I just got back from a quick break to Amsterdam for some Christmas shopping. It is a city I am familiar with and have visited multiple times. It is one of my favourite cities in Europe – especially at Christmas time. The last time I visited in 2015 the vegan scene really wasn’t saying much and I heard that was changing. Most foreign cities I visit that are supposed to offer a wide range of vegan food I have found rather boring and lack lustre and the food not as high quality as London. London is so multicultural we get a vast range of diverse food that is executed to extremely high standards. So lets say I went with have high expectations. I was only staying for 2 nights so wanted to try a new vegan restaurant as well as visit some old haunts.
On arrival in Amsterdam I was really hungry and I had heard great things about VJFB (Vegan Junk Food Bar) It serves what you would expect – loaded fries, massive burgers etc. This would definitely fill the hole! On arrival I found it was much smaller than I expected, very cramped with minimal seating. We found seats and ordered. I got the original VJFB which was a plant based beef burger, cheddar, lettuce, mayo with onion and salad and truffle fries . My companion ordered sweet potato fries, and the chick’n burger. Literally 3 minutes later the burger arrived. I was a little suspect that it came so quick and that the place was quite packed – was this a magic burger? I took a bite – it was stone cold, all I could taste was onion, the patty was not that tasty and was saturated in sauce. Too much salad and an un – toasted bun also was not appreciated. The fries were in fact chips and where I had expected a replica of thin and crispy truffle fries with a light sprinkle of parmesan, the chips were big, soggy and looked like they had half a tub of fish food dumped over them (nutritional yeast). I could not eat my chips as they looked so hideous and swapped with my friend who had the sweet potato, however after a couple of bites he couldn’t eat the parm chips either! Disappointed was an understatement and the bill with drinks came to over £35! Totally ridiculous. I do not understand the hype of this place. The burgers are apparently just regular burgers you buy in the supermarket so the inflated prices are really unjustifiable. Service was terrible, the waiter was dancing around the shop, forgot our drinks, so I had to help myself and it was very chaotic and not an enjoyable experience in the slightest.
The next day I went to the Banksy exhibition at the Moco museum which was fabulous. Moco were also showcasing artwork from Icy & Sot, Keith Waring, Basquiat, Damien Hirst and Yayoi Kusama to name a few. All of these artists I am massive fans of, so I was thrilled to have stumbled across it. Amsterdam is fantastic city for people who are into art and it’s culturally a very vibrant and upbeat city.
After last nights debacle with food I wanted something I was familiar with, so I went to the vegan Maoz. It does have vegetarian branches but due to the rise in veganism, decided to open a fully vegan branch which is fantastic. Maoz is a great place to eat and it has never let me down, it’s quick, plentiful, healthy and fills you up. They offer pitta with fresh felafel and a range of salads you can add yourself, as well as salad boxes. I used to be a regular visitor to the London Soho branch, however it closed briefly and reopened and now sells chicken as well as a decrease of salad toppings. I was really disappointed and after my last visit in the summer and will not return. I was very happy that this Maoz has stuck to the original concept and the salad options were exactly the same as they were 15 years ago.
My first stop in Chile was the Atacama desert, the driest place on earth. The town was dusty and dry reminiscent of a Wild West film. There wasn’t much options for vegans, the vegan cafe I did visit offered cakes and snacks but nothing mind blowing. Whilst I was there I did take in a stargazing tour which was interesting. I have never seen the stars so clearly in my life!
Santiago is such a massive city, it goes on for miles! The mountains nestle the city and it bustling and fast paced. I was staying here for a few days before my onward journey to Patagonia and I intended to get some relaxation in especially with the beautiful weather.
Famous for the wine, I had to visit the vineyards and decided on the Santa Rita bike tour. Picturesque with rolling valleys, I could not handle the wine tasting which started promptly at 11am. As much as I will be a wino forever it was way too early for me. In Central Santiago a visit to San Cristobal is a must! Taking in the views at the top where you get panoramic views of this vibrant, cosmopolitan city. In terms of eating I had some success but expected more from such a large city. The shopping here is good and there is a large mall – Costanera which had all the usual high street shops as well as a large food court where you could also get fresh smoothies and juice.
Mercado Central is full of touristy restaurants in the centre specialising in seafood and a fish market which obviously didn’t interest me. The Plaza De Armas was a massive square surrounded by government buildings, and tourists. The Chilean people were friendly and courteous and I enjoyed my time there immensely. They have a vibrant nightlife and a range of bars in the Bellavista district as well as some decent restaurants.
My last stop before I headed back to Santiago was Patagonia. If I was to do it again I wouldn’t do it solo. The hikes were lovely and had beautiful scenery and I never felt unsafe but I think its better to hike with someone for safety reasons and for the company. I did see other women hiking solo and met some cool people on route to stop and chat with which was lovely. From Puerto Natales I went to Torres Del Paine. It was even more spectacular than the photos, I am not usually left in awe but the mountain views, the guanacos grazing it felt like a movie.
