Capsule wardrobe equals stress

One of the sure signs that I’m feeling a little bit on the stressed side is what I search for on Google. And top of the lists during difficult times is capsule wardrobes.

Of course, I never follow up on any of the suggestions combinations. The thought of having to take a toon is usually more than my brain can handle. So after making notes on my perfect ratio of tops to bottoms to dresses to jackets I stop. Otherwise I might have to make a choice about whether to donate or sell my my unwanted items.

And I’m certainly not about to spend time buying new things. My year of not buying clothes in 2014/15 went along way towards removing that urge. I have a well stocked wardrobe. The contents make me happy and only a few items (usually gifts) get added each year.

If anyone had asked I’d have guessed that lockdown would have me compiling my idea capsule. But that hasn’t really been the case. I’ve been hanging out in a handful of baggy t-shirts and those trousers that aren’t quite pyjama bottoms. For my weekly vegan bag run there’s a pair of leggings and hoodie which get washed on my return.

Yet today I did feel a tiny urge to wear something else. It wasn’t anything I acted on. But an image of a tube skirt versus a pair of jeans fluttered through my head. But the idea of wearing either, of getting dressed up to go out seems utterly alien.

I wonder how things will when lockdown restrictions are slacked at some point. Will we all be desperate to get dressed properly again? Or will jogging bottoms become the new office wear?

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This week’s reading pile – 20/4/20

So here’s what I actually have on my pile for this week.

I’m trying not to binge my way through the Locke and Key graphic novels. But it’s hard. I want to gorge myself on the pages.

I expect to finish Ancient Rome on 5 Denarii a Day this week. It’s been a really fun and informative read. I was reading it and a load of other books on the subject to prepare for a trip to Rome in May but guess that’s off the table now. Travel in books in safer right now.

I’m reading a section of An Everlasting Meal every day. This is so I can enjoy thinking about what I’ve read. This is so beautifully written.

Dickens is a struggle. I sink into the story for a few pages and then abruptly am hurtled back to reality. Maybe I just need to get into the right mindset.

I started The Power last year and then put it down for some reason. Seems it like a good time to pick it up again.

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Menu plan 18 April 2020

I’ve been doing a menu plan using a Trello board for about 6 months now. I like being able to add ingredients and ideas to one list and then pull them to others.

Usually I’d have about 4-5 days of meals planed. The rest of the week would be made up of leftovers, other food items I bought or eating elsewhere.

Now I run out for food once a week. And we eat pretty much everything I make. So I’ve been trying to plan for 7 days.

It goes against the grain. I can’t shake off the possibility of spotting some amazing looking vegetables on a market stall. Or finding some reduced ingredients that inspire a dish. And right now the only place these are going to happen is in day dreams.

So here’s what I’ve got so far


Lunch – sandwiches with Tofurky deli slices, spinach, pickles and vegan mayo. Maybe a spoonful of Branston Pickle?

Dinner – Nachos cooked in the remoska and layered up with tortilla chips, violife vegan cheese, salsa and the left over rice and beans.


Lunch – Last week I massaged kale for the first time and the result was delicious. So once again we’ll enjoy some variation on the BKT Bowl from Salad Samurai.

Dinner – more Salad Samurai inspiration. I’ll give the Smokehouse Chickpeas and greens salad a go (and clear green remaining spinach before it goes slimy).


Lunch – some variation on minestrone soup with the last of the home made pasta

Dinner – baked potatoes, hummus and any stray salad leaves.


Lunch – leek and potato soup and bread

Dinner – Rice, chickpeas and spring greens with a tahini sauce


Lunch – leftover soup and more bread

Dinner – Millet, broccoli and tofu with a peanut sauce.


Lunch – suspect supplies of fresh foods will be low by this point so lentil soup. If bread is low then I might serve it with flatbreads or gram flour pancakes.

Dinner – Peppers stuffed with leftover rice and chickpeas. More tahini sauce!


Lunch – the remains of the lentil soup plus any other random leftovers

Dinner – pasta bake with swede and a creamy sunflower seed sauce

Let’s see how this plan works out. Will I stick to it? Or just eat all the bread in the first 2 days?

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It’s like being in a sitcom…

Only not quite so funny.

Lockdown in the U.K. reminds me of a period of time at university. It was coming up to my finals. Classes had finished. I’d turned in my dissertation. My whole focus was preparing for final exams. So for a period of weeks I stayed home and studied.

