Just kidding, here are some real thoughts

A massive sausage bap from a farmer’s market. Slathered in ketchup and piping hot.

That was the first thing I demolished when I got up on Saturday morning, and it was divine. Half a week’s sustenance it cost me. I’ve started measuring everything by that now.

In truth I wasn’t even that hungry when I got up in the morning. I kind of expected that given how switched off to eating I became over the week. So I dragged myself out of bed and wandered to the handily-placed farmer’s market around the corner.

Then I went a little bit nuts.

After effectively inhaling the sausage roll (you should have seen the look the guy I bought it from gave me. I think he was moments away from calling the police.) I decided that I must immediately go and spend as much as humanly possible on delectable goodies. I’ve clearly learned a lot from this experience. By the time I got home I was the proud owner of a trio of artisan cheeses, a loaf of walnut and raisin bread, a large pork pie, some lemon and garlic olives and a carton of Topicana. The Tropicana wasn’t even on offer and I still bought it. Redefining hedonism right there.

All of it together looked a bit like this. Yes it’s still sideways.

3 weeks worth, as you’re asking

I thought I was going to want to devour an entire cow on finishing this, but it turns out I’m more about overpriced deli products. Who knew.

I’m not the only one to have gone for one of the more niche food groups after finishing LBTL. After a few shandies last night I went for a big old fry up this morning and invited one of my mates who finished his challenge today. The response I got was along the lines of “Maybe, but I’ve just hammered a truckload of Haribo so I’m probably ok.”

This was at about 9:30 in the morning.

Onto some more serious stuff.

Firstly, I’m never ever going to do this again. It’s been eye-opening and rewarding but in the same way as losing a foot and then walking with a false one might. You feel a sense of pride and accomplishment, but you pray to god that it doesn’t happen again.

It’s a real soul-sapper, and it was only five days of my life. For so, so many people that’s just part of life. I can’t help but feel that it must be a self-perpetuating cycle. My crap diet throughout the week certainly impaired me in various ways. My concentration was destroyed, my moods were up and down like something that get’s through a lot of vertical motion, and I just felt, in medical terms, shit.

Even for somebody who is used to that level of sustenance it must have adverse effects on physical and mental function. Your body can only work with what it’s given. If that’s the case then getting out of the cycle would be even harder.

I’ve also come to realise that food performs a role that goes way beyond just keeping people going. Especially for us relatively wealthy (as in compared to the whole world) folk, food and drink is a ritual that is actually quite central to our lives. I suppose that’s a fairly obvious conclusion to come to if you think about it, but you don’t quite realise how important it is until you have it largely taken away.

I’ve raised £237 so far, from something like 25 separate donors, which I’m delighted with, and hopefully I can squeeze a few more pennies out of folks in the next week or so. If one of those folks is you then I can save us both time and effort by directing you here and thanking you in advance.

Thank you. In advance.

More importantly, above and beyond the money aspect, it’s important to keep the reality of extreme poverty in our minds. Next time you go out for a meal, work out how many weeks of food and drink your dinner could have bought someone. Not in a guilt trip way, just in a “Hmm, makes you think” way.

Otherwise we’ll all just forget about it and nothing will ever change, and we can’t be having that now can we?

If you don’t do it for me, do it for the party guinea pig. He’ll get sad and take off his party sombrero if you don’t, and we can’t be having that now can we?

He’s going in every post from here on in. His name is Raoul.

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