It’s always hard to spoil the whiteness of a blank page with words. It somehow feels like throwing a stone into a very still pond, like you shouldn’t be doing it or you might be doing it wrong. It’s the same sort of feeling you might get when starting a conversation with someone new, or when you start a new job and you’re not sure where things are or who to ask for them. So here’s to my millionth attempt at a blog, to another blank page that I’ve started to scribble on.
I have to admit, I’m tempted to write one of those safe (boring) ‘about me’ posts, in which I recount the story of my life and tell everything you need to know about me, like my favourite colour and season, whether I watch television or read newspapers, and my views on politics and why I’m vegan. Instead, I’m going to write about something I’m quite excited about at the moment. If you know me, you’ll probably roll your eyes and think ‘what else’, as I am known to be somewhat of a vegetable fanatic. I recently discovered a West Wales based company that offers a really good organic veg box delivery scheme. They’re very similar to Abel&Cole, by now a well known (and rightly so) London based company which literally rescued me from plasticky shiny supermarket fruit and vegetables throughout my three years as a student in the big smoke.. sadly they don’t deliver to Wales, or I’d still be their customer.
Anyway, I’m talking about the Organic Fresh Food Company. Their website is quite hard to navigate and confusing at first, but well worth the head scratching if you want good, fresh produce from local suppliers, farmers and growers. They have their own box scheme for fruit and vegetables, but you can mix and match from the produce section in the online shop if you prefer to make your own box. I really like the fact that they supply information on where the produce comes from: for example, I was able to buy Welsh organic blueberries off them instead of having to face the dilemma of Tesco’s organic blueberries, which come all the way from South Africa. They also deliver for free on orders over £25, which I feel is quite an honest price: my average spend on fruit and vegetables at Tesco, my current local supermarket, is usually around £20 anyway and local organic produce is hardly ever a choice.
[I sometimes get people telling me that being vegan is oh so very expensive, but what they fail to realise is that I never buy animal derived products: this makes fruit, vegetables, pulses and grains the bulk of my monthly shopping, along with the occasional jar of coconut oil, bag of seeds or packet of nuts. If you compare an omnivore’s spend on vegetables to mine, then yes, you could say that I am spending a lot more on my ‘vegan stuff’. Dairy products, meat and fish, however, are much more expensive and sold in smaller quantities, so my overall spend will never be as much as that of someone who chooses to consume animal derived products. Unless you choose to live off Iceland and Sainsburys basics products.. in which case, I admit that I am spending a lot more on my shopping, but that I am also investing in my health.]
Living in Wales is different from London in so many non-obvious ways. It’s peaceful and beautiful and so silent I can almost hear the air moving at night, I don’t wake up to the sound of traffic and airplanes landing in Heathrow, and I’m not caught up in a manic rush of soulless human bodies every time I walk out of my front door. I can breathe in without wheezing and I can enjoy going out for a run after it’s rained, when the air smells of leaves and grass and fresh running water. I love this part of the world, but I do miss London in a strange way. I miss the pulse of human life, the excitement of new things, the endless possibilities of bus routes and my own feet. I miss gallery openings with free wine, bad artwork and new interesting people, bright lights and small cafés with nice coffee that serve avocado on toast and tap water in fancy glass carafes. I recently visited London on a staff trip after not having been there for roughly four months, and I was reminded of how beautiful and savage it is at the same time.
I think I’ll write more about London in the next post, and I’ll also share a little recipe.