I only left the flat to go to the supermarket and to go to work. And my memories are all of being in the hipster basement flat I shared with my boyfriend.

Just like a sitcom people came to us. Friends dropped by for a cuppa and a chat. Family members phoned to see how were. But just like a sitcom we only saw the inside of the flat, not the outside world.

And now 24 years later I’m getting the same feeling again. Only there’s no final exam deadline . I can’t go and study in the library for a change of scene. Friends don’t drop by. They are also living life on a single set.

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It’s been 14 years

On 12 April 2006 I published my first blog post. It makes me cringe now to read it but it doesn’t really matter. No one else read it. Or they might of but I don’t think Blogger back in those days did much in the way of stats.

Of course, I installed a visitor count widget at a later point and thought it was state of the art. But these were days when blog posts rarely featured photos.

To add a photo you have a number of options.

You could take a photo with a camera that used film. Then develop the film. After that you just had to scan the photo and then get the photo onto the computer you were blogging from.

Or you could use a digital camera and then load the photos to the bit of specialist software that came with the camera.

Or you might take a photo on your phone. But it would be blocky. And you’d then have to plug your phone into a computer with the right software to make use of the photo.

It was way too much hassle for daily posts. So instead posts are text heavy. And I did go through a phase of using different coloured fonts to make my ‘what I wore’ posts a bit more visual.

And isn’t it strange that as blogging became easier I felt less inclined to do it. Maybe because there are so many slick looking blogs. And the blogging world has changed so much. It’s become so professional.

And yet I still return to blogging every so often. There’s more room than on Instagram or Twitter. They aren’t called microblogging for nothing. It’s a space that’s more comfortable than Facebook.

So who knows what I might be saying here in 2034?

Probably not 2006

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Lockdown stroganoff

Stroganoff is a dish I make on a semi regular basis. I make it with mushrooms, frozen peas and chunks of vegan burger. When it come to the sauce it’s either based on cashew nuts or plant milk.

However lockdown has left me with just a handful or 2 of cashew nuts. And the mylk is getting saved for granola.

However bizarrely I do have loads of sunflower seeds and plenty of miso. So I fashioned a sauce from these with plenty of paprika and black pepper plus a random spoonful of hummus that I froze at some point.

And amazingly it turned out ok. The sauce was plenty creamy. It worked well with the other ingredients. I had an excuse to make a batch of fresh pasta to serve with it.

In the strange world of lockdown all seemed ok for a while. Truly comfort food.

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Today started off promisingly. I woke early and did a couple of hours of work.

Then I started seeing shimmering lights and I knew the headache wouldn’t be far behind. So that was it for most of the day. Hiding under the covers feeling nauseous.

Tomorrow will be better.

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Made a cake

Baking isn’t my strong point. I can manage bread and crackers. Although the bread is a bit hit and miss.

So it was a small lockdown triumph to actually bake a cake today. It used blended pineapple instead of fat. This made mixing much easier.

Also pineapple cakes have a much less formal vibe, right? So the rich brown colour of the cake and super moist texture was all part of that.

Then I got to cover the actually rather tasty caramelised cake in white chocolate spread and sprinkles.

It felt like a tiny victory.

It’s a dear friend’s birthday today so I shared photos with her rather than a slice.

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Strange Sunday

All of the days seem strange right now. It would be odder still if they didn’t.

Today was assisted by the weather. A hail storm followed by blue skies.

And the random road works going on in the street. A team turned up about 8.30 and started digging up the tarmac. By 2pm it was like they’d never been there. Except for a different coloured strip of road.

Maybe it wasn’t the best day to return to drinking coffee. It seemed safe enough. I wasn’t going anywhere so giggles followed by sleepiness didn’t seem like an issue. But it’s added to the odd feeling. I’m clearly safer with a glass of wine!

So what to do to restore a sense of normality?

Make gram flour pancakes for lunch because getting busy in the kitchen in calming.

Plan what I’ll do each day next week because that is something I can control.

And as a bonus look what turned up in a copy of Bleak House I pulled out of my to read pile!

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Papery things breed

It seems that every week I have a pile of paper and card for recycling following a clear out. I’m always convinced this is the last lot but then another mound appears. Where does it come from? The Green Rooms are spacious enough for my needs but dint have that much storage space! Does paper breed in unopened drawers?

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