Tuesday, 31 August 2021

Modern Living

How 'living' has changed during Lockdown.    Will it ever go back to normal?   Watching 'Breakfast' in my Dressing Gown this morning (the carer's day off so I can be slovenly) two things hit me - and both were then reinforced when I read this morning's Times (still in dressing gown and slippers as I am now typing this).    Firstly take aways.  Apart from fish and chips now and again in neither of my marriages do I remember having a take away.   Admittedly in the first marriage (ended with M's death in 1991) there were not many others about.   But in the next one although we lived out in the sticks we were only a couple of miles from a chippy, a Chinese and an Indian - and then soon joined by a Pizza place.

But apparently the sale of take away meals during Lockdown has shot up by a good 20%  and looks destined to stay that way.   Even haute cuisine has jumped on the Band Wagon.   I must say I love Pizza and could easily have it every night if I wished because our Pizza place delivers.    Our up-market restaurants are doing things like 'Picnic Baskets' (not a cheap option).

I can't see things ever going back to how they were. In most families both parents work and it is good to not have to cook after a day at work.   It does just worry me a bit that children grow up thinking the only way to eat potatoes is as chips. **  In one shared student house they ate £700 a month of take away food.   (then I thought back to my son's student days when they ate in the same restaurant every night - mostly the same cheap dish - and they didn't seem to come to any harm.)

The other thing is litter.   On Breakfast this morning they showed the aftermath of this week-end's Festival somewhere.   It was appalling.   Field after field of so-called 'Rubbish'.   The organiser of the clean up spoke of the army of volunteers who were coming in to clean up.    First to go would be the unopened fresh food and tinned food.    They would be carted off to food banks.   Then would be the tents.   TENTS?    In my day who could afford to leave your tent behind?   Here, judging from an aerial shot there were hundreds if not thousands just abandoned.   Apparently organisations move in and remove what they can use and when all else fails, parts which are reuseable are removed and the rest is shredded.

The first question that springs to mind is did we have that kind of money that could afford to buy a tent, use it for a festival and then abandon it - expecting to buy another next year?   I don't think at the age of most of these young people I had enough to buy the original tent without saving up like mad (and then persuading my father to let me go - not that there were many such events (they hadn't been invented).

So it is not just Lockdown that has changed life for ever - it is everything has changed (one wonders just how many of those tents could have been dropped in the area of queues of refugees in Afghanistan for example.

It is easy when one reaches my age and lives alone - when the world is in such chaos and things are so very diffent -not to worry about such things.   But I can do nothing,   I have visitors for the day next week - relatives who I have not seen for almost two years.   My carer is back tomorrow after her day off and is spending an extra hour cleaning for me.   I have promised to do all surfaces and am very pleased with my progress with the warm soapy cloth and the duster.   I am through to the kitchen so now I shall get dressed and attack the kitchen.   The gentle cleaning, holding on to my walking aid, has reminded me of muscles I had completely forgotten about and has done me a huge amount of good.  So I shall stop worrying about things beyond my control and concentrate on areas where I can make a difference.

It is still a grey day but the sun is threatening to come through.   Have a nice day.

**  I am reminded of one of the last times I stood in a Supermarket queue and stood behind a young mother with her son, who was about five.   She suddenly remembered she had forgotten to get something and told him to dash and get the potatoes.   He came back with a large bag of frozen chips - and she thanked him and put them in her trolley.

28 comments:

Angel charls said...
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John "By Stargoose And Hanglands" said...

My mother worked in the village shop back in the 1970s when a young mum came in and was upset to hear that they had no frozen chips. My mother had to explain to her that chips could be made from potatoes! Tents for use at festivals can be bought for as little as £20, though there have been moves to try to prevent them being sold so cheaply and so avoid them being abandoned for others to clear up.

Bovey Belle said...

I suppose it depends how you bring your children up - if they have grown up in a throw away family, who have money to burn and value nothing, then a £20 tent is easily abandoned - perhaps with the thought they will be given to refugees somewhere in the world. My children knew the value of money, and I am minded of a time when the Rich Kid from across the valley lost his (doubtless expensive) camping knife that Daddy bought him when they were camping. The lads (my son included) offered to help him look for it but he looked at them like they were mad and said his dad would get him another one . . .

