Bird's Eye View Returns

PUBLISHED: 13:38 22 February 2010 | UPDATED: 11:13 04 May 2010

IT S really nice to be back. And in case you re wondering, the family are all well, thank you, and nothing of significance has happened in my life since we last spoke. I am still running, and strangely, in the last few weeks seem to have broken through a

IT'S really nice to be back. And in case you're wondering, the family are all well, thank you, and nothing of significance has happened in my life since we last spoke. I am still running, and strangely, in the last few weeks seem to have broken through a psychological running barrier and now actually look forward to pounding the streets even in bad weather.

AS we were eating up the left-over pancakes from the Ely Standard Pancake Race in the office last Tuesday we discussed Lent. I asked if anyone was going to give anything up for Lent. One usually hard-working and dedicated member of my team laughed and said 'work' and another said 'making you tea'. Well, I did ask. I decided to leave it there, but have since given serious consideration to what I should or could give up for the next 40 days. Apart from making a financial saving, I want to learn something from the experience. Learn something about myself and my ability to change and grow and maybe even discover something important about life in general.

What to give up?

Chocolate: I don't eat much, so it wouldn't be a real sacrifice and as I have already pledged to eat only Fairtrade chocolate I could, in fact, be depriving a West African cocoa farmer of some much-needed income in the process.

Alcohol: Again, I don't drink much so it wouldn't be a huge sacrifice (okay, some nights it would be!).

I realise I am now sounded rather boring, but I was brought up in a home where moderation was everything. We were only allowed to eat sweets once a week and my parents never argued, never got drunk and only stayed out late once a year when they attended my dad's works Christmas dinner and dance.

I decided to check the bookmaker's odds (sorry, no, I don't gamble either). According to Paddy Power, chocolate is leading the odds for things people are likely to give up for Lent, and perhaps coming in at a surprising second is Facebook and then Twitter. I found it interesting that people were concerned about their usage of such sites, but again, I do not have a problem addiction to Facebook as I have vowed not to use it again until my sane, intelligent and normally interesting friends stop talking about FARMVILLE!

I also don't smoke and don't have any expensive vices that can't be talked about in a family newspaper!

So, basically other than food and sustenance that leaves shoes, handbags, clothes, books and technology.

Technology it is! Seriously, while I could cut down, it really wouldn't be a huge sacrifice and I might also lose my job. So...I will not buy any books for the next six weeks and will go to the library instead. I will also give up watching television for one day each week and vow to do something new or interesting instead. I will not buy any clothes, shoes or handbags either. The money I save I will donate to CLIC Sargent.

If you have any better ideas, let me know at: debbie.davies@archant.co.uk

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