Hopefield Animal Sanctuary

On Sunday I had an impromptu visit to Hopefield Animal Sanctuary in Brentwood for their Summer Barbecue. I can’t believe I’ve never been before as this is my nearest sanctuary, but I’ll definitely be a regular visitor now.

IMG_20170813_165538_01

Hopefield is a non-profit organisation which rescue abandoned animals.

IMG_20170813_160958_01

They have a lot of farm animals as well as exotic animals who have been bought as pets and their owners did not have the specialist knowledge to look after them properly.

I love chickens and the one with the ‘fro just made my heart melt.

There are so many horses! There were a number in the field to came up to see us, as well as those with health issues in the stables.

The pigs were having a great time basking in the sun.

IMG_20170813_160125_01

IMG_20170813_160234_01

How gorgeous is this guy?

I was really interested in the tanuki, and were surprised some people had been keeping these beautiful animals as pets.

There are also an increasing number of reptiles being looked after at the sanctuary.

Spending time with these animals reinforces my vegan beliefs and why I want to end their use and exploitation.

IMG_20170813_161058_01

This is sanctuary’s longest resident and who the sanctuary is named after.

I would recommend you visit Hopefield if you are in the area or you can support them by donating online or sponsoring one of the animals.

IMG_20170813_155043

Plumes x

 

Hopefield Animal Sanctuary

April Round Up

How have I been feeling? 

My medication and herbs have really kicked in and this last week I’ve been able to up my running, so I’m running during the week now as well as weekends. At parkrun this weekend I was 15 seconds above my pb so I think I should be able to beat it this coming weekend.

Look at the effort in that tomato face!

What new foods have I been trying?

I went to Temple of Seitan at the beginning of the month which I reviewed here.

I ordered some wild garlic in my veg box and made a lovely risotto with it.

I bought my Mum 15 Minute Vegan and she’s made me a couple of delicious meals from it, butternut and sage macaroni and butterbean mash topped root veg pie.

For Easter my boss got me a Sainsburys white chocolate egg that went down very well!

I picked up a chocolate and coconut bar from Coco Di Mama which was rather tasty.

I went to Ask with my Mum to try out their new vegan menu which I reviewed here.

I tried the Suma beans and sausages which were really nice but a bit pricey so I think I’ll just chop up sausages into beans in future!

I bought the Quorn fishless fingers which are a new vegan addition. I had had the vegetarian version in years gone by and these were just as good. I made me own tartar sauce too!

I made some tempeh from scratch and I wrote about the process here.

I made this gorgeous banana bread from Sweet Simple Vegan.

I tried the new Cauldron vegan burgers but I wasn’t particularly impressed so I don’t think I’ll get them again.

I had one of my favourites smashed chickpeas but this time on purple potatoes that I bought from Ocado. They taste the same as white potatoes but have more antioxidants and look pretty!

What have I been enjoying?

This month has been much more low key than March. We went down to visit my cousin and his wife who is pregnant so this was our last visit as the four of us. We just hung out and played cards and board games and was all pretty chilled. Over Easter I spent a lot of time at church, attending Thursday, Friday and to the vigil on Saturday. We spent the following weekend at my in-laws and this past weekend was chilled at home, I did some sewing on my handmade dress at my Mum’s and did a couple of runs.

What am I looking forward to next month?

I am going to Ruby and Pickles supperclub on Saturday with my Sister-in-law and to a kilo vintage sale on Sunday. 

I’ve just booked to see the play The Philanthropist with a friend next week, I haven’t seen a play in a while so I’m really looking forward to it especially as it’s directed by Simon Callow.

I am taking part in Bubble Rush a 5k run at the Olympic Park in Stratford where there are foam bubble stations pumping out bubbles at various stages of the run. This is in aid of four hospices in East London including the hospice my Dad passed away at in December 2015.

How was your April? Let me know in the comments below.

Plumes x

April Round Up

Quarter 1 2017 Goals Review

Review. Text on the string. Conceptual 3d image

So we are already a quarter through 2017, how times flies eh? So let’s see how I’ve been getting on with my goals.

1. Continue to jog/run

I have slowed down with this one due to not feeling very well recently although I’ve still been running about once a week. Hopefully over the next couple of weeks I will be able to start running a little bit more. I’ve signed up to take part in Bubble Rush a 5k run through foam in the Olympic Park in Stratford in May.

2. Take up yoga again

Again my practice has lapsed a bit due to my energy levels but I did take part in a yoga event in February and I hope to attend more events in the year.

3. Eat more wholefoods

I’ve been doing well with this due in part to my veg box. I’ve bought some tempeh starter to make my own tempeh from dried soya beans. My Husband is trying to cut down on meat so he’s been eating more food with me and made us a lovely dhal the other day.