I find it sad to stand at the checkout behind a young mum with a trolley full of junk - everything instant and very little in the way of fresh fruit or vegetables. The cost of that is SO much more than buying ingredients to make meals from scratch. Or the single man with ready meals, pies, white sliced bread, sweets and again, no fruit or vegetables (as I was only on Saturday). My trolley is full of ingredients but there are chocolates there too, crisps and a bottle of wine (organic because of my asthma) so I'm no angel!! A takeaway (normally an Indian meal) is a real high days and holidays treat in our house and as the portions are big we make it do two meals. A (large) friend's huge son lives on takeaways and was 28 stone several years ago - lord knows how much he weighs now.

Home-made oven chips are AMAZING - just chip spuds, sprinkle a little oil over and mix with salt and freshly ground black pepper (or some tastier spices) and sprinkle with semolina. Oh my! Yummy.

Heather said...

I am appalled at the amount of litter left behind after festivals. Wouldn't it be as easy to have volunteers checking that whatever festival goers arrive with, goes home with them?
Young people today obviously have more money available to them than in past generations, and are not taught to use it carefully.
It is sad that so many Mums don't bother to cook these days. So many simple and tasty meals can be made quickly, easily and cheaply. We don't have to deny ourselves of all treats to eat a healthy diet.

Derek Faulkner said...

Every new generation tends to appall the generation that went before.
I remember in the 1960's, my parents generation, who had been used to dancing to Victor Silvester and Joe Loss, being enraged at our noisy pop music and the uncouth youths that recorded and played it. Then when I grew my hair long that was the last straw, I got thrown out for a while. Some years later, when my stepdaughter was a teenager, I did my nut because she lived on Pot Noodles and little else.

Tasker Dunham said...

I am as appalled by these things as you are. Waste not want not.

JayCee said...

The young couple who bought our house were taken aback to find that we only had one wheelie bin and that there was no kerbside recycling collection. They had to order a second bin as they said they wouldn't have time to take their weekly recycling to one of the centres just down the road. Friends have told us that the bins are often overflowing when they pass our old house. We used to just have one bag of rubbish nestled at the bottom of the bin each week.

Chris said...

Unfortunately it is not only parents who are to blame so are schools. They have not taught basic life skills like cooking, mending, sewing and woodwork to name a few. How are we meant to cook if our parents can’t . Also 45 years ago my then 5 year old asked if she could take sandwiches for lunch when I asked why she replied that she didn’t want chips and burgers every day. She never had school dinners again and according to my grandchildren it is still the same. Incidentally she still loves potatoes any which way they come

Maudie said...

I wonder what the festival goers think about the litter they leave behind. How do they not think that it is their responsibility to remove/reuse it? How do they not think about the impact of all this abandoned litter? Even if one can afford it, are they not aware of the environmental impact of the throwaway culture?

The Feminine Energy said...

By the time a woman pays for office clothes for herself, daycare for the children, a second car, and all the take-away meals because she's too tired to cook after work... the true value of the family's second income is almost nothing. I personally think most women work because they don't want to be "stuck" home, doing chores & caring for children. But that's just my opinion.

The second income is also needed for everything the couple thinks they can't live without and that they "need".... vacations, cell phones, internet, cable television, etc. etc. etc. The demarcation between "needs" & "wants" is very blurred in today's society.

I wish our ancestors were still here, to teach the world a thing or two. If they'd even listen.

~Andrea xoxoxo

gz said...

I used very few takeaways and ready meals..but then until my children were in school I worked from home or at home.
Life changes when you work full-time, especially as a single mum of 4...even when they all muck in.
Normal will be different. Normal is always changing anyway!

Rachel Phillips said...

Your post seems to have grown. I like the idea of you attacking the cleaning of the surfaces. I think the rest of it, like the take aways, is a mainly a generational thing and generations don't stand still during lockdowns, they keep moving and living habits evolve and are an ever moving feast.

Rachel Phillips said...

More time at home more time for take aways. You've been indoors all day on Zoom who wants to cook, get a take away to brighten your day.

The Weaver of Grass said...

Rachel - I have cleaned all surfaces now - just finished the kitchen which was the last. Now in the morning my cleaner can concentrate on floors. I find it hard work but it does me good to move around providing I hold on to things at all times.
Ah Victor Sylvester- those were the days Derek.

Bonnie said...

I agree that many changes made during the pandemic will probably continue in the future. Take away from both fast food and nice restaurants have become very popular here now too. Nice restaurants now even have special parking places for people picking up food to go. I always hate to hear of all the waste such as people leaving tents and other usable items. In my mind it is not even a matter of what you can afford but more that if you no longer need something usable, then it should be donated. I hate to think of items in a landfill that could be used by someone.

Margie from Toronto said...

