Life BV….

One of the tricky things about turning vegan, is what to do about your life before vegan (BV).

Chances are, in your BV days, you bought stuff you wouldn’t dream of touching with a barge pole now.

I got lucky when it came to food:  I turned vegan before the husband so I just sent him into the cupboards like a human hoover, clearing out all the lactose and honey ridden naughties. By the time of his AV (anno-veganni?), I’d long since secretly veganised our food hoard.

My BV clothes were a little less easy to deal with, apparently dressing your husband in your leather purses and cute woollen sweaters is less acceptable than having him polish off the Crunchy Nut Cornflakes. Besides, he would never have been able to squeeze his big man toes in to my pretty little lady shoes.

I took a picture of my hoover wearing shoes and a hat. I have way too much time on my hands.

I took a picture of my hoover wearing shoes and a hat. I have way too much time on my hands.

I donated a lot to the PDSA for onward sale (I didn’t feel right e-baying things and making money out of something I no longer ethically agree with), other items were gifted to friends, but some things I have continued to use because I was concerned that they were not of sufficient quality to be re-sold or gifted and because it felt wrong, and disrespectful, to simply dispose of them.

One of those things was a leather purse. I probably bought it about five years BV and it was pretty tatty last January when I turned vegan, but this week, some eighteen months after my transition, it finally gave up the ghost, the lining now ripped beyond repair and the clasp distinctly unclaspy.

At last…

At last…..

A new purse!

And check it out, its soooooooooo pretty. Why did I ever think I needed leather anyway?!

non-leather purses

Yay, another step toward a life free from animal products.

I trust too…

This tiny little narcissi (the photo doesn’t do its size justice, it’s literally two inches tall), has braved the snow and the gales to burst into life in a bare and stoney patch of dirt outside our house.

It reminded me of my favourite John Masefield poem, that has seen me through good times and bad times alike, so I thought I would share.

I have seen flowers come in stoney places

I have seen flowers come in stony places,
And kind things done by men with ugly faces,
And the gold cup won by the worst horse at the races,
So I trust too.

                                                                                     John Masefield

Happy Sunday everyone xx

Cinnamon Breakfast Pancakes : Let’s not kid ourselves ….

Vegan Cinnamon Pancakes

…. no matter how much coconut oil and wholewheat flour you throw in, pancakes drenched in maple syrup are never going to be a healthy breakfast, but still, let’s give credit where credit is due, they are healthier than the average pancake.

I spotted this delicious recipe for vegan cinnamon breakfast pancakes on The Sparkle Side Walk and I’ve literally been looking forward to trying them ever since!

Just one little over share before I go, hangover clothing is sooooo not my strong point:

This is not a squat booty

This is not a squat booty

oh yeah, that’s how I’m rollin’ this morning.

 

Hard work and creativity…..

I went to a talk this evening by one of Nottingham’s favourite sons, Sir Paul Smith, at Nottingham Business School.

He came across as a really inspirational guy, tonnes of charm and energy, everything you would expect from such a successful person.

From my pre-vegan life, silk :-(

My Paul Smith Scarf from my pre-vegan life (silk – sad face)

He also came across as down to earth and hugely passionate about his business. The key theme that he kept repeating throughout his presentation was that creativity was nothing without plain old hard work, he kept returning to the theme of building strong foundations through focused effort.

In this ‘something for nothing’ era, where tv show after tv show encourages us to expect instant and high level success and when it can be easy to get sucked into glamorous pictures presented to us in magazines and adverts (including those of Mr Smith’s company!), it’s good to have a reminder that in the real world, perseverance and a good old dose of perspiration are essential.

Being the good little geek that I am, I took notes, so here are my four favourite quotes from the evening (ok, they were rough notes, so you’ll have to forgive me if they’re a couple of words out):

   ‘You can find inspiration in everything. If you can’t you’re not looking properly.’    (I know this is a variation on the theme of one of Paul Smith’s books – but I still love it and it is soooo true);

‘Nobody cares how good you used to be’

 ‘Effort is free of charge’

and finally…..

‘If you want to get somewhere in business, you need to know that VAT doesn’t stand for Vodka and Tonic’

A sneaky, if blurry, little shot of Sir Paul mid-lecture

A sneaky, if blurry, little shot of Sir Paul mid-lecture

Mmmmmm Sandwiches (and a mushroom pate recipe)

I love bread. Bread, bread, bread.

I read so many blogs of people who are well behaved and who don’t touch the evil spawn of grain. But I do.

I’ve been having a sandwichy couple of weeks recently, I blame my sister for buying me this bit of neatness for my Christmas present:

Re-usable sandwich wrapper

Best present ever – a reusable sandwich wrapper!

My favourite sandwich at the moment is mushroom pate with sliced cucumber. Go on, have a go, it’s delicious:

Reusable Sandwich Wrapper

Sandwiches and saving the world all in one lunch break? Oh yes.

Peppery Mushroom Pate with Thyme

Ingredients

  • 250 grams chestnut mushrooms
  • 50 grams bread crumbs
  • 1 onion finely chopped
  • Half a fresh chilli de-seeded and finely chopped
  • 1 clove of garlic finely chopped
  • 1 good handful of fresh thyme
  • 2 tsp course ground black pepper
  • pinch salt

Homemade mushroom pate

Method

  1. Fry off the onion and mushrooms in a frying pan until the onion is just beginning to brown then add the chilli, garlic, thyme, salt and pepper and sizzle for another five minutes
  2. Allow to cool and then place all the ingredients into a mixing bowl and blitz with a hand blender.

Voila – a delicious herby and very peppery mushroom pate!

This isn’t a sponsored post but if you did want to grab yourself the bit of neatness that is the reusable sandwich wrapper they are available here : Ananda Foods

Thoughtful Thursday…

…. I read this. It made me smile. I thought I would share – with special love for everyone who’s in training right now – for London, for Paris or just for life…..

“It is not the critic who counts: not the man who points out how the strong man stumbles or where the doer of deeds could have done better. The credit belongs to the man who is actually in the arena, whose face is marred by dust and sweat and blood, who strives valiantly, who errs and comes up short again and again, because there is no effort without error or shortcoming, but who knows the great enthusiasms, the great devotions, who spends himself for a worthy cause; who, at the best, knows, in the end, the triumph of high achievement, and who, at the worst, if he fails, at least he fails while daring greatly, so that his place shall never be with those cold and timid souls who knew neither victory nor defeat.”

Theodore Roosevelt

The Boy Berlin 2010

The Boy Berlin 2010

Let the haters hate, the rest of us know that life is too short.

ps. if I blamed work again for the lack of posting would it bore you?