Tag: What vegans eat

A few days in Luxembourg

I’ve just got back from a short break in Luxembourg city with J. We originally planned to fly from Birmingham with FlyBe but they pushed the flight to Manchester instead which would have been impossible for us to get to at the right time so we re-booked to fly from London City Airport instead with LuxAir.

What a view!

Day 1 – travelling there and wandering around the city

Once we’d landed in Luxembourg it was pretty easy to get to the city from the airport. You can catch the 16 bus outside the terminal and it will cost you €2 to get to Luxembourg city. In fact, the buses are one of the best value for money parts of the country. A single journey is €2 or you can get an all day ticket for €4 which we used for our day trips. You can pretty much travel anywhere in the country by bus or train for this cost.

We did have another slight hiccup as I got on the bus with my case and settled in my seat, only for the bus to pull away and for me to see Joe standing outside on the platform still. Thankfully, it was easy enough for him to get the next bus and we met up by the main station (Gare) which also seemed to be the bus station too. Even the train station had some impressive stained glass in it.

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Our hotel (Ibis Styles) was right by the station – the rooms were small but really clean and comfortable. A continental breakfast was provided each morning including a place to squeeze your own fresh orange juice (I am easily pleased). We got checked it, I used the wifi to download the map of the whole of Luxembourg into GoogleMaps (Seriously – this is one of my main travel tips when going somewhere – download an offline map for the city/country you are visiting and you can use it to navigate even without wifi/data connection – If you want to know how to do that – click here)

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We went off for a wander around the city. We didn’t really have much of a set agenda but just kept wandering and looking for places that looked interesting. We saw some pretty amazing views and eventually ended up by the Bock Casemates. We looked around the Casemates and took lots of photos of the city in the late afternoon sunshine.

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We carried on walking down the hill, away from the centre and found ourselves in an area called Les Rives de Clausen – which is where an old industrial area full of factories has been converted in restaurants and bars. It was pretty trendy and I felt a little out of place wandering around in the same clothes I’d been travelling it but it was a good place to have a drink and unwind before walking back up the hill (urgh!) into the city. We did something like 19,000 steps on our first day so by the time we go back to our hotel, I was truly ready to sleep.

Day 2 – Vianden

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For our first full day in Luxembourg, we headed to the town of Vianden which is right up by the German border. It took us around an hour to get there by bus (we had to change at Ettelbruck – you usually get the train to there and then get on the 570 bus to Vianden but there was a rail replacement bus instead)

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Our first stop after getting our bearings was to take the chairlift up a big mountain so we could eat chips and admire the view at the top. From here, we could see Vianden Castle which was our next stop.

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The castle was originally build in the 11th century but has been added to and altered over time. It’s pretty hard to miss it when you arrive in the town but once you start climbing up the steep road to it, it vanishes from view and you start to wonder where the hell you are going. It may mean when you finally see it, you have to take a picture like this…

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We actually only ended up having a fairly quick look around as we didn’t want to miss the final bus back to the city. It was a really beautiful town and well worth the visit.

Day 3 – Mondorf Thermal Spa and Am Tunnel Gallery

As the other two days had featured a lot of walking, we headed for a more relaxing day for our final full day. We got the bus to the town of Mondorf in order to visit the thermal spa based there. You can take the 177 or 175 bus from the Gare to Mondorf and get off at the stop by Casino 2000 (which is the only casino in Luxembourg). Once you get off, you can walk through the park opposite the casino to the spa. If you see the fountain below, you are in the right place!

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I recommend hiring a towel from the sports shop before you go in. It’s €2.20 and the towels are HUGE. It was easily large enough to wrap around me (and I’m a chubby size 20-22) you can also get robes for around €4 as well. It was pretty hard to find the prices for the spa on the website – for 3 hours, it cost us €24 each and seems to be an extra €2 more if you go on a weekend. There were also options for 2 hours sessions (€18) and 4 hours (€30) and the whole day pass is £37.50.

Once in the spa, there is a main outdoor pool and an outdoor Jacuzzi. There is a thermal pool and a women’s only area that I didn’t venture into. In the outside area, there was a lot of sun loungers and it didn’t seem too busy (however, we were there on a week day). There are also a number of saunas that vary in temperature from 65°C to 95°.

