liv: Table laid with teapot, scones and accoutrements (yum)
[personal profile] liv
Sometime after midnight on Friday, my husband met from the train and swept me up and took me home and fed me tea and it was so very nice to see him after too many weeks apart. I suppose we're going through the typical phase of a year-old marriage, that we have let ourselves get too busy to spend time together regularly, but when we do manage to plan an actual date it's still a big excitement. With the long distance thing, we don't even get the minimal habitual contact that couples can fall into, the sitting in the same house spodding or having trivial conversations about domestic practicalities.

And what was waiting for us in [personal profile] jack's house? An anniversary present from my wonderful sister. We'd told her that we're only planning to celebrate our anniversaries when it's actually the 29th February (so not until 2016) but she wanted to give us something nice anyway, and it's hard to object very strongly to presents. She gave us two really cute cards with goggly eyes, a sheep and a puffin, and those cards that say a donation has been made in our honour to Oxfam, a tea one for me and a pint one for [personal profile] jack. And most excitingly of all, two perfect little gingerbread models of the two of us, dressed in our smart clothes exactly as we were for the legal part of the wedding. Sadly the gingerbread [personal profile] jack had crumbled slightly in transit, but still, the most adorable unniversary present ever.

We ended up having a really busy and sociable weekend, but even just a couple of hours of time with [personal profile] jack has done a lot for my mood. Also, another reason why [personal profile] jack is great is that he has excellent taste in friends. The excuse for the Cambridge trip was [personal profile] ceb's birthday party, which was one of the best social occasions I've attended in ages. Thank you [personal profile] ceb for hosting such a cool event! We had giant piles of noodles for lunch in Dojo, which is apparently a long-standing Cambridge institution but I'd never been there before. They coped admirably with a party of 16, including kids and people with complicated dietary requirements, even on a busy Saturday lunchtime. I was fortunate in being seated with [livejournal.com profile] ghoti and [personal profile] cjwatson at one end of the long table, so we had a very enjoyable conversation.

After that we went to admire a surprising gas-lamp, and on to the University Library exhibition of Soviet architecture. [personal profile] ceb was remarkably efficient at kitten-herding a dozen geeks without ever being bossy. And we reconvened in the evening for pancakes and more fun conversations. I was absurdly happy and giggly, from a combination of getting to see my husband again after a long gap, and crowds of interesting people feeding my extrovert energies, and probably the dessert wine had something to do with it.

Sunday [personal profile] jack had other social engagements, which did involve getting to see [livejournal.com profile] megamole for about five minutes at least. So I went to my parents' for Sunday lunch. Mum made incredibly tasty food as ever (even though she finds vegetarian cooking a bit hard going) and we chatted and gossipped all afternoon. Some of Mum's stories of her friends quarrelling with their relatives over inheritances made me extra grateful for how well I get on with my own siblings. We're not some perfect treacly ideals of sentimental brotherly love – goodness knows we bickered and fought enough as kids, and we have seriously conflicting views about lots of things – but basically we trust eachother and have eachother's backs. Mum also made me a packed tea to take on the train home; even though her youngest child is 28 now, she still always buys multipacks of 200 ml cartons of fruit juice just in case someone needs a packed lunch for some trip.

Talking of siblings, my brother the poet has a nice rant about the current political classes' attacks on the poor and disabled. And my brother the philosopher is at that stage of writing up a PhD where it's hard for him to have much brain space or time for anything else, but he occasionally phones me and asks me complicated science questions like "where do the recommended daily amounts of calories come from?"

(no subject)

Date: 2013-03-06 11:25 am (UTC)
highlyeccentric: Sign on Little Queen St - One Way both directions (Default)
From: [personal profile] highlyeccentric
Ahahaha oh dear, I know too many people mentioned in this post, given that you and I have never met and weren't introduced by any of those people online or off.

(no subject)

Date: 2013-03-06 01:36 pm (UTC)
mathcathy: number ball (Default)
From: [personal profile] mathcathy
That's a cool question. Do you know the answer?

(no subject)

Date: 2013-03-06 02:55 pm (UTC)
forestofglory: E. H. Shepard drawing of Christopher Robin reading a book to Pooh (Default)
From: [personal profile] forestofglory
I don't know about in the UK but in the US dietary guidelines a produced by the USDA. (The problem with this is that the USDA is supposed to promote agriculture -- so they don't like to tell people not eat things. Also the meat milk and grain industries all have strong lobbies while the fruit and veg growers are more fragmented.)

For really long answer to the question I recommend Harvey Levenstein's two books on the history of nutrition in the US Revolution at the Table and Paradox of Plenty. For something slightly shorter and more accessible there is Marion Nestle's Food Politics which is also more current events-y. I'm sorry I don't know of anything that deals with this issues in the UK and not the US. (Not that you really want to read a book about it anyways.)

(no subject)

Date: 2013-03-06 03:08 pm (UTC)
ceb: (Default)
From: [personal profile] ceb
http://www.food.gov.uk/multimedia/pdfs/nutguideuk.pdf looks like a good starting point for the UK. These days the way that UK guidelines are updated is via NICE (http://www.nice.org.uk/), an NHS institute which takes in research papers and outputs public health and clinical guidelines/recommendations.

(no subject)

Date: 2013-03-06 03:36 pm (UTC)
mathcathy: number ball (Default)
From: [personal profile] mathcathy
Oooh - that's a very different way of interpreting the question ... I was thinking more like "Why do they say 2000 for women and 3000 for men, what body processes make up those amounts and why is the male one so much higher?"

(no subject)

Date: 2013-03-07 11:56 am (UTC)
mathcathy: number ball (Default)
From: [personal profile] mathcathy
Is there a way to genuinely know the true required calorie intake for yourself?

(no subject)

Date: 2013-03-07 01:09 pm (UTC)
forestofglory: E. H. Shepard drawing of Christopher Robin reading a book to Pooh (Default)
From: [personal profile] forestofglory
Glad to be helpful -- I've never quite sure if its a good idea to recommend lots of dense books.

(no subject)

Date: 2013-03-07 11:56 am (UTC)
mathcathy: number ball (Default)
From: [personal profile] mathcathy
that's an interesting article - I wonder whether people would be allowed to carry out similar experimentation today?

(no subject)

Date: 2013-03-06 03:08 pm (UTC)
ceb: (Default)
From: [personal profile] ceb
It was really lovely to see you! I'm glad you could make it.

Soundbite

Miscellaneous. Eclectic. Random. Perhaps markedly literate, or at least suffering from the compulsion to read any text that presents itself, including cereal boxes.

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