Sunday, 9 May 2010

day 30


8.30pm: Dear porridge,

I am writing to say thank you. Thank you, and goodbye. Without you, I do not think I would have made it through these 30 stomach-rumbling days - and for that I am eternally grateful.

However, there is simply no getting around the fact that, without a large helping of sugar/syrup/fruit or even salt, you taste like the smell of damp wool.

Best regards and kindest wishes,

Ruth xx

9.45am: Got to town on the work biscuit tin in celebration.

10.15am: Feel a weeeee bit sick.

1pm: M&S.

one tin of soup 45p
one crusty brown roll 31p

Total = 76p

Money left = £2.82

6.30pm: Vote.

6.45pm: Tesco's. Am feeling a bit lazy.

6.50pm: Hmmm what gifts will the reduced shelf offer up today?

6.52pm: Ah ha!


one shepherds pie 60p (reduced from £1.50)
two carrots = 16p

Total = 76p

Money left = £2.06

7pm: Zing instant meal in microwave; chop and boil carrots.

7.15pm: Burn roof of mouth on searing-hot bubbling pie.

9pm: Realised never ate those 9p chicken flavoured noodles! Must try them.

9.05pm: Can confirm that 9p noodles are, as the kids say, mingin'. midnight: Watch the beginnings of an entirely unsatisfactory (for anyone) election result.


7am: Wake up to a hung parliament... and the possibility of absolutely stuffing my face.

day 29

8.23am: A woman necking a gigantic freshly-baked sausage roll sits next to me on train.

a) absolute torture as love sausage rolls
b) while am a HUGE fan of the sausage roll, even I don't include them in the pre-9am food category.

8.45am: Porridge lasts FOREVEEEER. However, am reaching the dusty section at bottom of bag. Once milk is added is entirely sludge.

8.55am: Grumpy man from neighbouring office (who was rather disgruntled at my exploding porridge all over work microwave a few weeks ago) walks in.

8.56am: Grumpy man looks at me eating porridge oats from a mug, sniggers in a "silly girl" kind of way, and walks out.

8.58am: Debate smearing rude words in porridge sludge on his office door.

1pm: Leftover value-rice-extravaganza. "That actually looks... okay" comments colleague, unwrapping her tub of prawn paella.

1.15pm: Today, it would seem, everyone has decided to bring in leftovers to demonstrate their culinary expertise. Am sandwiched between a steaming bowl of Thai green curry and a giant wedge of lasagne. Sigh.

1.30pm: Craving jalapeno peppers. Taste buds are clearly crying out for a damn good slapping.

3pm: Some absolute legend has brought in cake! Hurrah!

3.15pm: Mug of tea + chocolate cake = today's first true burst of happiness.

3.30pm: Being technical and proper, there does only appear to be enough cake for one piece per person.

3.35pm: Slyly chug down second piece. Surprisingly, don't feel the slightest bit of guilt.

6.15pm: Tesco’s. Bethnal Green Road.

one tin of value beans 15p
two potatoes 43p

Total = 58p

Money left = £3.58

7pm: Remaining value fish fingers + value beans + dollop of fluffy-but-dry mash = dinner fit for a king. Well ok dinner fit for a child. A child at the mercy of parents who refuse to pander to branding.

Wednesday, 5 May 2010

day 28

7am: Who THE HELL is ringing me in the middle of the fecking night?!

7.01am: Oh. Alarm. (insert extremely tired face)

7.10am: Physically unable to open eyes.

7.15am: Need to get up. Really really need to get up.

Get up get up get up.

7.45am-8.45am: Somehow manage to transport self from bed in Bethnal Green to office in Bromley, via the shower, two tubes and a train.

8.47am: Assemble porridge oats/milk/mug concoction.

8.50am: Miss mouth and dispatch spoonful of soggy oats onto boobs.

8.55am: Fail to make top look clean.

9am: Put on hoody.

9.15am: Feel like a teenager on work experience.

1pm: Have too much work to do. Need vitamin injection. Give colleague who is off to supermarket £1, and request as much fresh fruit as £1 will allow.

1.15pm: Colleague returns with one banana, one orange and an apple. And no change. Hmmm. (Money left £5.43)

1.30pm: Squirt orange onto hoody.

1.45pm: Top up stomach with porridge. (And two office-Pound-Shop biscuits.)

6.15pm: Tesco's on Bethnal Green Road. A lovely place.

6.25pm: Buy:

one tin of chopped tomatoes 35p
one onion 9p
three carrots 30p
cabbage 53p

Total = £1.27

Money left = £4.16

6.45pm: Use rest of value rice, value pepper and value salt to make exceedingly value vegetable and rice extravaganza.

7.15am: Enough veggie rice left for lunch tomorrow – hurrah!

7.30pm: Not enough internet connection to stream an episode of The Wire – WHAT?!

7.31-8pm: Potter about (as Mum would say).

8.15pm: Spy chocolate on cousin's desk.

8.17pm: Eat bit of chocolate.

9.45pm: Cousin returns home.

10.05pm: Chat in cousin's bedroom.

10.10pm: Gladly accept cousin's kind offer of chocolate.

Tuesday, 4 May 2010

day 27

10.15am: Monday morning and still in bed. Thank the Lord for lazy banks.