4. Use less plastic

The way I have been achieving this is just by buying less overall but I don’t feel like I’ve made many substitutions apart from buying the veg box. Obviously buying less is great but I need to do more research when making essential purchases.

5. Be more politically active

I’ve attended two events already this year, the protest against the Great British Greyhound Board in January and UN Day Against Racism in March. I already have a list of events in my diary for the upcoming months and I’ve been taking part in craftivism taking tips from Craftivist Collective.

6. Support more independent shops and traders 

I have been doing well with this. I have only had one chain coffee this year! I went to a lovely little wholefoods shop in Hackney the other day and got some smoked garlic I’m really excited about trying. When I’m in a new area I’m searching my maps app for independent places. I find it the most difficult in stations when I really need something quickly.

7. Continue No New Clothes and expand on it 

I have not bought any new clothes so I’m doing well on that front. I need to source some running tights/leggings as I am a larger derriere’d lady and feel like I need a sports bra for my bum – the jogging bottoms aren’t providing enough support! I keep seeing a lot of vegan branded products I would like to buy but I have been resisting the urge!

8. Attend Church more regularly

This is another goal I’ve been successful with. I have attended church every weekend I’ve been home and I attended on Saturday evening last week as I was busy on the Sunday. I found the local Catholic Church when I was down in Ramsgate and it was really nice visiting a different church.

9. Watch less television

This has been easier than I was expecting. I think because of the eating more wholefoods I’ve been cooking more, leaving less time for TV and as I’ve been fatigued I’ve been sleeping earlier too.

10. Continue to blog

I have also done well with this goal. I’ve been quite active and have had lots to blog about! So hopefully this’ll continue in the coming months. I still have a couple of ideas I’ve been meaning to blog about which I haven’t had a chance to as other topics have come up.

So overall I think I’ve been doing pretty well. There are a few areas I need to concentrate a bit more on so I will try to keep those in mind.

How have your goals been going? Let me know in the comments below.

Plumes x

Quarter 1 2017 Goals Review

March Round Up

How have I felt?

I went and had some blood tests for the fatigue I’ve been experiencing and I’ve started to receive treatment and will continue to be monitored. I have had an appointment with a herbalist student at the College of Natural Medicine to do all that I can be to be helping myself.

What new foods have I been trying?

I picked up some new products in Sainsburys, the Quorn nuggets and the Cauldron burgers and sausages. I had the nuggets with curry udon that my Husband made. They are nice to have in the freezer for emergencies but I think I need to do a taste test to see whether I prefer these or the Fry’s ones!

I had the sausages which are tomatoey and beany with mash and veg. They are nice and a bit different to other sausages and because of the flavour not the most versatile. I haven’t tried the burgers yet.

We went down to Ramsgate for the weekend so I marinated some tempeh to have with breakfast. This was from the cookbook Baconish, I really liked the flavour but I think I’ll need to try and get the tempeh thinner next time!

I had a great lunch which I blogged about here.

I had some lemon and blackcurrant sorbet at a parlour on the front.

I completely stuffed my face at Seaside Cake Parlour in Margate and brought home some cakes too!

I went to Glasgow for work and ate dinner at Mono with my friend Christine which I wrote about here.

I went to The Gate in Hammersmith and had a fabulous meal which I wrote about here.

What have I been enjoying?

I started off the month with a bang and went to see Cabaret vs Cancer Ashes II Ashes David Bowie tribute with my Mum. There were singers, dancers and all sorts of performers. It was like nothing I’ve seen before!

As I’ve previously mentioned we had a lovely weekend away in Ramsgate and stayed at a lovely cottage available to rent here.

I took part in the UN day against racism by marching in London and I shared some photos of the day here.

We went and saw the fabulous Postmodern Jukebox and I was amazed at the skills of the performers.

scott-bradleeys-postmodern-jukebox-tickets_05-07-15_17_551d9ce292848

I can’t believe I’ve done so much in March. It’s definitely been a busy month!

Plans for April

April will be a quieter month. I did have plans to go on holiday but unfortunately those had to be cancelled. I plan on doing some vegan activism and hopefully will spend some time with my cousin and his wife. We haven’t got any plans for Easter yet but it should be a nice break.

How has your March been? Let me know in the comments.

Plumes x

March Round Up

February Round Up

How has the month been?

I started the month off by visiting my Husband’s family and catching a cold from our germ-infested nieces! This lasted a couple weeks but ever since I have felt really exhausted. I assume this is just a hangover of the virus but I’m going to get some blood tests to see if anything else is going on there. Although I’ve been very tired it hasn’t really affected what I have done apart from less exercise/running and more naps! It was also my birthday this month and I have had a great time celebrating which I’ll share more with you below.

What new foods have I tried this month?

