Thoughts from August 2011

Eiffel Tower visible from Fruit Towers


It's true that on a clear day you can see parts of France from the white cliffs of Dover. So it would make sense that if you get up a bit higher, say the 5th floor roof terrace at Fruit Towers you might be able to see the Eiffel Tower. Then again it could just be the Crystal Palace radio mast.

say hello to granny leanne

Granny Leanne

Leanne is my granny (and a big fan of our drinks). I’m currently living with her while I buy a flat

I’m sure she could teach us a thing or two about living a long and happy life, so I thought I’d share a few things that I've learnt from Granny Leanne:

1) Work hard
Leanne heads off to work every day as a full-time medical secretary (at the age of 78)

2) Play hard
Leanne loves to socialise. She’s an excellent hostess and always offers you ‘the other half’ of your drink, regardless of how many previous ‘halves’ you’ve had

3) Eat well
Leanne doesn’t like to cook. Instead, she cooks her food how M&S tell her to cook it on the packet
Now, that’s not just cooking… that’s Marks & Spencer cooking

4) Keep fit
Leanne’s not a big fan of exercise. Every time she feels like exercising, she lies down until the feeling goes away (thank you to Robert M. Hutchins for that quote)

5) Drink well
Leanne is a big fan of our little drinks. She likes to take an innocent smoothie in her lunchbox to work every day – and she always enjoys reading the label(s)

And, as the proof is in the pudding, here's a photo of her lunch:


In true granny-style, she has a rubbish picture that I did when I was a child on the wall in the downstairs loo

Framed, of course. Here it is:


I’ll be moving out shortly into my new home

Granny Leanne asked me whether I could simply buy the flat, but keep living with her

Truth be told, I’d love too

a sustainable diet - girl and boy

Jojo is one our people’s champions – the really nice people who answer the banana phone and have a chat with you. Jojo did the diet with her boyfriend Chris.

Here’s Jojo looking fabulous as usual.


“the diet was fine with me but much trickier for Chris as he just didn't understand not putting as much meat in things as he's used to. I tend to be a bit stingier with these things which comes from my mam who went very easy on meat when I was growing up to save money”

Jojo - save money

“I did struggle a bit with the oil rationing as I cook with lots of olive oil but we used a spray for the week. Think I'll still have gone over my quota though. I also found it a bit tricky to turn down burger lunches at the Regent but my waistline was very grateful. To be honest I quite liked being able to say that I was following the diet as I saved a bit of money and had a really healthy week.”

“Even though I exercise a lot I thought the amount of food was very generous and didn't really eat any of the snacks. Think Chris might have eaten my share though...”

vote brian


Just in case you went to Cambridge University, we reckon you should do your solemn duty and vote for Brian Blessed to be the new Chancellor of said establishment. The story is here, and guidelines for voting are here.

a sustainable diet - emma plans ahead

Emma works in our marketing team and apparently has not planned her week in full since 1998. You could say she likes to live life by the seat of her pants..


Day 1

Went to the supermarket. Dawning realisation that the sum total of dinner recipes within my repertoire without meat equals 2 and mild panic ensues. Decide to freestyle it with the shopping list to tackle this diet in little steps. Did my weekly shop, then realised that the last time I actually did a weekly shop was in about 1998, which was quite a telling realisation in itself. Shop came to a sum of £33.50, which, given that I normally do my dinner shops on the hoof on my way home and spend about £10 a time, struck me as very good value. Left the supermarket feeling very excited, and embarked on my diet with a king's feast of beans on toast. Think I can do this. Had chilli con carne for dinner. That's the beef quota for the week gone then.

Day 2

Big breakfast of fibrous goodness. No signs of hunger showing yet. Lunch was falafel, in an effort to eat more green stuff. Think I might just have blown my weekly oil quota in one meal. Ate leftovers for dinner and admired my special shelf of weekly food in the fridge. Felt good.

Emma - falafel
Day 3

More fibre for breakfast. Easy. Massive plate of salad for lunch with loads of greens and goodness. Really struggling with this oil quota though, not a massive fan of dry salad so think I might need to break some rules on this. Dinner- rice, ratatouille and chicken. Delicious. Rapidly running out of meat for the week. Mild panic ensues, then I fall asleep. Not hungry yet.

Day 4

Eat toast for breakfast in an effort to get through what feels like a massive bread quota for the week. Have cheese toasties for lunch, and spend 20 minutes trying to work out what to have for dinner. Decide on risotto with butternut squash and onion. Not quite sure how parmesan fits in, but it's a meat free meal and it's relatively unprocessed so I think it sort of passes. Eat vegetarian risotto. Boyfriend, who'd been disgusted at the prospect of dinner without meat, is very pleasantly surprised and says it's actually quite nice. Result.

Emma - cheese toastie
Day 5

Fruit and Fibre is my friend this week. Not bored of it yet. Salad for lunch- again, oil is the issue here. Feel like I'm eating a lot more healthily than I do normally.

Day 6

Toast for breakfast. Am hungry by mid morning. More green stuff for lunch. Not finding this bit a struggle at all. Dinner is the challenge - thought I was due to have a quiet week, but ended up going out 3 evenings in the week, and am worrying about the food still in my fridge that I need to eat fairly quickly. Decide I'm going to make spag bol and put it in the freezer to use up the veg.

Day 7

Nothing exciting to report on the brekkie front. At lunch I was faced with an array of meat options, but instead went for haloumi and salad and it was bloody delicious. Dinner is crusted cod with homemade mushy peas and potatoes and broccoli mashed in a la Jamie Oliver 30 min meals. It's amazing, takes me a lot longer than 30 mins to make, but I bought sustainably caught fish, which seemed to make for a much better quality piece of fish.

“The diet made me think really hard about how to avoid waste- even if I couldn't eat my week's shop within the week (because of being out and about) I started to think about making food and freezing it or taking it in to work so that other people could eat it if I couldn't. I started to share a lot more, which I liked.”

“I am out and about a lot week by week and never really know when I'm going to be in - this makes for quite a lot of waste because I always buy food on the hoof and never know what's in my fridge. I am going to work really hard to improve this, but it's definitely a challenge.”