Not Buying Stuff?

I have just read Joshua Millburn’s post about not buying stuff for a year. I wonder…could I do this?

It’s a similar challenge to that of cutting sugar out of my diet. I can succeed temporarily, but when I attempt to prolong the cold-turkey resolution, the reverse happens, and I have yet to quite find a balance.

Perhaps I am under the consumerist illusion that I need Stuff. At least some stuff. The things that come to mind: Journals. Pens. Books for my course. Gear for climbing. Clothes. These things seem necessary.

In fact, looking over my past two months’ worth of purchases, they are mostly for food, postage, and events (theatre, cinema, concerts). The objects I have purchased are: a copy of French Vogue, record cards for handmade postcards, an umbrella, pens, gifts for people, and a bucket for hand-washing clothes.

Sensible. But just because these past couple of months have been in place with my morals doesn’t mean that the next couple of months will be the same, unless I watch them consciously. Let’s keep checking in…


How to Survive Outdoor Theatre

One of the great things about spending the summer in Oxford is that there is lots of outdoor theatre. And when the weather is hot and sunny and summery, attending a garden show is an easy, excellent way to spend an evening. Unfortunately, the weather is rarely hot and sunny and summery here, and preparations are required. Advice:

1. Dress warmly. Then add an extra layer. Then bring an extra layer just in case. It’s amazing how many freezing evenings it has taken me to take this advice seriously. Last night I wore my wool coat and beret and knee-high boots, and only then was I comfortable.

2. Including extra socks. In case your feet get cold in summery shoes or your first pair get wet in the rain.

3. And bring a blanket. Whether to sit on or wrap around yourself, I never regret having a blanket in tow.

4. And rain gear. If you’re allowed to use an umbrella and it’s raining, then you’ll want to have one. Otherwise a hood is appreciated. Even if it isn’t raining, the seats (or ground) might be wet, so account for that (perhaps with blanket above).

5. And maybe a pillow or cushion. If you’re sitting on the ground, some form of fluffy support is nice (or one of those little picnic chairs. But don’t be that annoying person who brings a ginormous lawn chair).

6. Invest in a hot drink. At the interval, if you’re cold (or even slightly cold), book it to the concessions stand and get a hot drink. It will warm your hands and your body (and your heart).

7. Make sure that everyone in your group is also prepared. It seems like a simple concept, but especially in Britain, where the weather is less than ideal (and rarely predictable) during the summer season (or any season really), some theatrical experiences bring light to the phrase “braving the elements.” Make sure everyone is as prepared as you and it will help everyone to enjoy the show more comfortably :)