Today is Day 2 of Living below the line. Yesterday's food came in at an astounding 61p, which I can't quite believe is possible.
Day 1 menu
B: Tea cake (from 15p reduced pack of 6) with jam: 5p
L: Two slice reduced bread and cheese: 7p
D: Boiled rice, chicken, ham, tomato puree & 2 chillis 49p
I had a mad busy day yesterday between Oxjam meetings and a full day at the credit union - I must have ran the length and breadth of Glasgow. It was a rare sunny Scottish day,so it was nice running around in the sun at the time, but when I got the gym at 7pm, I realised very quickly that I was running on empty. I pushed through it, but the types of food (and the quantity), had a real impact on my energy levels.
In other news though, I slept like a baby. I fell asleep at 11pm and that was me til 7am. This morning was a bit emotional. Still tired, I stumbled down the stairs and spied the kids' bananas and ALL I could think was 'I need that banana, that banana will give me energy, eating that banana stands between me having a good day or a bad day.' But I didn't, I walked away, glancing backwards lustfully at said banana. When a friend asked me how I was doing, I wailed something about diet coke pitifully and made her give me a hug.
One thing I have noticed is that I'm starting to be very aware of the food levels that are left and working out if they're going to last the full five days. With a big chunk of rice and chicken gone and my tea cakes almost done, I'm conscious that my food stocks have dwindled a lot in one day. I suppose when you don't have much, a fifth of it gone leaves a pretty big dent. It must be extremely stressful for people who have to consider this day to day, rationing out their portions and wondering if they'll have enough to eat.
I've been asked along to a gig tomorrow for a catch up with some fellow Oxjammers and I'm in a quandary about it. I'd like to go, but being out without the freedom of having a few drinks or something to eat (It's in the Hard Rock Cafe Glasgow - talk about temptation!) is a bit overwhelming. Again, I take for granted just being able to plan my life with only a marginal nod to budget (also known as check into on-line banking, I have cash? Yep, great, I'm there.) I don't really appreciate the freedom I have with a wage that more than gets me by and I'm going to try not to moan about having no money again. I've said before that skint to me means buying the cheaper bourbon of a weekend, not worrying whether there will be enough food on the table.
The caffeine withdrawals have kicked in big time today. The headache, the shivers, the crankiness and inability to concentrate have all checked in for duty. My colleagues have offered to buy me a few cans of diet coke, which is either a sign of how lovely they are, or how much of a monster I am sans caffeine - a bit of both maybe! If only I could take them up on it!
I'm finding the contemplative and reflective parts of the challenge the most interesting. It's probably very boring to everyone else and those of you who've managed to read that far but it really does make you think about the daily lives and challenges of people living below the line. If you'd like to help lift lives for good, please donate at https://oxjam.everydayhero.com/uk/leeanneboulton