Oxfam Saved me from the Sugar Monster

Frequently Asked Questions

I’ve been feeling rough today. I’ve got a bit of a cold, which wouldn’t usually bother me, but I’m beginning to feel feverish. Not only that, but I’m both anxious and depressed. At first I put it down to New Years Day blues – assuming such a condition exists.

It was only when I went into the kitchen a few minutes ago to make a cup of coffee that I realised what was really wrong with me;

I’m going through sugar withdrawal!

Yes, I gave up putting sugar in my coffee on Friday immediately after my mother-of-the-bride dress arrived and I couldn’t… ugh… quite do… urgh… the .. zip …up.

OK – confession time; I used to have two about eight cups of coffee a day, and two teaspoons of sugar in each.

So now you know.

There’s no way I’m sending that dress back. Check out the site I bought it from – it’s fabulous:


Oxfam online


It’s a brand new donated item and it would retail at about £400 if I got it from Ian Stuart – London, where it originated, but from Oxfam it only cost me £75.

All these years of telling myself I should give up sugar for health reasons, and I never did a thing about it, but I want to look the part for Laura, on her wedding day, so I haven’t touched a grain of sugar since, apart from four Cadbury’s fingers and whatever was in that crate of wine last night (That’s an exaggeration).

Right now I can hear the Christmas chocolates and shortbread and the mini Christmas puddings and the marzipan-filled stollen and the bottle of Barefoot Merlot taunting me, but I won’t give in……… although maybe I’ll allow myself a mug of hot chocolate at bedtime……… every night until I run out of my favourite Hotel Chocolat drinking chocolate my daughter bought me for Christmas.

Seriously, if I don’t give myself a treat  once a day until I’m used to the reduction, my head’s going to explode.

Here’s that link to Oxfam Online again. Oh, and if you like genuine vintage clothes they have an excellent collection.

You could say that Oxfam saved me from the Sugar Monster by only having the dress I wanted in one size, but helping me to become healthier is just an incidental sideline. You can read a little bit about Oxfam’s history and work HERE

OK – I confess – I just felt like giving Oxfam a little bit of extra publicity.

But it’s true about the sugar.

Image Credit: Oxfam

©Jane Paterson Basil.

44 thoughts on “Oxfam Saved me from the Sugar Monster

    1. It’s not on Ian Stuart’s site, since it’s not one of this season’s dresses, and it’s not on Oxfam’s site, since I bought it. It’s maroon and black, which I thought was a bit risky, but Laura and Dave approved it. I expect I’ll post some photos after the wedding.

      Liked by 2 people

  1. Wow! I had no idea you could buy from Oxfam online – that’s pretty impressive. And well done for kicking the sugar. Like many people, I always tend to eat more fruit and veg after Christmas – the body yearns for it, I find. But I haven’t yet had the courage to kick sugar completely – a coward I guess – though I’m sure it would do me no end of good. Well done and I’m sure you’ll look amazing

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I’ll certainly be conspicuous – a blob of black and maroon dropped into a confection of dusky pink and cream. It sounds anarchic, but both Laura and Dave heartily approved the outfit before I bought it 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

        1. I’m planning to paste the wedding all over my blog, but I may have a paper bag over my head, since I don’t like seeing photos of myself 😉
          The dress isn’t exactly having a second life – whoever donated it hadn’t worn it. It was posted onto Oxfam online by our Wellington shop. For some reason they get tons of classy stuff.

          Liked by 1 person

            1. A friend suggested that maybe the wedding should be postponed, but Laura and Dave want to stick with the plan. Mike was delighted that they were getting married, and wouldn’t have wanted them to put it off. Paul will take on the father’s role of presenting Laura to the groom xx

              Liked by 1 person

                  1. There’s strength in unity, even under the greatest strain. All of you know how it feels to have loved and to miss him, that’s the thing, isn’t it? I hope the day passes as well as it can for you all XXX

                    Liked by 1 person

                    1. He was a troubled man. I’m glad that he and I made our peace before he died, however – and this might sound hard – attendance at his funeral is little more than my duty as the mother of his two younger children.