After that I headed to El Calafate so I could visit Los Glaciares National park and see the Perito Moreno Glacier. It is one of the most spectacular sights I have ever seen and the occasional thunderous crash of the ice hitting the water added to the spirit of the place. I then went El Chalten which was a cute town and done the relatively easy and scenic 11 mile trek to Laguna Torres. This place was trekkers paradise and the beauty blew me away.
In Ushuaia I trekked up Marcial Glacier, which was a little slippery and you definitely need hiking boots for that one! It was a little disappointing and I would not bother doing it again if I hd the choice. I managed to squeeze in the Beagle channel cruise in Ushuaia and saw the sea lions which was something I will be ticking off my bucket list.
I will be visiting South America again at some point in the near future as there is so much more to see. Even though I had a couple of months it was not near enough time to see everything on my list. If anyone is planning on visiting and have any questions please do not hesitate to send me a message. 🙂
My gut instinct told me from the beginning but I ignored it. There were signs over the years but they were denied and lied about. I was made to feel that I was going mad. I was the one who had the wild imagination, I had the issues when actually I was looking at the situation logically and calling it how I saw it. The reason why I have chosen to speak about this subject is because you don’t really see it on the internet much with all the details. I want women to know the signs and to assure you to always trust your instincts. I have some very close gay male friends who have told me they sleep with married man on the regular so I guess it is fairly common. Maybe some women are happy with an arrangement, and some turn a blind eye – either way thats not me. I have been struggling to write this post, not because its painful for me to tell the story, I just don’t know where to begin. I could start with the list of things I have found and what has been said to me over the years to try and diminish me and make me feel unworthy because he was struggling with his own demons regarding his sexuality and took his frustrations out on me. This was totally unfair but I knew why he was so nasty to me, I am not excusing his behaviour. It is not like I didn’t give him countless opportunities to admit his deceit. If anything I should have been the one person he could have told and I would have been ok about it to a certain degree. I feel utterly disrespected that I have given countless chances and they were brutally rebuffed. I don’t look at this relationship as twelve wasted years because I pretty much did my own thing too. I knew what I was there for, he wanted my womb to rent obviously. He came from a traditional Indian family and was the youngest and I believe the favourite. Mummy dear desperately wanted him to have a child and thats where I fitted in – his ultimate fag hag. I looked good, was intelligent and could cook and keep a clean home. He knew I had a wild side though, he knew I liked to party and had a little dabble from time to time. I was abundantly clear about who I WAS from the beginning. I am not someone who will be told what to do which seems a prerequisite of most Indian men. I will not be under the thumb. I will not stay at home whilst you gallivant around dogging, cottaging or whatever the fuck it is you get up to. I will not play the dutiful wife when you cant even be honest.
I met Vagish when I was 18, I encountered him at my first proper job. I thought he was a prick. Pulling snide faces at people, acting haughty and superior all the things I despise probably because they were characteristics that I associated with myself being the immature and shallow girl I was back then. One night I was convinced to go for work drinks, we ended up chatting and I think we both admired that neither of us gave a flying fuck on other people opinions. All the qualities I originally disliked about him vanished as quickly as my drinks! Sure he was obnoxious but he made me laugh and after a couple more drinks thought he wasn’t too bad personality wise. It transpired he lived 10 minutes up the road from me so we ended up getting the tube home together. Our friendship grew, and became a relationship, however our relationship never felt solidified, he never ever felt like a boyfriend – he was more of my gay best friend I occasionally slept with.
