Sunday, 30 March 2014

Not just a diet

I've been on a strict vegan diet for two months now. I've got past the stage of wanting dairy and it's actually starting to disgust me, just as meat and fish already do.

There's a lot more to being vegan than giving up dairy and eggs and we're slowly turning our household vegan. We've got rid of most of our leather goods, but Ian will need some new work shoes and I'll need a new jacket before it will all be gone. It'll take us a while to use up all the cleaning products and toiletries that contain animal-derived ingredients or that were made by companies that test on animals, but we hopefully won't be buying any more in the future.

I've been doing some research on toiletries recently and have been surprised to find that a few companies that I thought were vegan (Avon, The Body Shop, Clinique, Liz Earle, Lush etc) have a "cruelty-free" policy of no animal testing, but still use animal-derived products. Luckily I've been moving towards using more natural products for cleaning (both ourselves and the home). I love the idea of not using anything on your skin / hair that you wouldn't be willing to eat, but I'm not sure if I'll ever quite get there.

I'm thinking of trying soap nuts for washing our clothes. Has anyone tried them?

Sunday, 23 March 2014

Your Handwriting Can Change Your Life

For his birthday, Ian received a book on handwriting by Vimala Rodgers. While he was busy travelling and reading his other birthday books I pinched it from him and thoroughly enjoyed it. It has introduced me to both graphology and graphotherapy. It's also inspired me to change the way that I write. I've never really liked my handwriting (the writing of my parent's generation is so much prettier), but have been too lazy to change it in the past.

The book asks the reader to write a page of text on unlined paper and then you get to analyse what your writing says about your character and how you might want to make changes in the way that you write which in turn should slowly begin to allow you to change the way you think (and therefore act). For example, the left hand side of the page corresponds to the past and the right hand side the future, so if you're the kind of person who lives in the past you probably don't leave much space on the left hand side. If you're always dreaming about the future rather than living for today then you probably write very close to the right-hand side of the page. The distance you leave at the top of a page corresponds to your feelings on authority - the less space the less you tolerate authority figures. Apparently Julius Caesar never left any space at the top of each page - go figure! Lots of other things reflect your character - the slope of your letters, the slope of each line of writing, spacing between words etc etc.

The second part of the book discusses the letters of our alphabet and how they relate to the way that we think. Some letters are associated with our ability to communicate, others relate to how we analyse things, others to creativity and how we express ourselves etc etc. It teaches an 'ideal' alphabet, which is supposed to aid the reader in getting over various problems, so at the ripe old age of 33 I have begun relearning to write. Oddly enough it's the 'easy' changes that are the most difficult to make. For example it suggest that one should write an o in a clockwise direction (thus ending towards the right which is supposed to be more positive than pointing backwards to the left). It's so easy to do a clockwise o, but I've found that I often accidentally revert to the anti-clockwise o when I'm not thinking about my writing. The capital H she suggests seemed odd to me, but having been doing some family history research today I just found the same H written on the 1881 census. They knew what they were doing back then!