Giving up

This morning, whilst replying to emails and invoicing (and definitely procrastinating on Instagram), I stumbled across my German blog project. During my studies at St Andrews, all German students had to give something up for a week and blog about it. I chose Facebook, which at the time felt like a massive undertaking. In hindsight, I was surrounded by friends left, right and centre, 24 hours a day at University, so really missing out on an event was unlikely. Nevertheless, I did it and you can read about my week-long, half ironic, half ‘it was actually quite hard’, struggle here (auf Deutsch)..

I never give up anything for Lent, but since it is that time of year, it got me thinking what I would find a real struggle to do without over a period of time and how much of a struggle it would be (1-easy-peasy…10 #aiuto).

1. Coffee

Ever since moving to Italy, I have decidedly upped my intake of the warming, caffeinated drink. (I mean, tea just tastes wrong here and it would have been rude not to adapt culturally.) Having said that, now that we are on the brink of warmer weather, I think I would get used to not having my morning cappuccino relatively quickly. As for during the summer months, all I want to do in the morning is shove my head in a bucket of ice. Any warm drinks will be cat hissed at.

Difficulty level: 6…I lie, 7


2. Whatsapp

I would have no social life. I would have some social life, because I would cling like a limpet to any human I met face to face, and tag along on his/her excursions. I’m exaggerating: I could still call people and if anyone called me, I could make instant plans. I would never leave my flatmate’s side and would call her constantly to find out what she was doing. I get the feeling people might stop answering my calls…

Difficulty level: 9, or 4 if people called me. Difficulty level for others who know me: 15 if they answered my calls.

3. Going to the gym

Check. (Have never been anyway, so pretty sure I can keep that up)

Difficulty level: 1

4. Speaking

I can’t. I already know this would be the impossible of impossible tasks for me. It’s hard enough working alone, without colleagues, but at least I can babble away in the evening, during my lunch break, exchange pleasantries with passing strangers. I would find it so dull. I’m bored just thinking about the prospect. It’s not that I enjoy verbal diarrhoea, I just enjoy exchanging views, sharing my point of view, discussing, chit-chatting, gossiping, telling stories, hearing stories, laughing out loud with friends…Even when I had laryngitis, I whispered through my days.

Difficulty level: I can’t even…100 or so.

5. Doing the food shopping

I could only realistically give this one up if either I found someone to do it for me (the dream), or persuaded someone to feed me (more of a dream). It’s not that I hate food shopping per se, it’s just that I’m not very good at it. I go in and I buy things that I like eating, or things that I am drawn to at that moment (usually I am hungry, which is the number one error when food shopping). I leave with things, food items, but very little which goes together to make a meal. So I end up having a dinner of an avocado, a few gherkins, apple compote (nom), maybe a bit of salmon and some brie, to wash it all down.

Difficulty level: Not ever doing it: 1. Finding someone to do it for me/feed me: 9? Anyone?

Life lessons learnt: Pretty self explanatory from above. However, if there are any candidates for Catriona’s personal food shopper, please do get in touch. If you would also like to cook me the food, I might even let you stay to eat it with me.


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