It’s 10 weeks now since I last earned a penny and couldn’t work due to the tube train incident which apart from the very odd trip out has been when my social isolation began in earnest.
I’ve been in receipt of a weekly food delivery from friends; at least what they can find that I can actually eat. I’ve also had some food parcels sent to me from kind people I’ve taken on tours, sometimes from several years ago. This week even a money-gram arrived from a group of touring friends who label themselves as The Magnificent 7. (You can see several posts I wrote on the tour starting with https://stephenliddell.co.uk/2018/06/11/photos-of-edinburgh/ and search the tags or the linked stories for Scotland and you’ll likely see several more). It’s good to know I make such a nice impact on peoples lives that they would do this.
Before I was diagnosed with my gluten and dairy issues, I could easily shop for food for a whole week for £10 or less. I still can sometimes, a larger proportion of my grocery bills seem to be drinks. Partly because I can’t really eat the foods I love and I’m often not that well to eat something substantial even when I want to. Drinks offer me different flavours and enjoyments that others would get from food though they are proportionately more expensive.
On Wednesday morning I received a 1.1kg joint of Beef. I’ve never seen so much beef before nor ever had that much in the house even when a boy. I do really like meat; I just don’t eat it that much. Not for any vegetarian issues; I perhaps bizarrely value plants similarly to animals and feel just as bad to eat a lettuce or even pluck a rose from the garden as to have some yummy meat. It’s just that I’m not that much into food and when you cook for yourself it’s a bit of a an effort to go to the extravagance of making a nice meal.
When you come from a modest background, food is also one of the key ways of saving money too. I remember my Grandma and Grandad often having friendly disputes when out shopping as Grandad would say it was a waste of money to pay 20 or 30 pence for a cup of tea in a Cafe when you can make you own for almost free. I have to say I kind of agree with him and in the 20 years I worked in an office, didn’t once buy a fancy lunch but brought one from home.
I don’t think I even ate in a restaurant until my 20’s. It just wasn’t something my family did and even now it is a treat to me rather than a part of my monthly or weekly routine. At least it means I’m quite a good cook; I make all my food from scratch and can make everything from bread to wine to pies and incidentally the best pizza ever as well as obviously a great British roast. Which I guess is handy as I muse the best way to enjoy my beef.
Unfortunately for me when I went to collect my food parcel on my front step after the deliveryman had gone, a man was walking on the pavement just a metre (3 feet) or so from me on his phone telling someone he was feeling so much better than before. He wasn’t looking at me and we were outside and I faced the other way but the paranoid in me is counting out 5 days or so until I can nominally breathe a sigh of relief. This all happened on Wednesday morning and I write this on Friday afternoon so if I wake up feeling well on Saturday and Sunday then that will be a relief.