Oh the pressure of how to open my first post after being away for 10 days… possibly the longest I have been without my computer or the internet since the days of dial-up, definitely the longest I have had my phone off since I got my first mobile phone… What should my first lines be? It seems only too appropriate that it should be a Sunday thoughts blog post! (but totally inappropriate to open with Backstreet Boys or Eminem songs)
So. How to sum up New things I’ve learnt this week?
Obviously, I have learnt the Vipassana meditation technique and the philosophy behind it. I hope you will forgive me for not going into more detail here – it really is too complex to describe, and I wouldn’t want to give the impression that you can teach yourself. The silence, the discipline, the intensiveness of the course were all necessary to learning it – I never would have begun to grasp the technique without them.
To be honest, I didn’t really learn anything about the mind or the body that I didn’t already know. I certainly didn’t learn any new facts – I didn’t expect to. But I got to know my body and my mind not necessarily better but certainly in a different light.
I will, of course, provide you with a much more detailed write-up of my experience!
With no phone, no internet, no books, and so on, I haven’t learnt anything else this week. So instead I shall share with you an article my mum sent me, about the snowballing anti-sugar campaign, and one interesting little bit of information I received in a first aid newsletter about recognising meningitis symptoms:
A rash that does not fade under pressure (see ‘The Glass Test’ below) is a sign of meningococcal septicaemia. This rash may begin as a few small spots anywhere on the body and can spread quickly to look like fresh bruises.
The spots or rash are caused by blood leaking into the tissues under the skin. They are more difficult to see on darker skin, so look on paler areas of the skin and under the eyelids. The spots or rash may fade at first, so keep checking.The Glass TestSpots or a rash will still be seen when the side of a clear drinking glass is pressed firmly against the skin.A fever, together with spots or a rash that do not fade under pressure, is a medical emergency.(source: The Meningitis Trust)
Not the most fun information I suppose, but important – and, to me at least, interesting. I sincerely hope none of my readers, or anyone, has to put this to use.
New things I have eaten this week
Nothing has been particularly new to me – no new ingredients or foods, not really any novel dishes. All the food has been surprisingly good though and will merit a post of its own!
I have, however, over the past couple of weeks, managed to try a couple of new-to-me snack bars:
- O Bars: these are so good! Just humble fruit and oat bars (about 60% fruit, predominantly sultanas, with some oats and some margarine), I can only describe them as more decadent Nakd bars. With no nuts, and with added margarine, these are slightly moister, slightly sweeter, with a surprising depth of flavour. And they put “Vegan” on the front of the packaging – always a thumbs up from me!
- Wholebake Pistachio Flapjack: OK, so it’s just a flapjack – oats and sugar and margarine – but I really do love flapjacks! This one was particularly good – though I do think that about all flapjacks, especially as I don’t eat them that often since they do contain 350-400kcal a pop. So when I do eat one, it’s a wonderful experience. Especially whilst waiting for a train, with a green tea, on my way back from a 10-day silent meditation retreat!
Other highlights this week
Just a short one really as to be honest, the week has been fairly devoid of highlights! I had a couple of really good meditation sessions, a few moments of just feeling very peaceful wandering around the grounds on my own in the little free time we had, but the big highlight has been coming back home! I don’t think I have ever spent 10 days in such a limited enclosed area, not leaving, and being back out on a road leading somewhere else was very exciting – especially knowing it would take me back to Ben! Back home, we enjoyed an afternoon of catching up and doing nothing else, followed by a delicious and heartwarming dinner at Otto.
Tonight I am determined to try and meditate, at least try to keep up the practice instead of giving up at the first opportunity, but whatever happens, I will be going to bed happy and peaceful!
I hope you have all had peaceful, happy weeks including a fun Halloween and a positive start to November – and of course, good luck to all non-vegans taking part in World Vegan Month, so proud of you all (especially my beloved friend Viv, who I have repeatedly mentioned on here!). Don’t hesitate to get in touch if you have any questions or need any advice or support!