Monthly Archives: June 2013

Sleep buddy

Sleep mask

Life is wonderful when it’s absolutely packed full of exciting and enjoyable things to do. As a result one tends to get to one’s bed a little later in order to do more stuff. Which results I less sleep. Now sleep is definitely enjoyable and a lack of it makes the aforementioned exciting and enjoyable things less so.

I like to get up very early (because I obviously need to get on with my exciting life) so I need to go to bed suitably early. However this is becoming less and less the case. It’s resulting in very dull conversation from me as I natter on about how I’m tired, and have a lot on and need more sleep.

So in order to take action on this situation Carla of Ducking Fabulous and I decided that we would operate a sleep buddy system for a week.

I hasten to add that this did not involve us sharing sleeping quarters in any way, or even being in the same location. Instead we used the marvel that is the mobile telephone to send text messages from 9pm entreating the other to begin making preparations for bed.

The great thing about this is that it makes you head in the direction of that wooden hill. You don’t want to have to confess that you haven’t gotten anywhere near your nightcap of hot chocolate/camomile tea/whisky, but are instead pinning images of vegan lasagne. You want to be able to honestly say you are in your PJs and preparing to count sheep.

It’s definitely a move towards more sleep and fewer late nights. Now if I can just find a way to make all the other things in life manageable then there are truly glorious times ahead.

Wishing you green ink and good food,



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June photo challenge day 23

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June photo challenge day 22

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Bellies, giggles and fear

Exhibit A: At a recent flea market I was selling a belly dance costume. It’s too big for me and as it’s covered in hand sewn sequins not a good candidate for alteration. However it is a fabulous piece and I’d love to see someone putting it to use and feeling fabulous. As it turned out it got plenty of attention. Lots of women looked at it as they passed my stall. They all commented on how lovely it was and then without fail, laughed and stated that they couldn’t wear it because they were too fat or had too much belly.

This made me sad. It’s called belly dancing. It involves having a belly. Having a body that is not toned to within an inch of its life doesn’t make you less of a woman or less beautiful.

Exhibit B: I started a new burlesque course. As a matter of fact, it’s a routine that will involve some clothing removal (I know that you’re all dying to ask about the nudity bit but please note that burlesque doesn’t automatically mean stripping to g string ). The class took some time to talk about our fears about the activity. And the issue of bellies once again came up. Followed by giggles and worries about what other people might think.

The other women made jokes about themselves and their bodies. And about what other people might say, or have said. And like an undercurrent ran the feat of being laughed at for being different.

Now this might be the point where I go on about body image, or media portrayal of women, or Victorian morals or…

But the point I really want to draw attention to is another point that came up in the discussion –fear. When people feel nervous, when they think they might not fit in they get the giggles or they get aggressive. Or they combine the two by making people laugh at them first.

And it was that people act out of fear all the time that kept coming back to me all weekend. When someone commented on my use of soap and shampoo bars (instead of more liquid versions) it was because of fear. A fear of being different to the rest of the Western world who prefer shower gel to soap.

When someone pushed past me to get onto a train it was fear – of being left behind, of missing out.

When I got grumpy the other day, it was fear that I was letting people down. When I complained about the cost of something it was fear that there would be less for me. When I didn’t want to be seen reading something trashy in public it was because I was scared people would think less of me.

I’m beginning to think the late Susan Jeffers really did have a point….

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June photo challenge day 21

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Things I love Friday

Churros and sauce
  • Vegan Churros – for being vegan and delicious
  • People watching in London – for inspiration and intrigue.
  • Vx – for being an amazing purveyor of good vegan things.
  • The unexpected – because life is more fun when it’s not predictablem
  • Mel for Forever21 in the USA – because they have a green pair
  • Being comfortable with the way I look – Let time worrying is more time to have fun
  • Exciting burlesque projects coming together – next stop the Fling
  • Risotto balls – I refer you to my well documented love of leftovers

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June photo challenge day 20

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June photo challenge day 19

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June photo challenge day 18

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What’s in my lunch box? So I rummaged in the pantry

Food and a book


I’ve often gone on about my love of leftovers and my enjoyment in using up odds and ends of ingredients. There’s just something really satisfying about seeing what’s in the pantry, fridge and freezer and then creating.

Clockwise from top left:

Roasted chickpeas and new potatoes in oil and vinegar dressing – I’d prepared these as separate dishes but they go so well together. The number of potatoes was a bit limited so the addition of the chickpeas made the most of them. The oil was the dregs of a bottle of basil infused olive oil.

Broccoli tarts – whenever I puree broccoli for a sauce I always have leftovers which is just perfect for topping some pastry to create these soft on the inside, crunchy on the outside tarts. I’ve topped them with some slices of radish.

The novel in the viola by Natasha Solomons– I’m devouring this. I’d expected it to be predictable but it isn’t all. You can sense something terrible building up but my guesses as to what have so far been dashed. It makes me wish I was still in a reading group so I could discuss it.

Dates, Pistachios, dark chocolate, and salted almonds – while I wait for the strawberries to ripen this is my favourite source of something sweet.

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