Thursday, 22 September 2011

Things I Love Thursday - good health, a stitch in time and London vegan drinks

It's that time of the week again. Time to carry on with what Gala Darling started and be thankful for all the good stuff that's in my world. I am, of course, capable of being grateful by myself but a little inspiration never went amiss.

First up has to be my health. After last week's cold I'm so happy to be feeling myself again. It's so true that you don't miss what you had until it's gone so I'm making an extra effort not to put to much strain on my body and to be good it. I've clearly been doing soemthing right as during a check up the other day I discovered that not only is my blood pressure about the best it's ever been but apparently I've lost a stone since last December. I did my clothes were getting a bit loose, however I think this is the result of swapping cups of tea for glasses of wine on a regular basis giving me a clearer head, more energy and less drunken junk food nibbling. Let's here it for tea and health.

I usually like to set aside Saturday afternoon's to indulge in a spot of sewing  but mine have all been so busy of late. However the urge to get some stuff moving through my sewing pile just wouldn't shift. Happily I've discovered that if I do a tiny bit of preparation in advance and leave the sewing machine out  and threaded that I can easily manage 20 minutes when  I get home from work. I've just got squeeze all the clothes I've altered or repaired back in my wardrobe now.

Thirdly I've very excited at the London Vegan Drinks meet up taking place next Thursday. I don't think anyone else I know is a vegan and I've been thinking it would be cool to meet some people who share my lifestyle choices. Plus Tibits is on my list of places I want to visit (but am unlikely to).

Other stuff - tea made in a proper tea pot, the heating going on at work, weekend plans, unbroken nights, making music, @markdavidson, 93 days to Christmas, wonderful friends.

Wednesday, 21 September 2011

Phrase of the week - You look terrible

Last week I was hit by a hideous cold. Everything ached. I was exhausted yet either couldn't sleep or dozed my way through the kind of dreams only a fever can bring on. My colleagues, when they weren't telling me that I looked really awful, compared me to a  zombie. Apparently it was something about my glazed eyes...

The only bright spots were that (a) I didn't have a blocked or runny nose - such are the perks of a vegan diet and that (b) I couldn't do anything but the basics. 

In a strange kind of way not being able to do more than the bare minimum necessary was very liberating. Usually I've got dozens of things I'm trying to keep track of, keep on top of and stay ahead of in all spheres of my life. Plus it's not enough for me to simply pay these things lip service I've got to make a really super special amazing job of everything to meet my own high standards. 

Last week  I was forced to reconsider my standards. I had to accept that dinner might be on the uninspired side. That my outfits wouldn't be perfectly planned. That I wasn't going to manage to do any of the stuff I had scheduled on Wunderlist. That  I wouldn't be playing bass for an hour each day. That clothes weren't going to get put away. That emails and phone calls likely wouldn't be returned. That  I wasn't going to start planning Christmas or make decisions about my pension.

And the world didn't end as a result of me not doing stuff. Our weekend house might not of had their visit planned down to the pre dinner snacks but they had somewhere to sleep and didn't starve. So while I clearly don't want to spend every night lounging on the sofa after a dinner of ready salted crisps I need to remember that sometimes it doesn't hurt to take a break. Everything that I'm picking up again this week feels fresher for the time away. I suppose this is why people take holidays. It's not the break from routine, it's the break from the person that the routine makes you.

Tuesday, 20 September 2011

What's in my lunchbox this week? Harvest festival

It must be the best time of year for good fresh food. My fridge is packed and I can't fit anything else in the freezer. I can really understand why our ancestors celebrated Harvest. Afteral lthey really were going to be eating half frozen cabbages for the next 6 months or so.

Clockwise from top right:

Victoria plum and slices of cucumber

Apple, pear and raspberry crumble - the raspberries made this awesome and the rest of the fruit were windfalls gathered on my travels

Green salad - various lettuces from my allotment mixed with  a few basil leaves from the pot on the windowsill

Daddy Mac - delicious vegan macaroni cheese type dish inspired by Veganomicon

Thursday, 8 September 2011

Things I Love Thursday - burlesque, delicious stuff to eat and crazy websites

Currently on my 'isn't life great' list are:
Burlesque - I enjoyed the class so much at the weekend that I've just signed up for a 5 week course
Delicious stuff to eat - cakes that aren't made with bread flour, chilled plums, loads of fresh (and sometimes home grown vegetables), soya milk porridge for breakfast and the occasional bag of McCoys ready salted crisps (it's the crinkle cut that does it).
Crazy websites - currently floating my boat are -a site that suggests alternative and often more accurate titles for well known books - and - picked this one up from Seth Godin's email it features some very funny, accurate and thought provoking cartoons (although that just doesn't do it's scope justice).
Other stuff - cups of tea, bass playing, online stuff, real life stuff, meeting up with friends, being busy, sleeping well, funny autobiographies (who would have Richard Branson's would be so amusing?), keeping warm on cold nights.

Wednesday, 7 September 2011

Phrase of the week - I quit my City job to become a posh stripper

I quit my City job to become a posh stripper

On Sunday I went to a burlesque class with the fabulous Bettsie Bon Bon who informed us that she had done just that. I'm not about to do the same. For starters I already do my dream job. 

But Bettsie was inspiring and a reminder that to get to what you want you have to put in the effort.That hard work, patience and determination will get you there. Plus that your dream probably won't be as glamorous as you imagine it to be.

So, is there a vegan alternative to the feather boa?

Tuesday, 6 September 2011

What's in my lunch box this week? Inspired by Hugh

Hugh F-W's article in the Guardian Weekend magazine a week or two back was just amazing. Recipes that used vegetables but didn't drown them in cheese AND was enthusiastic about beans and pulses.

From left:
  • Potatoes, aubergines and chickpeas roasted with Harrisa paste and a nice helping of Runner beans gently steamed (got to work through that glut)
  • Plums - I adore these. They are a great combination of sweet and sour.
  • Salad of lettuce, spinach and basil (all home grown)
  • Leftovers cake - an interesting mix of some kind of sweet powdered tea drink and past their best dried fruits soaked overnight. Plus I did not use strong flour for this so for one I have cake that is light rather then chewy!