Happy World Vegetarian Day!

October 1st marks World Vegetarian Day and the start of World Vegetarian month. I became vegetarian nearly 8 years ago after a period of reducing my meat consumption and two and half years before I transitioned to vegan in May 2012.

There is sometimes hostility between vegans and vegetarians but I just wanted to use this short post to say thank you to all the vegetarians who have made a connection and to continue their great work. If you decide to make the transition to veganism or are thinking about it, I am happy to answer any questions you may have.

Plumes x

Happy World Vegetarian Day!

FRIEND Farmed Animal Rescue

I first visited FRIEND Animal Rescue last year on one of their open days (which I blogged about here). They have a lovely site near Maidstone in Kent which just happens to be about half way between my house and my relatives on the South Coast, so Mama Plumes and I met up with my Cousins and their 10 week old baby son.

Here’s an excerpt from FRIENDS website about what they do (as I couldn’t say it better myself)


Today, FRIEND is a working animal sanctuary with around 100 farm animals and companion animals. Animals find their way here in all sorts of ways. Some are rescued from places of abuse, some arrive following the death of their guardian. Some despicable people abandon their animals by throwing them over the fence. No matter how they get here, they are all welcome to live the rest of their lives as naturally as possible with little human interaction.

We offer a no kill, free roaming (as far as possible and safe) home to cows, sheep, goats, chickens, ducks, geese and turkeys. Our 30+ pigs live in their own paddock with wallows. Some of our cats are feral and some are house dwellers. All our dogs love their walks in our meadow.

It was lovely to see these animals roaming free and getting so close to them. Some of the pigs were very friendly and came up for a stroke and a nuzzle. I particularly love cows, so I was glad to be able to go in the field with them as this wasn’t possible last year.

Some of the animals are shyer, like the sheep and the llama so we just let them do their thing and admired them from afar. Some, like the goats, enjoyed very much getting in everybody’s business especially if you had some food on you!

We also enjoyed some fab vegan food, Mum and I had bean stew and potato and I had a piece of gorgeous carrot cake with a mug of tea.

Spending time with animals really re-iterates to me why I’m vegan and inspires me to continue participating in vegan activism events.

FRIEND have open days and volunteer days throughout the year so check out their Facebook page to keep up with events. If you aren’t able to visit you can donate to FRIEND via their website.

Here’s a few photos of our day.

Plumes x

FRIEND Farmed Animal Rescue

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.


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


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.



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.


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.


Plumes x


Hopefield Animal Sanctuary

Review – Mad Cucumber Bournemouth

I’ve come down to Bournemouth for the weekend to catch up with an old friend. I had a look up online at what vegan options were about in town and came across the website for Mad Cucumber. As it’s fairly central we decided to pop in for lunch after a morning shopping. We arrived just before 12pm and I’m glad we got a table as some of the review I read said it gets really busy, especially on a Saturday lunchtime.


It’s really pretty inside and there’s lots of artwork up by local artists which are available to purchase. We were also greeted by a couple of friendly dogs who were going around saying hello and getting a stroke from all the patrons!

I started with an Earl Grey tea which came in this pretty pot and cup set. It came with soya milk as standard but they had a selection of other plant milks available on request.


I went for the veggies with dips and added coleslaw. I wanted a light lunch as I’d had a Tofurkey sausage sandwich and a banana for breakfast. The houmous tasted great and the other dip was good too although I wasn’t quite sure what it was! The coleslaw came in a light dressing rather than smothered in mayonnaise which was really refreshing.


My friend went for the mushroom and onion quiche which came with a salad. I tried a bit and it lovely and gooey and had a strong flavour. Karen isn’t vegan but she said she really enjoyed and couldn’t tell the difference with the soya milk in her latte.


They also had a display of gorgeous cakes, but as I’m reducing my sugar intake I declined to sample any.


Overall we really enjoyed our meal and it was great value for money. The only negative I would give is that they except cash only. Come on! It is 2016 after all!

