Wednesday 13 February 2013

Shriving to be mindful

This morning I used up the last of the pancake mixture that I made yesterday. For some weeks now, I have been striving to come up with innovative ways of using up what is in the freezer and in the cupboards. This is partly because I would like to live more mindfully and stop picking up whatever takes my fancy or whatever the supermarket tells me is a bargain (2 for 1 bags of dried juiceless oranges anyone?) while shopping when I have plenty stored at home. We are also coming to the end of a long season of saving for the deposit for a house in Wales, where we hope to be able to buy locally and even grow (!) some of our food (no horsing around!), so sacrifices have been made in a variety of areas - giving up our bedroom to a lodger is one such sacrificial - now there's a good, seasonal word - area.

So it seems fitting that I seem to be in tune with the Christian practise of 
getting into a 'fasting' mindset for the 40 days of Lent. The pancake eating practice of Shrove Tuesday my 'son of a vicar man' husband told me between mouthfuls of pancake, lemon, sugar and cinnamon at breakfast this morning, was about using up what was stored at home in preparation of the 40 days of fasting to come in recognition of Jesus' fasting in the desert. We should shortly be losing the exotic cinnamon, the wicked sugar and the tart lemon then, and possibly the eggs and milk as well. I also read today (Professor Wikipedia) that the word 'shrove' comes from the word 'shrive,' which means to confess. Well, I confess I have eaten far too much sugar lately, and cream, and given out too many tart replies while eating pies, but I blame the baby, the toddlers (lack of sleep) and the sugar fed hormones who seem to be little minxes in their own right. 

Last night at a particularly rich dinner party in at least several ways, we discussed (amongst other topics I struggled to partake in) intermittent fasting, whilst eating delicious food served by our charming hostess. This is the apparently 'new' scientific discovery of fasting for two out of seven days as modelled recently by a scientist on the television. For further information you could always read up on fasting in the book of Daniel (written hundreds of years ago) in the Bible as well as in many other places in the Good Book. In Daniel we are told how much better he and his fasting friends looked and felt than the people around them who gorged on rich foods, and also how much sharper their intellectual understanding was. 

Given I have been eating like a goat and am as sharp as a marshmallow, I am meditating on these things and hoping to put some of them into practice, when I have recovered from having the baby of course. Let's see...that's four and a half weeks before the birth and six weeks of recovery:  potentially ten weeks of feasting before famine. Just kidding (soon anyhow, ooh the goat, I think I just made a pun). Clearly the only outward bound manoeuvre I should be making is looking for a house rather than modelling myself on one.