A note of warning – all of the saunas at the spa require you to ditch your swimsuits and go in naked! (you can wrap yourself in a towel though – and in fact, you will be required to sit on a towel in there)

Just before we finished our time at the spa, we went into the largest sauna for what was advertised as a white chocolate session. One of the staff came in and kept putting different scented water onto the coals so the heat increased. He then waved some fans and flags around to waft the hot air. Half way through, we had to go outside and quickly shower, then were given a handful of white chocolate scented scrub to cover ourselves with. Once we’d basted ourselves up as if we were about to get cooked – we went back in the sauna for more of the same. I really thought that towards the end I was going to have to leave before it finished because it was the hottest I can ever recall being in my life, but when we got let out and showered off again, I actually felt really good for having done it.

When we got back to Luxembourg city, we decided to go to an art gallery before going out for dinner in the evening.Am Tunnel is an art gallery that is situated below the ground in tunnels that were originally used to connect a number of banks together. There is a permanent collection of photographs by Edward Steichen and while we were there, we also saw another photography based exhibition by Dimitri Soulas.

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Finally, we fished our break by having a drink on our final night in the Coco Mango bar which is on the top floor of the Sofitel hotel. I had a tasty but expensive cocktail while watching the sunset over the city ♥

Some advice for vegan travellers – there are a few vegan friendly places to eat in Luxembourg city BUT we didn’t get a chance to try many as one was fully booked by the time we found it and many others were closed on Saturday night/Sunday all day. If I visited the city again I would go mid-week.

On our first night we ended up getting a very good avocado salad bagel from Coffee Fellows which was marked as vegan on the menu. There was also another vegan bagel and they had soya milk. I had a really nice banana and chocolate frappe made with soya milk. The other branch (near the Gare) we went to wasn’t quite as good because their blender had broken so they had very few cold drinks on offer and they also only had 2 types of bagels in stock (one of which had cheese on top)

We ate dinner on our last night at Cafe Nirvana which was good value and the staff were very friendly but in all honestly the food was only so so. Another night we ate at Sushi Lovers which was pretty good but expensive (our bill for 2 people came to €60) we did get to order by ipad though which was pretty good cos we had time to study the menu and allergies for all dishes were clearly marked). There was a pretty good choice on the menu but it did seem they had saved all their most experimental ideas for the dishes that featured fish or other seafood.

Tiny things Tuesday #45

I haven’t been in the mood to write here on a Tuesday for a few weeks (in fact, looking at the calendar, I didn’t post at all in March). I think because I had been attending my evening class and we had tests to study for so I was a little reticent to cut into my studying/panicking time with writing here. Class has now finished and I’m waiting to see if they are going to run one for the summer term (which will be a refresher course rather than covering much new stuff).

I’ve got so much out of taking these classes even if I didn’t actually “succeed” in the sense of passing the certificate. I can now read hiragana pretty well and I’m taking baby steps towards learning katakana ready for my trip later in the year. I would say that I know at least 100 words or phrases which is about 95 more than I knew before I started the class! Plus it’s really increased my confidence in the sense that I am able to set out and do what I planned to.

and that leads me to the exciting news that…I’VE BOOKED MY FLIGHTS! I’ll be taking a solo trip to Tokyo for 11 nights in October. It actually feels real now that I have booked and I’m starting to make many, many lists of things to do and places to visit.

Here’s this weeks things;

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1. I did an order from iHerb a few weeks ago for the first time. One of the things I was excited to get was this lip balm. I have a lot of other crazy rumors balms as they are sold in Holland and Barrett in the UK but they don’t stock this flavour. It’s so good! just like cinnamon rolls with frosting.

2. Life is Strange – I have been re-playing some of my old favourite games recently rather than looking at anything new but then at the weekend – this arrived! I haven’t played much of it yet but it’s an interesting premise and so far I like what I have seen in terms of the application of it. From what I’ve seen so far, it’s not a typical action game – more like an immersive story similar to Gone Home (which I also enjoyed) – I love being able to read through diary entries and look at all the things you encounter in the environment.

3. Zombies, run! – Speaking of games, I got a new phone a few weeks ago and for the first time in years – I actually have some spare space of it. This means I’ve re-installed this game and gone out for some walks while playing it. So far, I’m re-listening to episodes that I have heard before to catch up on the story but I’m looking forward to hearing more.

