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john davies
notes from a small vicar
from a parish
in Liverpool, UK

    Friday, April 04, 2003
    Lent Challenge update.
    On the CAP Lent Challenge it's been the toughest, tightest week. I'm holding on by the skin of my teeth. But my diet's suffering. If I had been really thorough about this exercise, and tried to reproduce real-life circumstances more accurately, I would have cancelled all my subscriptions and outstanding Amazon orders, substantially reducing the throughput in my letterbox. I would have also cleared out the food cupboards and started from scratch. As it was, I spent the first part of Lent exisiting on scratchings from the deeper regions of these cupboards, reluctant to get out to the shops to face the strain of restrained purchasing.

    That's changed in recent days as the cupboards now truly have become bare. And I've had to get out to fill a basket with plainer and cheaper goods, avoiding the slightest 'luxury' (like, no Radio Times, usually the first thing in my shopping basket - I've been using the listings on Teletext instead). Had a Shreddies scoop, though - special offer, two boxes for two quid. That'll keep me going awhile.

    I've previously mentioned the greatest financial challenge of minimum wage living is the restraint I'm having to put on my habitual purchasing of books and cds. I've found I'm not even going to the library (CD loans are £1 quid a week and often I'll borrow two, and a video at £2). One quite good side-effect of this has been my rediscovery of forgotten cassettes long banished to the bottom of the stack. I've been back in the eighties with Echo and the Bunnymen this week, it's been a joyful rediscovery.