A week in photos, and some recipe crushes

My blog friends, it hasn’t been the best week or two for my very feeble mental health. I’m not entirely sure of the source for this slump, but I haven’t been too successful at getting out and about, cooking splendid food or other standard adult human activities. I really ought to be hoovering and preparing lunch for my super friend Emil right now, but why commit to such sensible endeavours when there’s sitting at the computer listening to throwback music and doing pointless blogging? Why indeed!

Before I treat you to a week’s worth of photographic silliness, how about some recipe crushes? I am glad to start stockpiling lots of lovely autumnal ideas because I know that pretty soon the veg box is going to be stuffed full of root veg and apples……

I got a new tattoo and was brave as usual….. Thanks OF COURSE to the super lovely Hannah at Rain City who always indulges my silly requests perfectly.




See how brave I am? *strong arm emoji*

I’ve been trying to keep on top of my studies but the past week has been a total bust. I had a great conversation or three with the wellbeing team at my Uni, and they’re lining up some support for me, but it won’t happen immediately so I’m just kind of hoping I won’t eff things up too badly for the time being LULZ.


I toddled over to visit Emil earlier this week, and finally got to meet his super cheeky kitty cat Kobi. He also whipped up a DELICIEUSE pumpkin risotto and maple nutty Quorn chick’n fillet yes pls.




On my way to Emil’s I came across this tremendous haunted house, which I’ve seen before in the past but it’s really looking SUPER creepy these days.


Some nice walkies were had yesterday, though my pooch fell into fits of terror as we passed near to a chap playing the saxophone. A little dog-carrying did, therefore, take place *eye roll*.





I think the saddest vegan-related news of late has been my cancellation of my trip to London to attend the ‘pro intersectional’ VegFest event at the end of this month. The line-up of speakers is a one-off, and is made up of a really special collection of folks. But the curse of being in The North strikes again and I really don’t have the funds to take a weekend trip to London right now. I am double disappointed to miss the chance to meet the amaaaaaazing Vegan Warrior Princesses themselves. You guyz, if you can get to London to take part in this stuff you should, I am pretty sure it will be fantastic.

For now, I will wish you all a bearable week ahead. Try not to take Monday too hard!

A Vegan Festival and a Walk In The Park

Hello friends, hello. How does your weekend proceed? I confess I have spent a lot of the time fast asleep in bed after another working week of….well, just being a grown up really. But I’m not too good at that these days. Poor Mr S-B has been thrust into the world of full time postgraduate study (With Science) in a most unforgiving manner. Still, we had bravely committed to attend the Vegan Organic Network‘s ‘abundance’ festival at Hulme Community Garden Centre yesterday, and so off we went.



I admit to rolling my eyes at the strong hippy element of the Vegan Organic Network’s events. I certainly could do without the stall selling the ‘Autism: Made in America’ and ‘Vaccinations: The Truth’ DVDs…. I could also do without spoken word events and TEN MILLION CHILDREN EVERYWHERE but that’s because I have a withered, black heart. A vegan withered black heart, y’know? Yay for the doggos and plants.





The garden centre itself is a wonderful little local delight, full of winding paths into hidden mini wildlife grottos and general botanical loveliness, and I would encourage everyone in Manchester (or even further afield) to check it out, whether you need garden accoutrements or just fancy a nice day out. It is super kid-friendly (for those of you without withered black hearts) and uses no animal products in its fertilisers, etc. There is a wee veggie cafe with vegan options, and the shop sells vegan cosmetics, household products, etc. The garden centre is currently trying to raise funds simply to stay afloat and I would recommend checking out their appeal here. It seems a really super community resource.

Of course, as well as the henna tattoos, Indian head massage and crystal healing folks (rolling my eyes so hard rn) there was a lot of flipping tasty food, and Mr S-B and me (mostly me) took full advantage….







Mr S-B may well have wanted to hang around enjoying the atmosphere of peace and sharing and acoustic advocating but I wanted to take my black heart home and so we headed on back to the homestead, all laden with cake.

Earlier that day we’d treated Vulpe to a nice l’il wander around our local, Alexandra Park. It was a fine, gloomy Autumn morn and I took these snaps which I invite you to enjoy, perhaps with a cup of tea and a large slab of iced lemon cake? (Oh sozzle if you don’t have a large slab of iced lemon cake, I DO.)


The lesser spotted Mr S-B, just after putting dog poop in a bin.








In S-B Towers we recently assigned Saturday night as CRAFT NIGHT, in order to schedule some non-study time together at least once per week. I was all set to get to work on a pink dinosaur embroidery for a friend of mine, and I ruined it all by sleeping from ~3pm-7.30pm. Whoopsie. I’ve done some work on the second topic of this term’s Anthrozoology module today, and so I think shortly I’ll go and start on some stitching.

I hope you all had a super weekend, bloggums folk. Did you do anything exciting or, not at all exciting? Tell me about it either way!

Change | tacos | Autumn | tiredness

Delamere Forest, January 2010
Delamere Forest, January 2010

This’ll be a jumble non-post, my blog chums, because my brain is well and truly jumbled lately. Mr S-B kept me up to speed with the seasons the other day, letting me know the Autumn equinox had been and gone. It’s still been pretty bright and warm here in Manchester though and I’m ready for some chilly mornings, darker nights and gloomy weather in general. This is my reverse S.A.D. in full swing, and these are some old Autumnal photos I dug out of my collection.