4. I had a mini bottle of this Chocolate cookie syrup in a gift set a while ago but decided to treat myself to a full size bottle for when I am drinking coffee at home. The other benefit is that I can have fancy coffee at home when I feel like doing that instead of going out to get it.

Till next time…

Tiny things Tuesday #39

I think I may finally be starting to shake of this cold/cough that I feel like I have had for months. Plus, I’m going to see The Spook School this week so things are looking up

Here’s this weeks things;

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1. I came home from work last night and felt full of energy so I made a vegan chilli (which I enjoyed this evening) as well as this spicy coconut and butternut squash soup. I like making soup but I do find that I tend to stick to my old favourites. This is one of those. For anyone that fancies the look of this – my vague method is as follows;

  • Cut a medium size butternut squash in half, scoop out the seeds and roast it in the oven until it’s soft and squishy.
  • Leave the squash to cool slightly and fry a chopped medium onion in some oil until it’s soft. If you feel like it, add in some garlic too.
  • Once the onions are cooked, stir in 1-2 tablespoons of Thai curry paste depending on how spicy you like it. I have used green and red types before. The one I picked up from Tesco this week is vegan friendly and doesn’t have any fish in it. It’s probably better to add less at this point and then add more after the final stage if you want more of a kick
  • Scoop out the cooked squash flesh and add that into the pan and give it a mix around
  • Empty in a whole can of coconut milk and stir well to mix all the flavours together
  • Simmer for 5-10 mins and then use a hand blender to (carefully) blitz your soup

Last night I decided to be fancy and I roasted the squash seeds that I had set aside and sprinkled these on top of the soup before serving. I’m not entirely sure it worked as they quite chewy but it looked good!

2. I read this book this week. I’d wanted to read it for a while but the shipping had always worked out super expensive where ever I saw it online until I realised I could get it as an ebook. Without going into too many details, it was both a happy and sad story. After reading “A little Life”, I thought this would be a softer and gentler read and in some ways it was but…oh, that ending. I’m glad I finally got to read it though.

Right, I have another Japanese speaking assessment tomorrow, so I’d better carry on revising.

Till next time…

Tiny things Tuesday #38

Ah, I can’t believe this is only the second one of these that I’ve written in November. It’s been a month full of germs, blankets and hibernating for me. For this post my photos really reach a new low because it’s pretty dark in here and I’m feeling wahy to lazy to try and get good shots of these things. Sorry, but not really because who really gives a crap about the quality of pics on here. No-one.

Here’s this weeks things

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1. New boots! I finally decided it was time to stop shelling out for new boots every winter that would fall apart by spring and reverted back to my 13 year old self and brought these beautiful vegan purple Doc Martens (they were in the sale too as an added bonus). You can’t see on the photo but they are 14 hole ones. I’ve just ordered some ribbon laces to pretty them up with. It’s taken me a few weeks of wearing them at home to ease them up a bit but I’m now ready to unleash them into the world.

2. A little life – I got this absolute brick of a book out of the library on Friday after hearing a few friends rave about it. I knew it was going to be a bit of a tough emotional journey but I don’t think I quite expected it to be this tough. That said, it was beautifully written and something I have been thinking about on and off since I finished it. It did feel like a perfect winter book to curl up with. I have a feeling parts of this story are going to keep coming back to me. I also really enjoyed finding this instagram inspired by the book that the author and another person maintains.

3. One of the advantages of not having a next gen console is that I can pick up very playable and engrossing games for under a tenner (or in a lot of cases, under £5) I’m currently playing Fallout 3 as seemingly the rest of the world is playing the newly released 4th game. It feels like such good value because I’ll get 30+ hours of entertainment out of this game so it’s defintely helping me to save some cash! I’m finding it a pretty relaxing way to spend time when I get home from work, wandering around the post apolcalyptic wasteland, scavenging for items and fighting other dwellers.

4. New vegan friendly snack alert! Found these in Sainsburys tonight in the Christmas section. They taste just like I remember tangy toms crisps tasting like from when I was a kid. Have had to stop myself eating the whole bag as I have a takeaway being delivered soon (ah pay day luxury!)

and on a final note, I stumbled across Kimya Dawson’s beautiful cover of “Game Shows touch our lives” on the Tallahassee turns ten album. If it wont play on that website, you can hear it here as well.

