I flew by Oldham Zoo today to update Zoological psychological therapist and general all-round life-fixer Fluffy Oakes. The last time I met with him, he gave me a few suggestions for some challenges I was dealing with in life. Well, I got my arse in gear and gave them all a shot.
And whilst lovebird Terence did what can only be described as inverted chin-ups from his perch (using his feet; picture it if you can), I updated Fluffy on my current state of affairs.
I pulled out Delia Smith's How To Cook, the book he'd suggested, and mentioned that the first recipe resulted in what I called a “curry-tastrophe”.
He seemed surprised that the book was so hard to use, and that I'd struggled to find the ingredients. “Delia's quite a good one to start with,” he'd said, bemused. “You could always go to Waterstones and flip through a few books to see what takes your fancy. But if I can make a suggestion...”
From his own non-fiction bookshelf, betwixt arms guide Jane's Guns and photo-centric avian textbook Birds in Focus, he pulls The Hairy Dieters.
As Terence continued working out, his grunts- heard from a cross the room- became more strained and vocal. As Fluffy and I talk, we need to raise our voices until we're shouting at each other.
The book focusses on healthy food, which I'm keen to stick to. It's simpler, the text is broken down into smaller blocks, the ingredients look reasonably attainable and- more to the point- the dishes look like the kinds of things I'd enjoy eating. Plenty of meat. Not too many obscure ingredients. I live near one of the biggest Tescos in the country, but they still fail to stock some of the bizarre food stuffs that recipe books occasionally come up with. The Hairy Dieters seem to go for their simple, mainstream edibles.
So I promised I'd have a go.
As well as this book, Fluffy suggested, I could always go into Waterstones and flip through the books to see which looks easiest or has the tastiest recipes.
Next, I showed him the new Sony Xperia P I'd bought a contract for. I was hoping to stay at the price range I'd been in with my previous contract. Unfortunately, you just can't get phones for £20 a month and unlimited internet, unless you go on GiffGaff, which I've heard enough bad press for. Also, if you find anything like that, the phone is likely to have a shitty camera. I explained to Fluffy that when you have memory difficulties, a camera can be a huge benefit in terms of memory promts. If the pictures are really high-quality, you can zoom in to check details if needs be.
Terence gave one more climactic yell as he completed his final chinup, then swoops to the floor of his enclosure, exhaustedly mumbling something about a new personal best. Shunning the fatball strung up in his cage, he gorges on sunflower seeds and a small bowl of protein shake powder before falling asleep.
I'm getting somewhere here. The problems I've dealt with since moving out- the bills, the friendship circles I've struggled to make and keep, the cooking and healthy eating, they've all diminished and in their place is a world of opportunities. It's partly thanks to Fluffy for pointing me in the right direction, but it's mostly my own graft that got me ontop of this situation.