alea iacta esto

Downshifting: How I’m Learning To Love Tap Water

Almost three weeks ago I wrote that I feared I was about to be fired. In the end I wasn’t but I have ended up in the same place by resigning. The whys and wherefores are a case of “he said, she said” and, while enlightening and a learning experience for me, they will to you be just another sob story. Suffice it to say that when one door shuts another opens and although I don’t have a new job, a few projects that were stuck at GO in my mind have now rushed mightily to the fore.

Over time I have gotten older only to look wistfully over the shoulder at all the things I could have done but didn’t. There were some good ‘uns, as they say, but still I wasted so much time and sadly, spent time is the one thing no human can ever buy back (along with youth). Life, I now understand, is really not a rehearsal and I better shoot for the stars now (not tomorrow) or stay the frustrated and silent nonentity forever. So here’s to pursuing my startup project and the great novel.

[PAUSE] However, however … being also a realist I fully acknowledge that dreams and action plans don’t pay bills or procure food; and so absent the regular pay check my lifestyle will have to undergo a substantial downshifting. The Top 10 quick wins that come to mind are:

  1. Eating out: I wasn’t doing a lot of it but the occasional Michelin star and the more frequent “good food, price irrelevant” mantra will have to be exchanged for a copy of Cheap Eats and lots of home cooking.
  2. Wine: Every fortnight at £30-40 a pop will have to go. In comes once a month at the “good value” end of “outstanding”.
  3. Clothes: Just as well I didn’t buy that expensive new suit. What I have now will just have to do. Designer underwear? Pffft!
  4. Perfumes: £80 for a 50ml bottle is great when one is comfortably above the poverty line (with no kids) but not when on the breadline.
  5. Hair: I’ve got dreads which needed maintenance every four weeks to look sharp. Now, every six weeks.
  6. Books: I buy an enormous amount of the stuff. With a couple hundred or more still unread and lying about I think I’ll be OK for a good while.
  7. Holidays: Nice hotels, nice places, cocktails, nice bills … bye, bye.
  8. Coffee: Tough one this ’cause I love the well made £2.50/cup variety. I carry around with me the London Coffee Guide. Well, no more 3-4 at weekends and cutting down to 1-2. It’s about time I got full value out of that Nespresso machine in the kitchen.
  9. […. buffering …… still thinking…..]
  10. Water: I heard on TV (so it must be true) many moons ago that London water has been filtered multiple times through sewage or something equally distasteful. After that I switched to bottled water but since I hate paying for still water I took to sparkling, particularly San Pellegrino (yeah, only the best). Back, back, back to tap, tap, tap. Tap is not that bad tasting after all!
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