Confession: I’ve had to give up the news. As a former news reporter, this is weird. In fact, my recent news detox is probably the first time in my life I’ve actively avoided watching, listening or reading the news.
Of course it’s impossible to tune it out completely, especially when things are going as bonkers as they are at the moment. I fully expect the NLM to come crashing in the door after a day at work saying, “Have you HEARD the news?! Nigel Farrage and Boris Johnson have been announced as the new presenters of Relocation Relocation: Down Under. They’re moving to Australia and replacing Kirstie and Phil!”.
Honestly, stranger things have happened.
Anyway, my current news starvation is an ostrich way of preserving my mental health. My poor, tired, angry brain simply can’t digest one more piece of negative news about the state of our collapsing country or idiotic people in charge. I miss pre-Brexit life.
This isn’t a post about giving up the news. It is, however, a post about some of the things making me happy in my current Brexit, news-addled slump. Oh – and there’s a bit of political commentary from my toddler at the bottom. I swear she’s got more sense than many of the UK’s politicians at the moment.
We’ve been eating really healthily recently and it feels good. I’ve taken over charge of the shopping from the NLM and now buy most of our groceries locally, from the butcher and the green-grocer’s in the next village along. Along with doing some regular workouts most mornings I’ve been actively avoiding refined sugar and cutting down on carbs and gluten.
This is mainly due to a last-minute panic before we go on holiday at the end of this month, but I’m hoping it might trigger some sort of new routine. Of course the wine on a Friday night stays, obviously.
We recently tried out the meal delivery service from new business Mindful Chef. This is a genius idea that basically takes all of the planning, shopping and time-consuming thinking out of healthy meal planning. A box is delivered straight to your door containing a selection of ingredients and recipes. Each meal is packaged (in environmentally-friendly packaging, natch) separately, so you simply take out the bag with the pre-measured ingredients, follow the recipe included and Ta Da! a fresh, organic, gluten-free and delicious meal is yours.
On the table for us last week was Beef Rendang with brown rice and mangetout, and Pork and Apricot Kebabs with pistachio and mint quinoa the following evening. Two meals that were quite honestly the best mid-week meals we’ve ever had. (If you want to try out the service yourself then you can use the code REFER25 at the checkout to get 25% off your first box when you enter my name.)
When my Brexit blues were at their height one evening last week I decided to shut Facebook and retire to bed with the iPad and Netflix. I stumbled across a new Netflix Original film that was released a couple of weeks ago starring one of my favourites, Paul Rudd (incidentally it also stars Selena Gomez AND the woman who played Elizabeth Bennet in Pride & Prejudice alongside Colin Firth, fact fans). It’s called The Fundamentals of Caring and it’s one of the best films I’ve seen in ages.
On the surface this should probably be the most depressing film ever, with its subject matter being about a guy who’s suffered a tragic event and ends up working as a carer. But it’s uplifting and hilarious in a non-saccharine, witty and sarcastic way. My kind of humour.
Possibly not the most jolly of reads but I found this book Ebola: Behind the Mask full of inspirational stories. My sister sent it to me just before I was due to fly out to Sierra Leone with World Vision and I finished it just last week.
Written by two medics who volunteered with MSF (Doctors Without Borders) in an Ebola Management Centre at the height of the epidemic in Sierra Leone, it gives an insight into what life was like for many people during the crisis. There were desperately sad parts – of course there were – but there were also funny parts and far more stories that made me smile than I originally expected to find. When I finished the book I looked up one of the authors – Andy Dennis who works as a nurse for the NHS in the UK – and saw he’s currently on a 4,000 bike ride across the US to raise money for MSF. You can donate here.
With a holiday just around the corner I’m counting down the days to a change of scene and spending some proper quality time with the girls and the NLM, without this strange urge to Instagram or Snapchat every beautiful second. This isn’t a review holiday and, as much as I enjoy our trips via this blog or work, it’s going to be really amazing to properly switch off for a while. I’m looking forward to just being, without a phone in my hand or an eye on my Facebook feed. I just need to stop refreshing the weather app on my phone in the meantime.
And now, if you’re looking for some sensible political commentary, offering insightful views on the current Brexit situation in the UK then I can thoroughly recommend watching this. Baby Girl has, in my opinion, more sense than many of the politicians currently running the country…