Smithills Hall, January 2010
Smithills Hall, January 2010

I started my new job last week; I’m back in higher education, working in the central quality and enhancement team for a nearby University. It was freshers’ week and a bit hectic. Fresh off a week or so of frantically finishing up six thousand words of essay-catch-up for my part time degree, as well as Training The New Person in the job I left, I went into the new role already feeling a little frazzled and the first week thoroughly defeated me. Mr S-B also attended induction at the University of Manchester for his MSc programme and so we’ve been in a bit of a collective daze, I think.

Somerset, November 2012
Somerset, November 2012

I’ve been easing back into the second full year of my distance learning Masters programme and was dreading discussing the requisite thirty hours of volunteering/work experience I was supposed to try and cram into my routine, as the basis for an Applied Anthrozoology module I’ll complete this semester. My feeble/fatigued condition, exacerbated at the time I think by also volunteering at a local donkey sanctuary, is what led to my break from study last year, and I’m desperately trying to avoid a repeat of my loss of academic (and overall) stamina. The programme leader was tremendously understanding and we discussed some ways I can still complete the module successfully. While my on/off fatigue continues to be investigated it’s a big relief to know I can still engage properly with my degree. At the moment I’m enjoying readings by Jonathan Balcombe, vegan scholar extraordinaire, and author of Pleasurable Kingdom.

Somerset, November 2012
Somerset, November 2012

Mr S-B and I helped our lovely friend Michelle celebrate her recent wedding last night. I took along a bottle of champagne, gifted to me by my most recent ex-co-workers (much to my surprise) and intended to quaff a glass or two of fizz and get to bed at an unreasonably early hour. Sometimes my sub-conscious takes over, my brain forgets that I’m 35 now and I get tired All The Time. I drank fizz and fizz and fizz and fizz and fizz. I can only imagine that I took the opportunity to fully cleanse my busy busy brain with plenty of prosecco. I woke up in quite some pain this morning, and Mr S-B was an absolute champ and brought restorative liquids and foods and medicines to my bedside, because he is the best of all the boyfriends. I suppose I must have had a insightful fizz-fuelled moment at 10.53pm (?)

After meeting Mother S-B for Sunday lunch today, I pootled on home to inhale some black bean tacos and spoon with my pooch, all by way of a satisfactory amount of housework.




These tortillas are made with blue corn which is kind of wow!

Mr S-B is/was in London today, visiting his sister and catching a gig she’s playing. I was planning to try and cram a couple more journal articles into my brain tonight, but my brain is crying out for a little rest before it’s back to work tomorrow. So I’m going to get into my jammies, make a cup of decaf tea and do some Not School Reading. It’s kind of hard to do working and studying and grown-up-being and all that stuff, all at the same time, especially when feeling all three kinds of tired* simultaneously.


How was your weekend, my blog friends? I sure hope you had a good one.

*My three kinds of tired: (1) is the yawny/not enough sleep tired; (2) is the physical ‘I did too much exercise yesterday’ tired; (3) is the deep-down brain and bone tired you feel when you haven’t stopped DOING for days or weeks and all your senses are over-stimulated and over-used and you really need to leave life behind for a little while and perhaps lie down on the pine needle carpet of a quiet forest and think about nothing whatsoever.

Beer Festivals and Making New Friends


It’s been a hectic couple of weeks here at S-B Towers; I’ve been madly trying to prepare for the second year of my Anthrozoology MA, and also gearing up to starting a New Job (Again). Both begin on the same day, so as usual the planets aligned and made September the busiest month. At least this year Vegan MOFO has moved to November which slightly ups my chances of successful participation. We shall see! As usual I will be keeping a close eye on my good friend Emil’s blog, as he never fails to sacrifice himself for the occasion.

For the past week we’ve been glad to host Ryan of T.O.F.U. Magazine. Ryan’s just started a big ol’ global tour of Here, There and Everywhere, and hopefully his week in Whalley Range didn’t hamper his enthusiasm too much! T.O.F.U. is a really great publication and you can buy back issues online; I’d really recommend checking it out, there’s some excellent content.

Ryan’s visit preceded his weekend of helping out at the Vegan Beer Fest here in Manchester, at the totally splendid Islington Mill (we went to a zine fair there not long ago), and of course Mr S-B and I toddled along for a nice quiet Sunday afternoon of beer and grub.


Knowing what a pair of old folks we are, and what with Vulpe spending each Sunday with her Dad, I chose to avoid the Saturday and leave that to the young ‘uns. We turned up at lunchtime today and there were a few folk milling around, but it was pleasantly not-too-crowded (I find myself becoming more intolerant of Other People these days; too much sensory input really overwhelms me after an hour or so). I absolutely stuffed my face with delicious goodies from Manchester’s own V Revolution and Mother May, and with sweets from Essential Vegan. There were enough beers for me to sample a few pale offerings, and for Mr S-B to try out multiple DARK stouty specimens, as is his wont….












Above is a cheeky extra shot of Salford Cathedral. The venue for the beer fest was actually a fairly short distance from my new place of employment (as of tomorrow, that is). I am returning to the safe embrace of higher education, making the most of my skills and experience and contributing to a great team that aims to keep the quality of teaching in taught programmes at a high level, and to persuade crusty old academics to embrace new learning technologies and use innovative teaching methods. After a disappointing few months at the (not so) dream job, I am glad to be returning to something I know.

Mr S-B starts his MSc tomorrow, and so it’s a week of new beginnings. I wish the very best of luck to all of you beginning or returning to study this week! Remember to follow Vulpe’s advice and get some relaxation time in….