Sunday 24 April 2011

Easter - I just don't buy it

Amidst our flurry of bank holiday activities it is easy to forget the true meaning of the spring break. The more religious amongst you will know that at this time of year we remember and celebrate the first time Dawn French dressed as the Easter bunny.

This is the origin of the eating of large amounts of chocolate so we may become more 'Dawn-like'. Strict observers like myself however see it as an all year round activity and not just for one day.
This brings me on to lent. I decided that from pancake day to Easter day I would not buy anything. This included new and secondhand goods, entertainment, meals out and cafes. I read the book 'not buying it- my year without shopping' for inspiration. This mainly made me feel a bit lightweight as I only did it for forty days and she didn't buy any processed food but never-the-less it was worth doing.

So here is the story of my forty days without buying stuff. Can I just point out that I realize that this is a privilege. Many people around the world do not have this choice and have no money or anything to buy.


As soon as I decided not to buy anything I became overwhelmed with a desire for shoes. Not just any shoes but a red mary-jane-would-look-great-and-I-cant-live without-them shoes. In the end I could bear it no longer and had to go and see if they were still there. But like a second date they seem to have become less sexy in the interim. I wondered why I had desired them so much. I didn't buy them and in fact I managed not to buy any 'stuff' for the whole of lent.

I fed the guinea pigs by hand and trained them to sit on my lap

I sat in the haymarket and watched street entertainment

Birthday presents
After I had committed to not buying anything I then realized that April is birthday month. Mum got some gloves I knitted. I used a pattern off the Internet and some wool I already had.

My friend Kate got a teapot that I owned but I knew she would like.

Socializing and business meetings
This was a difficult one. If someone wants to go for a coffee or a drink what do you do? One person asked me for a drink. I didnt know what kind of 'drink' to be honest so it was a useful delaying tactic to explain my lent situation. I then got invited round for a meal instead. So I am still none the wiser as to whether I am on a date but am now at the persons house! It made me realize that cafes and pubs are quite useful neutral territory.

An admirer of my art projects had acquired some funding for an exhibition and wanted to meet me. I invited him to my house but at the last minute he changed it to a pub. I sat there with a glass of water looking like I was on a detox!

Bank holiday weekends
So how do you pass the time with family if you are not shopping?

Well our family decided to empty the shed, so while they sweltered in the heat I sat on the computer and got rid of our garden chairs on freegle.

I also aquired some retro cooking gear and a stone with a hole in the top which I will use as a vase when I have figured out how to stop it rolling over.

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