form of plastic in its packaging. I stared at it and felt like I had failed. Failed to uphold my pledge to reduce our plastic consumption, failed to make any difference at all. It’s times like this that I wonder what is the point of going out of my way to change my habits when almost every part of consumer life is literally wrapped in plastic.
This zero-waste living thing is hard. Really hard. It’s obviously possible, as evidenced by a few useful and trustworthy proponents I’ve heard of, but I think the aim of complete zero-waste zen is a bit impractical for our lifestyle right now. I’ve decided to be more pragmatic, do what I can, and not beat myself up for what I can’t. In the words of Anne-Marie Bonneau aka @zerowastechef, “We don’t need a handful of people doing zero-waste perfectly. We need millions of people doing it imperfectly.” So with that sentiment in mind, I thought I would share some of the changes we have been making or attempting in order to reduce our waste and plastic consumption…
This time last year I defied convention and proudly proclaimed that I had no fears about turning thirty. I was excited to start a new decade and experience all the thrills and inevitable spills that come with it, particularly as we had an inkling that it would most likely be our last year in London and I wanted to make the most of it. A year ago, I believed that I was entering my thirties content, happy, and hungry… and now that I have merrily made my way through the ups and downs, that statement still stands. Content with what I have in my life, happy with what I have achieved both online and offline, and hungry to eat, explore and create more. To me, this is what it means to grow up, not grow old.
For the last five years we have celebrated my birthday abroad either jetsetting to Hong Kong enroute to the Philippines, catching sunsets from the Malecon in Havana, or wining and dining in two of my favourite countries in Europe – Spain and Portugal. Last year’s celebrations were particularly special as they involved not only a certain someone but some of my closest friends in what has now become one of my favourite cities, Seville. This year we are back in the Southern hemisphere after packing up our London life and I was preparing myself for a low-key celebration back in New Zealand but true to tradition, we made the last minute decision to head abroad and we are currently in Melbourne!
According to everyone, 2016 has been a stinker of a year. There have been very few highs, a great number of lows, and bad surprises lurking at every corner – shock exits and the rise of a certain powerful oompa loompa, just to name a few. But if I crawl into my rosé-tinted, food-filled bubble of a world, according to me, 2016 has been quite scrumptious and a most fitting way to see out my twenties… yep, today is my birthday and yours truly is officially thirty!
Contrary to the sexist self-help magazines and old wives tales, I’m not cowering in the corner lamenting the loss of my twenties, nor am I looking up the closest botox clinics for my first nip/tuck of the new decade… I’m feeling content, happy, and hungry. Just the same as I was yesterday, when I was only a baby at twenty-nine. I started the last year of my twenties in Madrid, and here I am in Spain again, marking the start of my thirties in Seville… but where else did I dine when I was twenty-nine?!
For ever so long, you were the city of my dreams. Thousands of miles away, in a beautiful faraway land at the bottom of the world, I would imagine myself getting lost in your immense grid of streets. I would be sashaying across Manhattan with the same carefree attitude as the Blair Waldorfs and Carrie Bradshaws of the world, having leisurely lunches at upscale restaurants, grabbing snacks at cute corner bakeries, and indulging in gigantic slices of pizza at the end of a long night out. That New York life was for me, I thought.
When we finally met, it was love at first sight. I might as well have bought the t-shirt and been the walking ‘I Heart NY’ cliche, because I did. I thought you were the one and I was ready to ditch my outbound flight, but I must confess, I’m glad I didn’t. My next stop was London, the city which has truly captured my heart. So New York, while you never failed to excite me in our short time together, I realised that what we had was a lusty holiday romance… what I have with London is for the long haul. It is here where my hungry heart and belly has been sated and feels most at home.
Last week I found out a very shocking statistic; one which rendered me quite speechless and a little sad to be honest. As I think is blatantly obvious from the content of my ramblings here, on social media, and in real life… I really like food and it’s something I care a lot about. I care about what I eat, how it’s made, where it comes from, and I also care about making sure I waste as little of it as possible.
At the launch of Love Food Hate Waste’s latest campaign, Meaty Issues, I was told that a lot of us in the UK are throwing away a lot of food. A heck of a lot… like 300 million burgers worth of beef alone. Oh those poor, poor burgers. Just looking at beef alone, we throw away 34,000 tonnes a year – are you shocked? I suspected the number to be high but not in a million years would I have contemplated it being that high; I shudder to think about the total amount of food we waste.
Hooray, it’s finally the 29th of December! To you it’s probably just another uneventful Tuesday or one of those days between Christmas and New Years which just blend into each other, but for me it’s always a bit of a special day. Today is my birthday! And just to top it off, it’s also the start of our holiday… today we’re jetting off to Madrid to keep up our ‘spending my birthdays abroad’ tradition, and then we’ll be heading to Morocco for a couple of weeks.
After months of early starts and late nights, manic days in the office, snappy weekend getaways, and the excitement of the silly season, both a certain someone and I are really looking forward to having a proper break so we’re ready to face the new year! But before we jump ahead of ourselves, I thought I would insightfully reflect on the year I was twenty-eight… that lasted all of twenty-eight seconds so instead, I sincerely reflected on all the delicious things I’ve eaten and the wonderful places I’ve eaten them in! Much more fun than those serious thoughts about where I might be in five years… so here goes…
After years of thinking ‘what on earth is this Twitter business’… ‘I don’t think I’ve got anything worth tweeting‘… ‘only 140 characters?!’… I jumped the fence and started using Twitter in January this year. Now, I may or may not be a little hooked. The best part? Meeting a whole community of food bloggers and joining in on Twitter chats – my favourite being the #fdbloggers chat created by the lovely Loriley.
Recently she thought it’d be fun for everyone to get to know each other a little more… so here goes!