Adventures in Generosity

The occasionally coherent ramblings of a Stewardship Advisor in the Church of England

I did it ! thank you so much !

Well you may have been wondering where I’d gone after my week of living on £1 per day.

Bank holiday weekend got somewhat in the way of finalising my blog diary (and yes, that did include rather a lot of ‘catching up’ on lost calories).

But that doesn’t mean I’ve forgotten the past week and now I’ve had time to reflect on the experience here are some of the things I’ve learned:

  1. Fatty, sugary, salty – all the ‘good stuff’ you think you’d miss if they were taken away are nothing compared to fresh fruit and veg.  Really, if you want to change your diet – try living on basic dried ingredients for a week – believe me, by the time you get to the end of that week your mind and body will be screaming out for something fresh and healthy.  On Saturday morning the first thing I craved (ok, after the coffee – see below) was something, anything fresh – so I had a triumphant blow out on strawberries, blueberries, fresh yogurt and orange juice. saturday  Shopping for my ‘celebration’ breakfast was an interesting exercise too – when I realised I’d spent as much on that one meal as I would on 4 weeks of my below the line diet I realised (again) just what a priviledged life I lead – and one of the long term effects of this week has been a review of our household food budget and a growing awareness of what else we could be doing with the money we spend every week.
  2. Chickpeas are a middle class affectation.  I genuinely started this week full of confidence that this basic eating lark would be a breeze for a seasoned gourmet such as myself – after all I love chick pea curry so what could possibly be wrong with that for a week ?  The thing is – chick peas are very versatile if you have lots of things to add to them – garlic, olive oil and lemon ?  lovely hummus; cumin and fresh coriander (with more olive oil) –  tasty falafel, curry? well it was fine for 2 days.  But on their own they are a right faff to prepare (all that overnight soaking) and, frankly, agonising to digest on a daily basis.  Next year I’ll stick to more rice and frozen veg (see point one above) and leave the chick peas for those times when I feel like wearing my Birkenstocks and pretending I still live near Hebden Bridge ;).
  3. Water is a miracle drug.  Seriously – all that advice about getting your 2 litres a day?  take it! Every time I was flagging, lacking energy, suffering from yet another caffeine withdrawal headache – a glass of water kept me going and astoundingly managed to dredge up a little more energy from my depleting reserves. Which makes the fact that many of those living below the line globally are also struggling for clean water, all the more pressing. 
  4. Caffeine is a drug.  Ok so I knew this already – but I hadn’t realised just how powerful an addiction it is.  By far the hardest trial of this week was caffeine withdrawal. 
  5. People are devious and sneaky – I was amazed at the number of russes my fellow Church Housers could come up with: “If I accidentally drop this chocolate biscuit on the floor then you can eat it because that counts as foraging” was my favourite – but the number of times people offered to make me a coffee (because then it’s a gift) was heart warming in the extreme – thanks guys, your good humor has really kept me going (I didn’t succumb – ok, I admit I did – but only once). 
  6. People are incredibly generous – as well as making me smile and supporting me lots of people have been kind enough to sponsor me, and my grand total currently stands at £277 – thank you to everyone who has sponsored me so far – your generosity will support Christian Aid projects, working with the 1.4 billion people worldwide for whom; crushing hunger, loss of co-ordination, lack of concentration and mental accuity, exhaustion and desperation are not just a 5 day experiment but a daily reality.

Here’s a reminder of why this challenge was worth the little bit of effort

Thanks again for all your support.



  bradnsj wrote @

Well done Jo.
Take care now that you’re in rehab

  Robb wrote @

Well done!

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