So today is the last day of excess before the frugality of Lent.
At the outset, I should say that although I profess to be a Christian and was, for a while, a long time ago, a choirboy at St Peter’s Church, Maney, Sutton Coldfield, I am not an active or regular worshipper.
So why I am observing this period of religious-based tradition in which I promise myself that I will make changes to the way that I live that should be of benefit to me and to those around me? Indeed, who else will benefit from my Lenten observances anyway?
In the spirit of Lent, I aim to become a better person and hope that people around me will be happier if I manage to do this. On the other hand, could “giving up” make me even more of an old curmudgeon than normal and therefore make the lives of those around me even less bearable?
It started with a casual conversation in our small, but friendly office at work where it transpired that some of my (female) colleagues had planned to forgo the pleasures of some combination that may or may not include eating biscuits, cakes, sweets and chocolate. In a rash moment, I agreed to join them in this.
In the subsequent days (or has it been weeks?) there has been a great deal of wavering. I have been party to discussions about whether sausage rolls should be included, or whether cheese is to be on a proscribed list.
I have decided that my personal “giving up” is really about my own health. So I am going to abandon the whole of the original basic list:
I am going to continue to eat cheese – my weekend treat of cheese on toast for breakfast remains a highlight of my life (I know, sad.)
So today, we shared the remnants of the office biscuit time among the three of us. One digestive with a bit broken off, three pieces of broken biscuit and a pile of crumbs. As I write this, late in the evening, we have had no pancakes, but I live in hope that the dying hours of Shrove Tuesday will yet come up with the other side of the “giving up for lent” bargain.
… and the reason that you are able to read this is that I have decided to record my intention in writing and later to share my success (for now that you know, I am sure that my pride will not allow any other outcome).