New Island Values: Eat Less Meat

Hardly a specific goal – this one is twofold. It relates mainly to my other New Island Value – East More Fish. Naturally, if I eat less meat, I’d probably eat more fish.

This...no moreVisiting Berlin in February, the challenge stepped up. In a non-religious observance of Lent, I promised myself no meat until Easter.

It turned out that I failed in that challenge. Changing habits at the flick of a finger is hard graft as I found when I walked into a McDonalds ordering a hamburger, subsequently eating it all, and having the error of my ways dawn on me only days later.

But in general I have been eating much less meat.

I’m not suggesting there is a health benefit to this. Eating less meat was a way for me to challenge my diet and see what I need and what I don’t need. It was a personal goal to challenge myself in an area that would alter my habits, rather than a conviction that eating less meat was good or bad for me.

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New Island Values: Attend Debate Society

Bonnie Greer at the UCLU Debating SocietyUniversity College London provides a brilliant debate series regularly focusing on political, social, and religious issues. The panellists themselves are usually recognisable too. Controversy magnet Katie Hopkins appeared back in February to argue that women were (paraphrasing here) stupid to think there was a glass ceiling, whilst the likes of Bonnie Greer and Chris Bryant MP have also made appearances this year.

So it was of no problem to add this to the New Island Values. It would serve to both enlighten my knowledge of certain subjects, whilst also helping refine my own debating style.

For one reason or another I never showed up. I’ll have more chances come this October, but by then I’m guaranteed a busier schedule. It would be a surprise if this particular objective will be achieved this year. Alas.

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Berlin Skyline from the Berliner Dom

New Island Values: Learn German

German is my second language of choice for multiple reasons. It seems like a smart language to learn considering I spent three years in secondary school attempting it. Moreover, my father lived in the country for a few years, and we return regularly. Knowing the language would just make life easier. Add to this the fact that a large proportion of my friends are from Germany, and I feel guilty making them speak English all the time, and you have yourself the reason.

Unfortunately, my only spare time to pick up the langauge would have been over the summer – a summer which has now become ridiculously busy for me. But I will still try. I’m going over to Berlin again this summer, and will be heading to Stuttgart just before Christmas. By the time that happens, I hope to at least be able to communicate on a basic level.

So this task is pending success or failure.

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