Sue Cooper, convener of our Discussion Group, writes:
We had a good discussion on Cancel the Apocalypse by Andrew Simms at our January meeting.
The next meetings are:
Thursday 27th February 7.30pm at Rick’s, 5 Cresswell Avenue
on Flight Behaviour by Barbara Kingsolver
Thursday 27th March 7.30pm at Sue’s, 27 Mellor Road
on The Spirit Level by Kate Pickett and Richard Wilkinson
Please get in touch if you need to borrow a copy or have one to lend.
The eagle-eyed among you may have noticed that we’ve changed our website. The content is the same but we’ve moved the hosting from Mr Site to WordPress (where we’ve been blogging from).
There are several reasons for this:
- It keeps the blog together with the rest of the website to avoid confusion.
- It’s easier to write and maintain.
- We think it looks better.
- It enables us to do wizzy social media things like share with Facebook or run polls more easily.
- Last but not least, it’s cheaper! (Around £10 a year instead of £40.) Which is a better use of our members’ money.
I’ve always rejected the idea of dieting, almost on principle: they’re faddy, pander to idealised body images, they’re substitutes for fulfilment, and – most damaging I guess – they simply don’t work.
Over the past few months, however, I’ve changed my mind as I’ve been following one diet in particular – the Fast Diet. This diet has no difficult rules to follow* and doesn’t involve constant deprivation; it just involves eating up to about 20% less.
For those who are not familiar with the principles, the idea is to ‘fast’ for two days a week and eat what you like the other five days. It’s not a complete fast on those two days – men can eat 600 calories and women 500 – but the idea is to go as long as possible without food.
The main motivation for me was not so much weight loss – I was reasonably happy being a bit porky. However, there is a widely-held view that the slightly chubby demeanour that passes these days as normal for western societies leads to a whole host of chronic diseases such as cancer, diabetes and heart disease. The principle of the fast diet is that, instead of your body constantly processing food, it’s beneficial to have some downtime where it can perform essential maintenance to repair cells, deal with toxins and so on.
However (and why I’m blogging about this here!), I would also suggest that this diet is very much in tune with the principles of Transition. Eating around one-fifth less is good for society as well as individuals: 20% less energy/carbon is needed to grow, cook and transport our food and, in principle at least, there is more room for wildlife if the diet’s adopted by a large enough number of people. If the diet really has the claimed health benefits then it would also mean less strain on our health services.
I’ve also found the diet to be personally transformative beyond (I feel I have to admit!) rather liking the new slim-line me. I’m saving money, I feel more vital – all that food was making me sluggish – and my life is newly-liberated knowing that if I don’t eat at a set time, I’ll won’t just expire on the spot. For me, fasting also allows a better connection with my spiritual needs (there has to be a reason most religions recommend fasting in some shape or form).
Perhaps the killer point is that fasting opens up much more time. For two days a week, I get up later, have a shorter midday break and I don’t need to cook in the evening…or do the washing-up. Just think how much transitioning we could achieve with all this time to do other stuff.
* Although most people take a while to work out a routine that works for them; for me, I skip breakfast, have a very late lunch of a boiled egg and banana and a small bowl of cereal in the evening
You may be interested to know that there are plans to build a reasonably significant number of new houses in New Mills as part of High Peak Borough Council’s Local Plan.
If you’d like to have your say in the ongoing consultation, then read on…
High Peak Borough Council has launched a new High Peak Local Plan consultation that seeks your views on potential changes to Local Plan Preferred Options that was published in February 2013, including:
- The number of homes that should be built across High Peak up to the year 2031
- Options for sites that could be allocated for housing development
- Minor Green Belt amendments
- Other changes to land designated for employment, retail, education or their environmental value
- Significant changes to policy
The potential changes are proposed in response to previous consultation feedback and new evidence.
The consultation includes a number of potential sites that were not included in the Preferred Options Local Plan. It also includes some potential sites that have been consulted on previously, during the consultation held in Autumn 2012, but removed from the Preferred Options consultation in February 2013. Some new sites that have not previously been subject to consultation are also included.
How to respond
To view the consultation, people can call in at Buxton Town Hall or Glossop Municipal Buildings, visit any of the borough’s libraries or view the details online:
Consultees have until Monday 10th February to respond:
- Online: http://highpeak-consult.objective.co.uk/portal
- By email: LDF@highpeak.gov.uk
- By post: Regeneration, High Peak Borough Council, Town Hall, Buxton, Derbyshire, SK17 6EL
What happens next?
In March/April 2014 the Council will publish the submission version of the Local Plan and invite representations on this final version. It is intended to submit the plan for Examination to the Planning Inspectorate in July 2014, with the estimated date for Examination Hearings being October 2014. The Local Plan is expected to be adopted in February 2015.