Till next time…

Tiny things Tuesday #31

Ah, it’s another of those Tuesdays that’s masquerading as a Monday. I had a really nice long weekend. I didn’t do anything yesterday aside from stay home, read some zines from my huge to-read pile, did some de-cluttering, watched lots of episodes of the office and worked on my crochet blanket.

I’m half excited about it being September and the imminent arrival of autumn, which is a season I love but also wishing for a little more sunshine and a little less rain. Still, I’m off on holiday soon so that should help.

Here’s this weeks things;

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1. I really like this photo I took of myself at the weekend. I mainly took it to show off the lovely new bee necklace that I treated myself to from punkypins. I wore this both times when I went out over the weekend as well as to work today and got so many compliments on it. It’s a really well made piece too and I’m impressed at the quality and price. Looking forward to buying some more stuff from their site.

2. If it wasn’t really obvious – I LOVE stationery. More specifically kawaii stationery. I’ve treated myself to a couple of parcels of stuff from some Japanese shops over the last few months. I used to get the monthly kawaii boxes from blippo but I got a bit tired of them as although there was usually something cute that I liked in each months box, overall there was a lot of stuff that I wasn’t mad about and it felt quite wasteful especially when I could just pick out something I actually loved each month instead. There is a still a surprised element as the sellers I have brought from have included a few extra items each time. The two shops that I have brought from on etsy and recommend are Pikwahchan and Geluk. It’s so nice to get home to a cute package of pens, stickers, post-it notes and washii tape ♥

3. I went out a couple of times over the weekend to hang out with various people. On the Saturday the Vegan Grindhouse had a van at Fargo village in collaboration with Twisted Barrel taphouse. I had this excellent burger with pineapple, bacon, cheese, various sauces and a side of BBQ beans. All vegan, all delicious and eaten in the sunshine.

4. I read this book today and it made me cry. Without going into too many details or giving away spoilers – I saw a lot of parallels to my own life. The last part of the book made me cry a fair few times but also gave me a lot to reflect on in terms of loss, growth and creativity. It also really made me want to start taking photos with my proper camera of tiny, beautiful details again.

Till next time…

Tiny things Tuesday #27

I’m feeling extra celebratory this week. Maybe because it’s been a hard week emotionally and physically so I have been extra mindful to look out for good things where I can.

Here’s this weeks list;

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1. I had my first bubble tea on Sunday! I think it was slightly different to the usual ones as it was made with fruity pobbles instead of the usual tapioca pearls. I had coconut juice with lychee flavour pobbles* which was a very good flavour combination. I’m looking forward to trying more.

2. I brought yarn to start a new knitting pattern. It’s going to be a winter jumper. I’m quite a decent knitter, but I rarely make large garments and tend to stick to smaller projects like hats and mitts. I’m also pretty rubbish at doing stuff like tension squares. I bit the bullet this time and checked my tension today for this project and whaddya know – it was spot on first time!

3. It’s my firm belief that it’s not a proper fried breakfast without some kind of potato product. We levelled up our fry up this weekend with these hash brown waffles. Good hash brown taste but with pleasing waffly shape.

4. I had a lovely day out in Birmingham on Sunday looking for the big hoot owls that are all over the city. While over there I treated myself to a few nice bits including the mindfulness issue of Flow magazine which I had been planning on buying from their online store. I haven’t properly read it yet but I really like the mix of articles and ideas they have included. I also splashed out on a multipack of muji pens as I use them everyday and the multipacks had some exciting colours that can’t be brought singularly. I get a lot of pleasure out of doodling with them or making multi-coloured lists.

5. As part of our owl hunt, we walked down to the Custard Factory area of Digbeth. We only found 2 owls but there was lots of beautiful and colourful graffiti and street art there. This piece particularly caught my eye.

6. We finished off our day out with food at one of my favourite places to eat in Birmingham – café soya. I tried the mock duck pancakes for the first time and really enjoyed them (I’ve never eaten real duck so I’m not sure how they compare) It was a very generous portion they served as well, definitely enough for 2 people to share.

Till next time…

* pobbles is a very pleasing word to say but less easy to google.

Tiny things Tuesday #18

I’m so tired. I worked 6 days last week and averaged about 15,000 steps each day (7.5 miles) I just feel like I could spent a week sleeping. I’m glad we have a long weekend coming up even though I have a far few things planned for the weekend.

