A little confession… from an over 60 35



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I feel a little like someone at an AA meeting, or an NA meeting. My name is Gillian and I…


Feel free to use your imagination here. Although I do like a drink, I don’t use drugs… what could it be I wonder?



Maybe the fact that I listen to Radio National, or worse, that I don’t like AFL and don’t have a team? I know, you Victorians are shocked and I should definitely be ashamed.


But no, it is none of the above.


The fact is that right now I am having a lovely week in Byron Bay. I am staying at a detached room on a private property, sourced through Airbnb.


I am doing this on the cheap, as always. I sit here dressed in my op shop clothes, about to go to one of my “$20 for all the yoga classes you can fit in in a week” sessions, after having tea and toast here in the room.


I eat cheaply, live cheaply, and in general I am happy with my options. I am not a natural consumer, and since I am on Newstart I am unlikely to become one. I got my fares to Byron for $65 each way from Melbourne. Bargain!


My issue, and now I finally come to the crux of this blog is, (sob!)… my diet. After my yoga session yesterday I cruised through the lovely, slightly sweet smelling streets of Byron and went to the supermarket to get some food.


Then it hit me…


I stood in the check out queue behind a young, casually dressed man and cast my eye over his shopping. His whole shopping consisted of fresh fruit and vegetables. Oh dear, I just felt like taking my shopping back to the shelves and starting again.


My shopping was:

1. Steam fresh microwave vegies

2. Steamed fish in a packet

3. Prepared rice

4. A smallish tub of Maggie Beer ice cream.


Nothing fresh there just lots of packet food…. Do you get my drift?


I wonder if you too have slid into this pattern like me?


From the days of feeding my children I only ever cooked fresh, homemade food and now I have sunk to this low. I can see how it happens of course. Cooking for one can mean wastage as you don’t eat all the vegies and sometimes it feels sad just buying 200g of fresh fish. Then eating it by yourself. It becomes more economical to eat badly than well.


Apart from being unaffordable, eating out alone isn’t always pleasant and often not worth spending  money that way.


I would love to know other people’s views on this?


For me, I start today. My shopping list from now on goes back to basics, after I have used up what I have first of course!


And just incase you were wondering, the ice cream was excellent. I ate it all, straight from the pack, sitting on the bed watching Father Browne. So don’t feel sorry for me!


Gillian Francis

Gillian Frances is sixty, single and has four kids. She has had a long career as a nurse and spent many years playing the fiddle, bringing her children and moving around quite a bit. She is housesitting at the moment and has great plans to travel in Asia later this year, including volunteering in a school in Siem Reap. As for next year... Gillian has no plans yet!

  1. I can sort of understand, as whenever I am alone and cooking just for me my demands are different.Like you after doing all the right things regarding menus whewn alone I eat simple easy food, pasta, because my husband isn’t keen, jacket potatoes with fancy bits on, and omlettes and salad. I buy a naughty cake from the bakery and feel very wicked!In 54 years am rarely alon so doesn’t happen often.

  2. What a delightful story. Do not feel guilty about the packages. I have been known to eat a tub of Maggie Beer with a couple of glasses of wine for dinner. Enjoy Byron Bay. I am in Brisbane and the weather is superb so I sincerely hope it is the same in BB.

  3. on my!
    Gillian – I just LUV this article 🙂
    I have cooked for myself, and it’s not too bad! Adjust, adjust and adjust again – the portion size lol
    but – I would buy a lot of chicken pieces, some I would freeze separately, others I cooked and froze individually, instant salad or chicken mayo (mind you must remember to lift out!)
    also buy bulk mince, freeze in WEIGHED portions or again cook and freeze for speedy supper
    then all there is to worry about is FRESH veggies or salad 🙂
    even ready grated (or grate your own) can be frozen in small portions – this also stops you from overeating cheese!
    cooking for one – we must never be drawn to buying large packs of anything fresh – pick individual items, a few carrots, squash, SMALL broccoli/cauliflower (or fast frozen mix)
    so there we are – simples!
    good luck, and another blog in a few weeks, report how you go!

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