Friday, 16 February 2018

Some cheerful thoughts about lifestyle choices!

I sit here typing while having a coffee and a toasted tea cake. Maybe I deserve a snack as my Fitbit tells me I have exceeded my number-of-steps goal for today and it has just awarded me the Ferris Wheel Badge for having “climbed” 75 floors. It already sent me the Helicopter Badge for having “climbed” 500 lifetime floors, whatever “lifetime floors” are, and thus having reached the altitude of a helicopter. So now I am confused as to the period of time during which I am supposed to have “climbed” 75 floors. It’s not just today. Is it maybe this week? What Fitbit doesn’t know is that just moving around our house involves climbing, going up and then down - which Fitbit ignores - flights of steep stairs. It’s all entertaining nonsense!

And so I ate my tea cake with a clear conscience. However, news reports at present are telling us of more and more foods we should not eat, making busy mothers feel guilty for sending their children off to school with a breakfast of toast and cereal inside them. I missed the bit of the TV news report that said just what they should be having for breakfast but I got the impression that it involved cooking. And possibly it involves expensive ingredients.

It’s a little like the interview I heard with a woman who has cut plastic out of her life altogether. Well, not quite because she did talk about using Tupperware containers but she seemed to disregard that as it is all re-usable stuff. She buys her fruit from a greengrocer’s shop, where she can put her purchases in paper bags or directly into the canvas shopping bag she carries. I am pretty sure she said she was vegetarian so she doesn’t buy meat. No problem with packaging there then. When she buys cheese she asks the man at the shop to put it into her Tupperware container rather than plastic-wrapping it. She has begun to have her milk delivered in glass bottles by a local milkman. She even makes her own shampoo and conditioner, which come in bars like soap. And she concocts deodorant from a number of ingredients she probably buys from the healthfood store - even her husband uses it and he cycles to work every day!!

It’s all tremendously admirable but even she admits that some aspects - toiletries in particular - are more expensive than the stuff that people buy readymade. She maintains that buying fruit and veg from the local greengrocer is no more expensive than buying them at the supermarket. This is certainly the case hereabouts if you buy fruits and veg from the stall in the market in the town centre.   However, that involves going into the town centre as the small greengrocers around here shut up shop long ago.

The main problem as I see it is probably the time it takes to run your life that way. It wasn’t clear how old and what gender her children are but I am willing to bet if she has daughters they will demand other sorts of shampoo and such as they grow into their teenage years.

But, as she said, if we all do a little bit to reduce the use of plastics, then we might be able to save the planet after all.

The news report on the television about carcinogenic products mentioned one fact that they failed to explain: they said that wearing flipflops can cause cancer. So I googled it and found this from the Telegraph:

“Specialists say that wearing open-toed footwear can increase the chance of getting lesions as the skin becomes exposed to intense sunlight, a key cause of skin tumours, or melanomas.
Cancer that affects the feet is known as "acral melanoma" and typically occurs on the sole of the foot, between the toes or under the toenails.
Research shows that only half of patients with foot melanomas survive, compared with four out of five people who develop cancer elsewhere on their legs.
Doctors advise applying factor 15 sunscreen or above to feet, including the soles.
One clinic has seen at least two patients with sun-related foot cancer in the past three months.”

I suppose that makes sense. Fortunately I have got into the habit of putting suncream on my feet in the sandal-wearing months.

The report in the Telegraph finished on this cheerful note:

“Bob Marley, the reggae singer, died from a melanoma on his foot he believed was a football injury. The singer refused to have his toe amputated for religious reasons and died when the cancer spread.” 

So it goes!

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