This weeks list…

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1. I’ve been really into making my own pesto lately. Vegan pesto tends to come only in one type – plain basil. I made some roasted red pepper pesto the other night by blending the peppers with pine nuts, basil, olive oil, salt and pepper. It went a lot further than I expected and wasn’t too expensive to make aside from the pine nuts but I probably went slightly OTT with them. I blended all the ingredients with a stick blender until it was smooth and enjoyed it over pasta with some vegan Parmesan cheese.

2. With my ever growing love of GPS based games – I needed a portable power supply that lasted a decent amount of time. Last week I went to my first Ingress meet up and found out about the wonder of Anker batteries. I got myself am Anker 2nd Gen Astro E6 and it’s very impressive. It takes a few hours to charge but then gives me more than enough power to charge my phone (iphone 4s) a few times over before running out. It’s much more powerful than other portable batteries I have had which only really gave given enough juice to half charge my phone and are good for an emergency but not really for gaming or being out for the whole day.

My Anker was reasonably priced (around £30) and came with it’s own storage pouch and a charging lead (but not USB socket). I love how it has 3 USB ports on it, so I can share it with other when I am out. I think its going to be a “must carry” piece of kit for me.

3. I spent this evening watching The Office (US) on Netflix and folding and cutting copies of my past zines to take along to North West Zine Fest at the end of the month. Who else is going? It should be a really good day with tons of my favorite people.

I’m hoping to have issues 2, 3 and 4 of ellipsis on my stall as well as my new zine about small acts of rebellion (which I really hope I can finish, copy and debut) and some felt brooches. I just need a few more hours in each day to do all of this.

On that note, sleep time for me.

Till next time…

Sleater-Kinney mini holiday

This week I got to see Sleater-Kinney twice in 2 different cities (a first for me as I’ve seen them twice in a week in London before) I’ve been excited about these gigs since they were announced as I didn’t know if I would ever get to see them play together again. They had been on hiatus since 2006 and I think with all the other projects they have been involved with since, I didn’t expect a new album let alone a tour. To get both was wonderful and has been something I’ve been looking forward to when I’ve been struggling.

They were probably the first band that felt properly like “mine”. I read an interview with Corin Tucker in the zine Funky Spunk when I was in 6th Form and ordered their album “dig me out” from the Virgin Megastore in Colchester. I remember it took weeks to arrive and cost me about £17. I listened to it over and over but didn’t know anyone else who liked them. When I went to university I gradually managed to pick up the rest of their album that they had out at that time. The majority of people I hung out with at uni were into metal and I never really went to clubs that played the music I loved. It was only when I started meeting people through zines and livejournal that I found other people who liked this band. I saw them a number of times in London when I was at uni and the years after and was heartbroken when I found out they had gone on hiatus. Still, there was 7 albums of theirs to listen to at that time and I soothed myself with that.

Now I’m in my 30s, I know a more people who also love them so not only were these gigs great for seeing the band, it also meant I got to hang out with some excellent people that I don’t always get to see much of. Joe wrote down the set lists so as far as I know the following is accurate.

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London set list:
Price tag – oh! – fangless – end of you – what’s mine is yours – one beat – bury our friends – surface envy – get up – no cities – rollercoaster – turn it on – no anthems – new wave – words and guitar – sympathy – entertain – jumpers encore: gimme love – youth decay – let’s call it love – modern girl – dig me out

Hearing Sympathy live was probably the highlight for me – someone uploaded a live video here. The part Corin sings at 2.52 felt like it was yanking my heart from my chest and hurling it 20 foot in the air.

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Manchester set list:
Price tag – fangless – oh – get up – surface envy – ironclad – what’s mine is yours – new wave – one beat – no cities to love – start together – light rail coyote – no anthems – words and guitar – bury our friends – one more hour – entertain – jumpers encore: gimme love – I wanna be your Joey Ramone – let’s call it love again – modern girl – dig me out

The second night was probably more fun for me because there were more people I knew there but the venue felt a lot smaller and even fairly near the back it was crowded and there wasn’t enough room to dance. The band seemed more relaxed in Manchester too and a little more chatty on stage.

Both gigs were amazing and re-energized and inspired me a lot. It was interesting to watch them play 9 years after the previous time I would have seen them and realise how relevant and important they still feel to my life.

