Fowl Dinners

Last week I stumbled across this program by Jamie Oliver via Nienie's blog. It's about the food industry, particularly the egg and poultry industry.

Eye-opening, to say the least.

It got me thinking and:
- I decided to renew my adopt-a-chicken contribution, not just for a year like a few years ago (which I was too lazy to renew...) but open-ended this time so I won't forget to renew it next year.
- when grocery shopping this week, I paid extra attention to buying organic products. It's a work in progress (and I know I won't be able to part with some of my favourite items which aren't organic), but every little bit helps, right? In the past, I already made a point of always buying free range eggs, but from now on I'll also make an increased effort to buy more organic foods.
- This week I made the concious decision to get some vegetarian meat-alternatives for dinner. (some were a bigger success than others...)
Going totally vegetarian isn't an option for me - to be honest, I simply like eating meat too much, and biologically we are omnivores after all (in my opinion, we need some animal-derived products in our diet to stay healthy. To all nay-sayers: I respect your opinion, but I think I know at least a little bit of what I'm talking about since I've been battling chronic vitamin deficiency for some years now)
All in all, I consider being a part-time vegetarian to be a happy medium.
- Cheap meat = animal cruelty. I need to make an effort to buy organic meat. The animals are still killed, but at least they've had a good life and they are killed somewhat humanely.
- Since 2 of my cavies died last November, I've thought of getting 2 new cavies to complete the pack. Instead of buying 2 babies at the pet store, I drove to Utrecht yesterday to adopt 2 rescue cavies. Tommie and Annika have meanwhile bonded and are getting used to their new surroundings. In a few weeks, I'll introduce them to the rest of the pack.

They say "a better world starts with yourself". It's a humble start, but I'm trying to do my part.



The other day I had a bit of an aha-moment. It kinda snuck up on me...

There was some work-related issue that I had a strong opinion about (all in all not particularly unusual...). Oftentimes my supervisor tends to agree with me, but in this particular instance, he didn't. I was not amused, to use an understatement. In fact, my inner 5-year-old was about 2 minutes away from throwing a temper tantrum, pouting and feet-stomping included.
However, I managed to restrain said inner 5-year-old and remained my 30-something composed self ;-)

It did make me realize that I tend to get my way a lot. Hell, even as an adult, I still have my dad wrapped around my pinky, for one...
I guess I haven't had to deal with a lot of adversity in my life. It's actually been a pretty smooth ride so far.

My parents are still happily married after 40 years.

Though we weren't exactly rich while I was growing up, I don't recall ever lacking anything as a child.

No traumatic events such as abuse or war that scarred me for life.

I didn't even have to put much effort into school to pass with flying colours.

Being an only child, I've always fought against the spoiled brat stereotype. And I don't know whether it stems from being an only child, or whether it is my red hair or my star sign (fire sign) or my character, or whether it's simply human nature, but I don't like not getting my way. One bit.

OH.MY.GAWD {insert Janice-from-Friends-voice}

Seems like I'm a spoiled brat after all!


One trip each quarter

At the beginning of 2011, after a few years of infrequent travelling, I set myself the (luxury) goal to take at least one trip each quarter during the upcoming year. I did allow myself a pretty broad definition of "trip": it could be anything from a long weekend away in NL to a few weeks abroad and everything in between.

I'm pretty fortunate that I managed to pull it off last year, even if it was with some outside help (my trip to Egypt was postponed from October 2010 to January 2011, for instance).

Let's review, shall we??

Q1: 10-day trip to Egypt in January.
Q2: 4-day trip to Istanbul at the end of March (OK, so technically this was still Q1, but it was literally the last 4 days of March so I'd say it counts ;-) )
Q3: 1-week trip to Texel in August.
Q4: 17-day trip to China in October.

I really liked having something to look forward to each quarter, and I especially liked the idea of taking a trip to a sunny destination in Q1, to battle my Winter Blues (which seems to be getting worse each year).

For this year I want to attempt the same. I've already booked 2 trips, one to Israel next month (vitamin D-boost!) and one to the USA in Fall, so I'm already halfway there! I'm also thinking about a city trip to London in Spring, and one in December to Vienna, but we'll have to see how that pans out.

In any case: happy travelling!