When I looked through my photos this month I couldn’t believe have many new things I have tried. Who said being vegan was boring?!

img_20170203_093153_298

I celebrated 10 years with  company at the beginning of the month so I brought in some yummy vegan treats. I made a jaffa drizzle cake, which is an orange drizzle cake with a thin layer of dark chocolate on top. This was delicious and I’ll definitely be making it again.

img_20170202_121425_334

I went out with some colleagues  to Ekachai as one of our work friends was leaving the company. It is a South East Asian restaurant which is very efficient for lunchtime eating! I had this gorgeous tempeh curry and there are a few vegan or easily veganised dishes on the menu.

I went down to visit my friend Karen and her family in Bournemouth this month it was so nice to pick up some provisions so easily in Waterloo station. I got four vegan cupcakes for us to share from Lola’s Cupcakes and it’s great to see them continuing to expand their vegan range.

We went out to Wagamama for dinner and I had the itame coconut, chilli and lime soup with tofu and vegetables. I’ve never had this dish before as I prefer the noodles to soup but as I had this stinking cold I thought it would do me good! It was really tasty and I had some cauliflower in a lovely sticky chilli sauce as a side.

img_20170217_192409_265

We stopped for a hot drink and a cake at Sweet Greens which I wrote about in this post.

img_20170218_160541_430

I asked Dani from Vida Bakery to make my caterpillar birthday cake and she certainly didn’t disappoint!

img_20170222_184351_624

I celebrated my birthday eating food from Vegan Peasant which I wrote about here.

On Saturday I went to a local independent space and had a lovely chocolate brownie and Earl Grey. It’s nice to see small, local places catering to vegans.

On Sunday we took a trip to Green Bay and I bought all this swag I’m currently working through.

img_20170226_153858_624

And finally on the food front we used the sgaia bacon pictured above with some mushrooms in a giant pancake to share to celebrate Shrove Tuesday.

img_20170228_184351_747

What have I enjoyed?

I went vintage clothes shopping with my Sister-in-law on the first weekend in February which I wrote about here and I also picked up this fab vintage swimsuit in Bournemouth.

20170218_165751

I had a fab time in Bournemouth as a whole, even the body combat class we did on Sunday morning!

I spent some time catching up with friends who I haven’t seen in a while. I’ve now known these ladies over 10 years!

20170211_170811

I loved receiving all these gorgeous presents for my birthday.

I completed my second parkrun of the year and felt better afterwards than the first one and I bought myself a Lush giraffe bubble bar to celebrate.

Plans for March

We are heading down to Ramsgate for a belated birthday weekend away. I plan on taking part in a march against racism and we have tickets to see Post Modern Jukebox at the end of the month. If you haven’t heard them, check them out on YouTube.

How has your February been? Let me know in the comments.

Plumes x

February Round Up

Make London Better

I read this article in Time Out London this week (in a real paper copy I am currently holding in my hand and everything!) and thought I would pick out some of the things from the list of 28 I’d be interested in doing.

The sub title of this article states – Want things to change, but don’t know where to start? You don’t need to do much to help improve your city. Here are 28 great initiatives to be getting on with.

Buy bread and support refugees

E5 Bakehouse make bread that has been kneaded by refugee women under a railway arch near London Fields. Hackney is really easy to get to for me and who doesn’t love bread!

Fly a homemade protest banner

Those who know me know I love a good protest, but unfortunately I do lack some creative skills so I’m definitely going to get my hands on one or two of the mini banner kits from Craftivist Collective

20170204_210310.jpg

Buy clothes from shops that fund sustainable fashion

If you follow this blog you will know I (rather successfully) try to source my clothes second hand. Traid have 11 charity shops in London and fund eco-friendly fashion initiatives around the world. This brand seems familiar to me, I’m sure I’ve had some of their own brand items from when I was a child in the 90s and my Mum belonged to our Church’s Justice & Peace group. They also run upcycling workshops which definitely sound like my kind of thing!

Pop in for coffee  cake at a charity shop

I was already aware of Cafe from Crisis on Commercial Street and had intended going there one lunchtime, I just haven’t got round to it yet. They help ex-offenders and homeless people back into work via the cafe’s training scheme.

Visit London’s first “Happy Café” 

Woop woop! This is something I have already done multiple times! I love The Canvas Café and have written about them previously on the blog. They are a not-for-profit venue hosting loads of events and supporting pop up caterers and their vegan freakshakes are divine!

20170204_212342.jpg

Join the campaign to declare London a national park

As London is 40% green space this campaign wants to make London the world’s first National Park City so we can protect those spaces for future generations. Sounds like a no-brainer to me!

Buy a colouring book and help victims of domestic abuse

I really admire the work of Sisters Uncut who I have been aware of for some time, and I hope to attend some of their events this year. In the meantime I will buy this in order fund their campaign for better services for victims of domestic violence.