Other than the gigs, it was really nice to spend some time away for home hanging out with Joe and various other friends. In London on Tuesday morning we spent some time capturing munzees, browsing Housmans and picking up a few bits from Vx.

Despite having visited London a lot more due to growing up in Essex, Manchester is exciting me a lot more lately. I visited on my own in December and really enjoyed mooching around the Northern Quarter. This time I stayed in Hatters hostel with Pippa and Joe. Our room was basic but comfy and situated right opposite Fred Aldous which is an amazing arts and craft shop.

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On Wednesday we spent a fair amount of time browsing this shop as well as getting our photos taken in one of their vintage booths. I also picked up a few books in the Oxfam bookshops, Magma and Forbidden Planet.

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I really love all the graffiti around the Northern Quarter. There were lots of quotes set into the pavements too like in the picture above. It makes the whole area feel really interesting and alive.

As discussed with Ingrid the other night, one of the best things about visiting new places is getting to eat loads of new vegan food. I definitely got to do that on this trip. Here’s a little run down of some of the best places I ate.

Favorite places that I ate and drank
(in no real order)

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1. Inspiral (London) – – mostly raw and all vegan. We had dinner here before the London gig. I’ve had a burger which instead of a bun had a savory scone which was tasty but also felt very healthy. They also had some lovely cherry beer.

2. Look Mum, no hands (London) – This bicycle-centric cafe was on the same road as our hotel in London so we stopped here for coffee and time wasting while waiting for our room to be ready. There was a lot of things to look at inside including large tissue paper pompoms hanging from the ceiling. They also did a vegan brownie (which we tried) and some interesting looking food (that we didn’t as we already had dinner plans)

3. Oklahoma (Manchester) – We had breakfast here on WEdnesday morning. I had sourdough toast with vegan butter and black cherry jam and an excellent chocolate and peant butter brownie. It’s part of a cute craft/homewares shop too so we had a look round there after we’d eaten.

4. V Revolution (Manchester) – I ate here last time I was in Manchester and dragged Pippa and Joe back with me this time. I got a vegan slaw dog with a melon lemonade. I also picked up some spacebars and vegan marshmallows to ease going back to work the next day.

5. Tampopo (Manchester) – We ate here just before the Manchester gig. I had some excellent veggie tempura followed by noodles. There wasn’t a ton of vegan options but there was enough so that I didn’t feel like it was an afterthought.

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The above pic is me and my friend Pippa. It was so lovely to hang out with her and so many other friends who mean so much to me. Looking at this picture, I’m really struck by how happy and carefree I look. I hope I can bottles this feeling.

“No one here is taking notice, no outline will ever hold us. It’s not a new wave, it’s just you and me”
– a new wave, sleater-kinney

Tiny things Tuesday Thursday #10

I’ve been away from home this week from Monday morning till last night. While I was away, I had internet access on my phone but I tried not to check it too much and to instead focus on enjoying my surroundings and spending time with a lot of friends that I don’t get to see very often.

I’ll write a longer post soon about my trip away hopefully over the coming weekend (Sleater-Kinney gigs in Manchester and London) but I missed writing my TTT this week so here it is.

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1. A wave of excitement went round Twitter and Instagram last week when UK vegans started spotting these cones in their local shops. To my surprise my local Tesco metro stocks them so I just had to get some to try too. The verdict? Pretty damn good! Not too overpriced at £2 for 4. The ice cream is creamy. I would say that the sauce is more like a fruit sorbet than say the sauce on a Cornetto.

2. There is a cute new iphone game out featuring Moomins called Jam Run. I’ve been playing it this afternoon and it’s free (although does have adverts at the bottom) You can find the info about it as well as other Moomin related stuff at the website.

3. When we came into work this morning, we all found 1 mini chocolate egg on our keyboard (aside from me who found this dairy free bunny) Turns out my colleague from the team who sits next time mine had done each of us a mini egg hunt and hidden another 6 eggs around our desks. I found them hidden in my monitor stand, in a tissue box and behind my phone. There are actually still 2 I haven’t found yet! It was such a sweet and thoughtful thing for her to have done and I was really touched she had made such an effort to include me by buying some vegan friendly chocolate (I swapped my eggs for vegan chocolate after I found them)

4. I’m bursting with ideas and inspiration at the moment. I brought this book secondhand in Manchester yesterday and its giving me a lot to think about. The author also has a blog which is here although I have yet to read that. I was a little trepidatious when I first saw how many people seem to give it 1* reviews on goodreads (including 2 friends of mine) but it’s given me a lot to think about and although I’m only about half way through, I feel as if I’ve already got a lot from it. The notepad in the picture was a gift from a friend and I’ve been carrying it around with me for a few weeks. It’s filling up with lists, ideas of things to look at further, notes to myself, doodles and pieces of writing that will hopefully make their way into zines and blogposts.