Have you been to Mad Cucumber? What did you think?

Plumes x

Review – Mad Cucumber Bournemouth

Happy New Year!

Happy New Year Everyone! I am looking forward to 2016 as much as saying goodbye to 2015. 2015 was exceptionally tough especially the last three months.

I’ve already mentioned my New Year’s Resolution  of only buying second hand clothes in 2016. I’m looking forward to this challenge. The things I am most worried about are finding shoes (although I have discovered Oxfam’s online shoe shop) and if I need an outfit for a particular event. I also want to reduce the amount of clothes I buy, so just because they’re second hand and potentially cheaper I can’t go on a spree!

I also have other ambitions for 2016. I want to continue with my healthy eating so I can get back into some of my clothes I haven’t worn in a while. I would also like to take up a new form of exercise. I think I’ll have to try a few different ones before I get one that suits me!

I hope to move home in 2016 which will involve saving as much money as possible and we’ll need to do some work on the flat. So less meals out, takeaways, holidays, trips out etc. it’ll all be worth it in the end but might be a bit of a slog getting there!

I am really looking forward to spending my Birthday in Brighton in February, my cousin’s wedding in April and spending time with friends and family.

What are your plans for 2016? Let me know in the comments

Plumes xScreenshot_2016-01-01-10-13-48-1.png

Happy New Year!

Extra Vegan Beauty Box!

My dear friend ordered me a vegan kind (website) beauty box instead of flowers on the passing of my Dad as, ever the pragmatist, she said they’ll only die anyway!

When the box arrived I was worried it would be the same as my November box (see post) but it was the same as a box I received last year, which I didn’t mind as I’ve used up all those items!


Firstly we have Hedgerow Herbals Bath Bags. I got the lavender ones. These are fab to throw in the bath and I feel like I’m in a big cup of tea!


Another one I use in the bath is Premae Skincare Mild Dermabrasion Face & Body Scrub. This is great for clearing out your pores and making you feel really fresh.


This White Rabbit Skincare Comfort Clenching Balm comes with a lovely flannel. I wasn’t too sure about this one at first as the smell of eucalyptus oil made me feel like I was using Vicks  vaporub on my face! I got over it quickly and enjoyed using it daily as a cleanser.


This must be the product I used the quickest the last time I had it. Olivia Soaps and Balms Chocolate and Coconut Body Butter. This smells so delicious you have to be careful not to eat it! I like it when the air’s a bit warmer and it’s really soft. But be careful when you open in the height of summer as it can turn to a liquid.


Lastly these fab Fresh Therapies Nourishing Natural Nail Polish Remover Wipes. Handy to carry around and have in your hand luggage on holiday without the harshness of some of the chemical based ones.

Hope you enjoyed these beauty treats and maybe you’ll try some out for yourself.

Plumes x




Extra Vegan Beauty Box!

Fabulous Indian Food

I recently got a menu for an Indian restaurant and takeaway through my door. it had a whole page of vegetarian starters and another of mains. I was so excited I sent the onine menu to my vegan sister in law, Gemma. The next I get a call from my mum saying she received the same menu and did I want to go!

The restaurant is situated in a complex that holds a bowling alley, laser quest, some other restaurants and function rooms. it definitely doesn’t look like a bowling alley from outside, more like a wedding venue and I know a friend who had their reception there.

Inside the restaurant it looks like you’re outside. it kind of reminded me of some of the hotels in Vegas.


Can you see how excited Mum and I are! Excuse the wet hair we’d just come from swimming.

We had rose lychee coolers to drink

20151118_194355to eat well had kurkuri bhindi – deep fried spicy battered okra. Baigan bharta – smoked aubergine. Daal makhani bukhare  wali – black lentils marinated overnight. Rajma easily – Red kidney beans marinated overnight and vegetable biryani. I have never seen a biryani served with a naan hat like below!



There was far too much and we took loads home for my husband and I to have the next day.

What meals have you enjoyed recently?

Plumes x


Fabulous Indian Food