Thursday, 1 July 2010


Yesterday, I sat down on a bench by York Minster, and realised ho much I've changed in the past month and a half. I have no real explanation as to why it's happened now, and not sooner or later, but I'm glad that it has.

It was my birthday yesterday, and I decided to treat myself to a new pair of glasses. The ones I wear at the moment are held together at the corner by a piece of tape, like Jack Duckworth. So I got a sight test, ordered some snazzy specs, and when I was done I treated myself to some lunch items from M&S, and I sat on my bench.

And as I sat there, I realised I was happy. Not worrying or stressing about anything at all. Just happy. It was only 10.30am, but I was peckish, so I opened my sandwich. Lochmuir poached salmon and watercress on oatmeal bread. Quite a lot of dill mayonnaise on there, but what the hell, birthday girls rule and they can have dill mayo. I sat and I ate. I ate and I sat.

How long does it take you to eat a sandwich? I used to eat one in about a minute flat before moving on to a samosa or pack of sushi. Then dessert. But I don't eat like that any more. My Lochmuir salmon sandwich took me around ten minutes to eat, as I sat there, savouring every mouthful. I really enjoyed it, and wasn't ashamed of enjoying it. There's nothing wrong, after all, with appreciating food. I also wasn't ashamed of eating in public, or imagining that people going past were thinking "Look at that fat woman eating at only half ten in the morning!" I didn't even know I used to have thoughts like that all the time, till I've managed to stop having them. It feels so different.

I don't think I've ever been quite as at peace with myself as I was sitting on that bench yesterday. Not since I was a kid.

I also realised that slowing down with my eating and changing my attitude towards food is also paying of in other areas of my life. Just as I was enjoying every bite of my sandwich, I was also enjoying every minute of being there, by the Minster, on my bench. I didn't feel like I was wasting time. I wasn't convinced I should actually be doing something else. I even felt that my use of time was productive. Do you know how long it is, since I've actually felt productive? Too long.

In the afternoon I treated myself to a look round one of my favourite York places, Treasurer's House, and generally had a me-day, till it was after school time and normal life was resumed. But what a great day. I like that my birthday falls exactly half way through the year. This year, I'm pretty happy with the way things are going :-)


  1. What a lovely post you sound so happy:)
    Belated Birthday Greetings, hope the year continues as it bagan:)

  2. Eating slowly is a important I still don't eat slowly enough. Sounds like you had a nice birthday.

  3. Fabulous post, and so wonderful to hear where you are, and how you feel about life and yourself. Self discovery is marvelous, you're to be admired, and in my case, I'm just very envious.

  4. Hey, a belated 'Happy Birthday"! :)

    I like the sound of your day. I like sitting in peaceful places and feeling all is right with the world. A lovely sense of calm pervades, doesn't it? I do it often. In fact, there is nothing stopping me doing it more often. Good to know all that inner strength regarding food and exercise and life in general is building and the outlook is positive. Way to go! :)