In related news – info about issue 4 of my zine is up on the zines page above now or just click here

Till next time…

Tiny things Tuesday #5

Oh hello Tuesday! here we are again. I think writing these each week is starting to help me. I find that throughout the day I am thinking more about what I may write about in these posts and what pictures I have taken in the last week. I think the key to increasing gratitude is to practice being actively grateful so this is a good step for me.

Here’s this weeks list

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1. Pancakes! I’m not Christian so I don’t really celebrate pancake day in the sense of using up my sweet items before Lent starts but I do love pancakes and often make them on weekends for breakfast (specially if I have visitors) so any excuse ‘eh? Vegan pancakes are really easy to make and I have had a fair few compliments on the recipe I use. It was one (that I use with a few tweaks) from this book. I’m gonna scribble down my recipe here for anyone who is interested

– 1 cup of plain flour (white seems to work best, I have had weird and oddly rubbery results with wholemeal)
– 1/2 cup of soya milk
– 2/3 cup of cold water
– A dash of vegetable oil or a bit of melted vitalite (or other non-dairy spread)

Whisk all this together in a bowl, stick it in the fridge to chill for 20 mins. When you take it out, add a little more water if it’s too thick (I aim for a single cream type of consistency) and then go for it! I just try and use a bit of spay oil to slightly grease the pan and then spoon around a ladle full in and swirl the pan to spread it out. Once the bubbles have appeared in the batter and the edges have started to lift, I flip it over.

I had mine with the following combos of toppings
– hot cherry pie filling and schlagfix (aka vegan squirty cream from Vx)
– banana, blueberries & maple syrup
– salted caramel sauce (from a vegankind monthly box) and dark chocolate sauce

2. Serial podcast – I listen to a lot of podcasts and have done for years. I used to commute for 4 hours a day when I first moved to my current house, so many hours on train passed with me staring out of the window and listening to comedy based podcasts This is the first podcast series I have listened to though (as well as the first non comedy podcasts) and it quickly had me gripped. I don’t want to say too much about it because I think it’s kind of hard to really describe what it is about without going into a lot of detail but I would really recommend it for a thought provoking and interesting listen. I’ve already persuaded a colleague/friend to listen to it as well so I’m looking forward to having someone to discuss it with. You can download episodes as well as look at supporting information at their website. I look forward to seeing what they do with series 2 which is due later this year.

3. I am having another Pinterest spree at the moment. I’ve been looking for inspiration for a new blanket to make. I have the yarn but as yet not a fixed idea of what to make with it (other than “blanket”) so I’ve been saving ideas on Pinterest. Which then leads me right down the Pinterest rabbit hole and I have been adding things to my other boards as well. There goes another hour…

The majority of my boards are for storing craft ideas or hacks, but I also have boards for home, travel, tattoo and clothing ideas as well as one where I pin items I would like to treat myself to one day. This has proved quite a good idea as I periodically re-visit it and see if I still want those items or if they were just spur of the moment urges.

4. We’re slowly working on making our house more cozy. Last night my partner came home with this lampshade which we have put up in our room. I really like how it looks and it makes the light so much less harsh in our room than the one that was there previously. I keep getting disheartened sometimes at how much left there is for me to sort so it’s good to remember what a difference something small can make.

Other random bits and pieces from this past week;

I read this article today. It helped. I struggle with thinking of myself as lazy a lot and worrying about whether that is how I am perceived. The results is that I often burn out while trying to be everything to everyone*

I went to see Josie Long on her most recent tour last week. It’s the 3rd or 4th time I have seen her and I always find it a real life affirming experience. Her support this time was Heidi O’Loughlin who told some amazing stories based on Beauty and the Beast and Snake 2 from Nokia 3310.

I have lots of other exciting plans coming up over the next few weeks as well as a few things that have already happened that I hope to write about here in more detail.

Till next time…

(*Everclear reference only half intended)