It's funny but I have not ordered a food delivery at all during lockdown - even though I thought I would. I occasionally pick up something to bring home but it's more likely to be a cooked chicken breast and salad in a bag that I then put together myself. I will admit that being able to eat out on a patio after restaurants being closed for so long has been a real treat - but I do mean treat! Prices have gone up considerably so it will remain an occasional treat.

As for the garbage left after the festival - just disgraceful! And this is the same age group that blames our age group for all the ills in the world - especially climate change and who lectures us constantly. But they think nothing of leaving a mess and a waste like this behind - and the same thing happens after their "green protests" - hypocrites!!

CharlotteP said...

When people abandon tents just because they can't be bothered to take them home and store until next year, they really do have more money than sense.
If you love pizza (as I do), take a piece of toast, spread with a thin layer of tomato puree (butter first if you feel decadent), top with cheese and bits of ham or whatever you have in the fridge, and grill. Hey presto...pizza every day. well, maybe not a healthy diet for every day, but you get the idea! And definitely healthier, quicker (and cheaper) than most takeaways.

Tom Stephenson said...

Nothing will ever be the same again, but my dark side tells me that the enforced changes are not all for the better. Funnily enough, I haven't eaten a take-away of had more than two meals out since the first lockdown. I get home and give thanks for the sanctuary. I have come to appreciate the cosiness of boring normality. Just the success of having survived another 24 hours seems enough for me.

Anonymous said...

I thought we were doing well when the mantra 'tread lightly on the earth' came into being and we were encouraged to ride bicycles more. As husband and I have always done so anyway, and lived small, in came Mc Mansions, and huge SUV's and enormous television screens around this time, and 'tread lightly' seemed to have been drowned out in the wake of increased consumerism. I am amazed to see my baby granddaughter in the latest capsule, in the latest car, with the latest television consuming commercially prepared purees, when I loved pureeing fresh veggies and continue to do so for her. Everything has to be new , and keeping up with the Jonses has been even more demanding when the Jonses have upped the ante.
I also hate to think what their electricity bill is, and everything with controls is so complicated. While babysitting at their place , going around switching off lights in every room during the day, I heard an alarming noise from the fridge, and yes, it was making ice cubes. Along with keeping the fridge door shut, I manage with my mouth as well.-Pam, Aust.

Debby said...

When I was a single mom of three working full time, I took a lot of short cuts. I used a lot more instant foods then than I do now, when it is just my husband and I. I really think that people do the best they can, and we should not judge them by the food they buy.

Now people who leave litter and trash? Judge those people... Appalling waste.

The Furry Gnome said...

A restaurant here made meals available for purchase on weekends last year. We got them, delivered, and they were like home-cooked meals.

Susan said...

I was surprised to read about people leaving tents. The trash/litter people leave behind seems inconsiderate to me. Many of our parks and woodland trails post signs stating a requirement of "carry in and carry out." Even with signs, some people litter. In some areas, restaurant carry out now includes alcoholic drinks as well. This is supposed to help restore revenues for restaurants. I still like eating at home and cooking meals.

Anonymous said...

So sorry Debby, my comment does seem very judgemental in retrospect. I just laugh when I think of my mother riding along with me on the toddler seat on her pushbike, compared to children today in those big cars, with videos playing in front of them. Guess we have to move with times, while not necessarily agreeing with them - and increased traffic and safety is a big issue now too.-Pam.

Cro Magnon said...

I would never buy a takeaway Pizza, they are too easy to make at home (I buy ready made bases). I have bought takeaway Chinese, and intend to do so again. They do it so much better than I do. As for all that litter.... I despair.

Rachel Phillips said...

Your final paragraph describing the chip observation in the supermarkey I hope made you smile warmly. All families have private language and shared jokes at home. This was probably one such and should not be judged severely.

thelma said...

The trouble is however much we decry the generations that are here and now and their wastefulness we are judging against our own more frugal backgrounds. We live on the edge of a slippery slope telling others how to live. The rubbish throwers should be taken in hand by the people who run the festivals.

Ellen D. said...

I think that we can't assume that all young people act this way. It is just one story of one event and maybe there are many young people who are thoughtful and careful and don't want to ruin the planet. It seems the loud, messy ones get in the news while those quietly living a good life are not. :)

The Weaver of Grass said...

Rachel - I didn't judge it severely - I could without a doubt live on chips - that is why I never buy them. I kid myself that jackets are healthier (which they would be without the butter).

Such interesting comments. It would be interesting to hear what some young people have to say.