20170204_213412.png

Go to a punk event to support positive mental health 

I’ve written previously about my own mental health so this event to fund mental health research by Dr Joel Vos at Roehampton University speaks to me personally. There will be many activities from live music and a punk art installation to mental health talks over 5 days from 27th to 31st March.

20170204_214230.png

Raising money for people living with cancer at a Bowie night

Through typing this I am formally inviting my Mum (hey Mum!) to come to this event Ashes to Ashes II with me on March 1st (Ash Wednesday – see what they did there?!) to raise money for people living with cancer. My Dad was a big music fan and died of cancer a month before David Bowie did.

event_image_79153_1484053986

Get chatting to strangers and make this city a less lonely place

This week Jo Cox Commission on Lonliness launched a campaign to get people talking. I am one of those nutters that says good morning to people in the street and get chatting in the supermarket queue so this is another easy one to do!

So I’ve picked 10 out of the 28 that I can realistically see myself doing. Not all of them are exclusively London based so take a look through the full list and let me know in the comments which ones you fancy taking a bash at!

Plumes x

Make London Better

Goals 2017 – One Month Review

I wanted to write this post to give you an update on how I’m going with my goals, what’s working well, what isn’t and are there any changes I can make going forward.

If you haven’t read Goals for 2017 you can to see the reasons behind each goal.

1. Continue to jog/run

I have been jogging for 30 minutes three times a week consistently in January and I completed my first Parkrun of the year last Saturday in 40 mins 20 secs. I’ve found this goal easy to do as I feel the benefits from it straight away!

2. Take up yoga again

I have been doing my yogalates DVD once to twice a week, I would like is to be a little more regular but hey sometimes life gets in the way! I’ve got my yoga and vegan food event coming up in a couple of weeks so I’m really looking forward to that.

3. Eat more while foods

I think I’ve been doing pretty well with this. Since we’ve been getting our veg box I find I am planning each meal around what veg we can have rather than around the protein. I still probably have around one lazy meal a week but we haven’t had any takeaways this month.

4. Use less plastic

My real win for this has been the veg box as nothing comes in plastic, if there is any packaging it’s card and you return the box each time which is reused 10 times before  is recycled. I also have my eco cup which I have only used once as I’ve just been going without coffee rather than using takeaway cups. I find it difficult with supermarket shopping to find things not in plastic. I don’t have anywhere I can bulk buy beans/grains in my own containers so if anyone has any tips I’d greatly appreciate them.

5. Be more politically active

I attended my first protest of the year on Sunday which you can read about here. I would have loved to have attended to Womens’ March in London but unfortunately I was in Eastbourne that weekend and I couldn’t attend the emergency march on Downing Street on Monday as I was too tired from Sunday’s protest and I had to have some self care. I plan to attend my first Awakening event in March and I’m sure other events will come up throughout the year.

6. Support more independent shops and traders

Think I’ve done ok with this goal, although I have just been shopping everywhere less (both chains and independents) although when I have I have attempted to use independents. I’ve found a lovely Australian coffee shop near my work and I use the two independent coffee shops near home. I have only had one chain coffee and that was in Eastbourne after church on the Sunday, my cousin and I had tried two independent cafes first but they were both shut so we had to resort to Costa.

7. Continue No New Clothes and expand on it

I haven’t bought any new clothes. I went to a vintage kilo sale on Saturday and bought four items and then a jumper in a charity shop. I haven’t really bought anything else that I’ve needed to source although I have ordered some plates from Magpie who are an independent vegan operation, I had scoured the charity shops before Christmas for plates but the only ones that suited my needs came in huge 24 piece sets which I don’t have the room in my flat for.

8. Attend Church more regularly

I have been to church every Sunday I have been at home and I attended with my cousin while I was in Eastbourne. I am at my in-laws this weekend and I may try to attend on Saturday night depending on what time dinner is!

9. Watch less TV

This has been achieved with the help of American shows going on their mid-season breaks! We have been watching Twin Peaks on blu ray at one to two episodes a day but we have now completed that and the mid season breaks are over. We have a couple of episodes of Homeland on the planner and the DC programmes (Supergirl, Flash, Legends of Tomorrow) have been back on this week. I’m going to try to ration to one fiction and one non-fiction a day at most. I have been listening to more podcasts while cooking/running and travelling and watching more YouTube as well which is more concentrated on content I feel is of more value to me.

10. Continue to blog

I hope if you are a keen follower of the blog you have seen how active I have been in January! I’m planning about 3 blog posts into the future at the moment so I’ve got quite a few ideas bouncing around my head so I’m going nowhere for the foreseeable!

All in all I think I’m pretty much on track with all of my goals at the moment. Long may it continue!

How are you getting along with your own goals and resolutions? Let  me know on the comments.

Plumes x

Goals 2017 – One Month Review