10.30am: Porriiiiidge.

12pm: Head to East Dulwich to admire boyfriend's sister's shiny new flat.

1.10pm: Eagerly accept offer of lunch.

1.30pm: Watch Josie whip up a batch of asparagus tarts.

2pm: Stuff face with asparagus tart, freshly baked artisan bread, humous and assorted salad. Thank the Lord for boyfriend's sisters.

3.30pm: Wander around East Dulwich in gentle sunshine feeling lovely and full. Aaah.

3.45pm: Go to pub (The Bishop) and nurse a misty pint of water while everyone else enjoys a beer. Sigh.

5.30pm: Pop into Sainsbury’s on way home.

one tomato 16p
some rapidly wilting lettuce leaves (reduced) 50p
value veggie burgers £1

Total = £1.66

Money left = £6.43

7.30pm: Combine value vegie burgers, salad bits and moderately stale bread buns from the party to make vaguely healthy dinner.

8.15pm: Watch more of The Wire.

8.19pm: Kind of wish I owned a gun.

8.22pm: Definitely wish I was a secret agent.

day 26

10.30am: Un. Be. Lieeeevable headache.

10.35am: Alex is a little alarmed to wake up next to myself and boyfriend.

10.45am: Unravel goings on of the night.

10.50am: Random conversation about cheese.

10.55am: Decide that it's quite nice to have an extra person to chat to in the mornings. Alex suggests we have regular visitors (no Mum, not in a sexual way) a bit like Desert Island Discs.

11am-2pm: Sleep.

2pm-4pm: Clean.

5pm: Make large sausage sandwich from party leftovers.

6pm-8pm: Lollop around, feeling generally useless.

8.10pm: Porridge. Surprisingly, this is exactly what I feel like.

8.30pm: Watch, and get utterly hooked by, The Wire.

8.45pm: Slightly stale leftover birthday cake.

day 25

10.30am: Yawn.

10.40am: Can still taste battered sausage. Clean teeth three times.

11.30am: Meander around shops with boyfriend and stop him from spending a considerable amount of money on clothes that look exactly the same as clothes he already has.

11.45am: Have had no breakfast. Pick up a banana from Tesco’s (15p; money left £10.33).

12.30pm: Torture self by walking around more clothes shops.

1pm: Party at boyfriend's house later. Can't turn up empty handed.

1.10pm-1.30pm: Scan Sainsbury's for cheapest booze.

1.45pm: Leave Sainsbury's with a bottle of blackcurrant flavour sparkling wine (£2.24; money left £8.09).

2pm-3.30pm: Little nap. (Allowed on Saturdays.)

4pm: Decide not to pop open the value fizzy blackcurrant until everyone else has had a few drinks - less obvious.

5pm: Pop.

5.03pm: Tastes like cheap Ribena. So not awful... but not great.

5.15pm: This is surprisingly drinkable. Pour second glass.

5.17pm: Offer around blackcurrant fizz.

5.20mp: Absolutely no takers.

6pm: BBQ rained off so meat-cooking frenzy in kitchen.

6.30pm: Burgers and sausages. Mmmmmmmmmeat! With the battered sausage last night, and birthday BBQ today, meat cravings = fully satisfied.

7pm: Massive sugar high from bottle of virtually-non-alcoholic-fizzy-fake-ribena wine.

7.30pm: Birthday boy has bought A LOT of wine for the occasion.

7.35pm: Wine.

8pm: Silly dancing.

9pm: Birthday cake and silly singing.

9.15pm: A second birthday cake and even more silly singing.

9.30pm: Silly dancing.

9.45pm: Somehow have acquired another wine.

10pm: Silly dancing.

10.45pm: More wine.

11pm: Silly dancing.

11.30pm-4am: Blur of silly dancing and wine.

5am: Bedtime.

5.01am: Boyfriend's friend Alex is passed out on our bed - width ways.

5.05am: Shuffle Alex across. Lie down.

day 24

8am: For those who have ever wondered whether it is possible to get stuck on two 'defective' tube trains in a row, and start your day by sweating underground for over 40 minutes, I can confirm yes, yes it is.

8.45am: Porridge, porridge, where for art thou porridge?

8.50am: Ah ha - someone has hidden you behind a box of green tea.

8.55am: Would porridge by any other name taste as bland?

8.56am: Yes.

9am: Friday morning biscuit treat from the office hoard.

1pm: Decline colleagues' invitation to a Friday lunchtime Nandos outing, and opt for my M&S high-brow tomato and fresh brown roll staple. (total = 69p; money left = £11.68).

6pm: Tube rage, of the highest degree.

7pm: Acting on a highly random Friday night whim, boyfriend fancies trying out new swanky-looking fish n chip joint down the road.

7.05pm: Er, £5.50 for a piece of battered fish?!?!?! Opt for a battered sausage (£1.20; money left £10.48).

7.15pm: Try best to ignore boyfriend tucking into large portion of chips topped with large piece of battered cod.

7.20pm: This really is a top notch battered sausage.

7.22pm: Nick some of boyfriend's chips.

7.24pm: Nick some more of boyfriend’s chips.

8pm: Porridge.