                      Liked by 1 person

                    2. Doesn’t sound hard at all. Just because you once loved him, doesn’t mean there are any feelings left now. My mother would never have gone to my dad’s funeral, in fact she said something very harsh about him after he died which I won’t repeat in case you get the wrong impression about her. Suffice to say she was wounded by the relationship. But if your kids need you to be there, it’s good that you can go. They’ll appreciate the support I’m sure x

                      Liked by 1 person

                    3. I doubt that I’d get the wrong impression of your mum – I’m in the same boat.
                      I don’t want Laura and Paul to be aware of my indifference, so I’ll go, and, if I must, I’ll go along with all those nauseatingly sentimental things that people say at funerals.
                      Ugh 😉

                      Liked by 1 person

                    4. Yes, I find those sentimantal things tricky too! We used to have a book of them at a florist I worked at years ago – ‘Just sleeping’, ‘Passed into another room’ sort of sentiment, but longer, pseudo poetry – very nasty

                      Liked by 1 person

                    5. This is pretty little ditty – found on a gravestone at Fileigh, where I used to live –
                      is more to my taste. I’m sure you’ll like it too:

                      Behold all you who pass hereby:
                      as you are now, so once was I
                      As I am now, so you will be;
                      prepare for death and follow me.

                      Liked by 1 person

                    6. Yes, very good! I like the memento mori idea – don’t get too blase or big for your boots because we all end the same way. Those Dutch 17th century painters had it right with their skulls and hour glasses, the allegories of Death. We should remind ourselves of this more often.

                      Liked by 1 person

                    7. Yes, it certainly brings these things home. I started having panic attacks when my step mither grew ill and died in her fifties and I think that was why. If someone as forceful as her could be taken early by cancer, then any of us could. It’s a hard thing to come to terms with.

                      Liked by 1 person

                    8. It’s awful when we realise that it could happen at any time, and I’m sorry you had to confront that fact in such a terrible way.

                      I’ve taken to listening to my breathing, and hoping I don’t let my children down by dying too soon.

                      Liked by 1 person

                    9. Yes, that’s a big thing, isn’t it? Letting your kids down. My son is still only 13 and I know how devastating it would be if I died while he was still young. I went out with a lad whose (lovely) mum died when he was a teenager – to say he grew up troubled is an understatement and though I know you can’t wholly blame the loss of his mum, it certainly had an influence.
                      I’t something we all have to come to terms with – just not yet, eh? 🙂

                      Liked by 1 person

                    10. My son was badly affected the death of my daughter’s partner – Mark was like a brother to him, his mentor and role model. It changed all of our lives.
                      I’m hoping not to have to come to terms with death at all. I want to die like my mum – go to bed as normal one night, and wake up dead – in about 37 years and 10 days; the day after I get my special greeting from the king (her maj will be long gone by then). 🙂

                      Liked by 1 person

                    11. Ah, bless you Mum. I know it sounds odd but I’m glad for her she went that way. My nan went in a similar way – approaching 90, she went out the back garden gate with crumbs from the bread board to feed the birds, her heart gave out and she died almost instantly. Better than months in and out of hospital, bless her.

                      Liked by 1 person

  2. And here I was expecting to see your dress! You WILL model it for us at some point, won’t you? 😉 It is SO surreal that Laura is getting married! Such a turn around. It just makes me smile! When’s the big day?

    Liked by 1 person

        1. Thank you, Calen, I’ll pass your good wishes on to her.
          This might sound odd, but I feel privileged to have taken this journey with Laura and Paul. The disease of addiction turns the victim into a monster. That they’ve both managed to escape its clutches, against all the odds, makes me proud. The past doesn’t matter.

          Liked by 1 person

    1. Yes, it is. Over the years I’ve bought toilets, compost, medicines, goats, emergency shelters, education materials, water pipes and I don’t know what else – and I’ve lost count of the gifts I’ve received. My family know how I feel about my beloved Oxfam.

      Liked by 1 person

    1. I don’t do little bits – it’s all or nothing, and in the past I’ve found that giving up one bad habit is all it takes. Last time it was chocolate. I used to eat a lot of it.

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