In the beginning of our courtship Vagish asked do I know what dogging is? As a naive yet streetwise 18 year old I actually didn’t. He asked me would I ever do it? Sounded like a fucking proposition to me. After looking up exactly what it is I laughed in his face, laughed until I cried and told him firmly that is not my kind of party. Later on I thought about it – HE clearly has an interest in this and I thought ok he’s a little freak nasty but who am I to judge as long as he didn’t do it and put my health at risk its all good. A few days later I went to lunch with my dear friend Tim who happens to be gay and I sought some much needed advice and bitchy gossip. Whilst talking over our Wagamama’s I retold the tale and asked – do you think Vagish is gay? I mean he dresses snappy, is quite effeminate and asked me about dogging – I think I wanted him to tell me he wasn’t – god this sounds so childish when I am actually writing it! Tim’s response was babes my gaydar cant even tell – but If I had to make a calculated guess I’d say yes but I’m pretty sure you know he is already otherwise we wouldn’t be having this conversation! A couple of weeks later Vagish went on a weekend break with a guy ‘friend’ and only told me about it 3 days before – this friend was gay and I later found out they shared a bed because the hotel apparently didn’t have 2 singles? Really OK. However I had to let that go as I had no proof, but my gut instincts told me everything I needed to know. So the next step on my agenda was to see if he like toys so I ordered a vibrator and he was totally on it, a bit of a surprise because despite my sneaking suspicions I was still in denial. I then promptly took him to a good night at Heaven ( well known London gay club) before it became a complete tourist trap! He pretended he wasn’t into it and held our coats at the bar. I wandered out of out of sight and got a good view of him and I could see him leaning into men and brushing himself on them. I thought this was kind of funny yet an eye opener with him acting all faux disgusted by the gyrating guys on the dance floor but secretly wishing he was one of them. He always used to ask me weird questions about my gay friends like: who do you think gives it to who? Why the fuck do you care so much? Vagish made out as if he was joking but I could see the curiosity but without proof I couldn’t do anything. Or that’s what I told myself…
A couple of years later his dad died, we were 3 years into the relationship and our communication had declined quite rapidly as I didn’t appear to be turning a blind eye to the obvious lies and indescretions, yet after coming out of an emotionally damaging relationship previously and investing my effort in this so called relationship I was not prepared to give it up. Due to the fact I had never so much even been given an invite to meet his dad I declined to go to the funeral. I am not a hypocrite. I am not going to look sad and full of anguish for someone who wasn’t bothered about meeting me in life nor was I going to hold Vagish’s hand and tell him its all going to be alright when he had been lying consistently to me. The reason I did not get to meet his dad was clearly because of my heritage. I am a mixed raced woman and proud of it. Indian people are very racist – being White is alright, and Vagish’s sisters were married to White men, but they almost acted ashamed of being Indian. Later on down the line his own brother made a racist comment about me whilst in my home when he thought I was out of earshot. Vagish told me I heard wrong, then he said it was a joke. I know otherwise. I have never experienced racism before but it was an eye opener, and it was hurtful that I was being dismissed. Why did I expect anything else from someone who constantly lies to me? I was just there to serve a purpose. If they had the bare faced cheek to chat about me like that in my own house, I didn’t want to think about what they said behind my back! Vagish staunchly claimed his family wasn’t racist yet made derogatory remarks based on people race and creed on a regular basis. It sounds harsh that I did not attend the fathers funeral and people can say you could have left him but it wasn’t that easy. Its not like I didn’t love him but I wasn’t going to be a mug either. I had also got my hands on his phone bill a couple of weeks prior and I could se he had been making long late night calls and early morning calls to someone, clearly getting comfort from someone then. A lot of the calls looked like the person hung up quickly and he was repeatedly calling so I assumed the situation must have been tense with his other relationship too. I was secretly quite pleased someone was occupying him, as it saved me the trouble of pretending. Vagish later admitted he had been seeking comfort but didn’t say which sex the person was which spoke volumes – at this point I didn’t even care! I started up a short term relationship which was totally unhealthy and ended badly ( I will talk about that in another post) and didn’t see Vagish in a long time over 8 months. One would have assumed our relationship was finished but we still used to talk and gossip. Approximately 18 months later we appeared to rekindle our relationship. After six months I was casually sitting there one evening on my laptop and something told me to look in his car. I get these flashes of inspirational ideas and I believe this is my subconscious and instincts working together organically. If I was wrong I’d tell myself I am getting carried away but If there was a slight possibility I am right then I am right about everything! I rummaged around in the boot and underneath the carpet where the spare tyre was I found a massive bag of banana flavoured condoms? Funnily enough He doesn’t even like bananas ironically?! Or so he told me! I confronted him, he told me that he has them in the back of the car as part of a survival kit and that each condom holds a litre of water – I shit you not word for word this is what I was told. I said we are not in the middle of the fucking Amazon! I don’t think we will need to walk for miles on end carrying water in condoms we live in London! I felt pleased as I had some proof – I wasn’t going mad, but a manipulative person can make you feel like you are mad even when you have evidenceand that is him in a nutshell. A great liar usually makes you think they cant lie. Classic mind fucking. After this I made snide jokes to his face which he would shrug off and say I don’t care if you don’t believe me. There was nothing else he could say.
A couple of years later I decided to go travelling solo and before I took the plunge I went to live in Spain. Badly needing to get away from Vagish and his ever growing issues. Here was someone who made me feel I could not achieve anything and told me I could never do anything or get anyone better than him, or amount to anything, so I set out to prove to myself thats bullshit. After three weeks he begged for me to come home, I guess you don’t know what you’ve got til its gone. I came home after 6 months because it was winter and because it was no longer hot. I also had Nick a delicious specimen whom I had been seeing for a few months prior to me leaving London waiting for me back home so was fairly eager to see him. I got him to join me for my last week in Spain and we had an amazing time, I even got Vagish to meet me at the airport and introduced them – because I’m G like that.
After returning to London I started planning my solo tour. Nine months later I embarked on a whistle stop tour of Asia. By this time Nick and I were having a full blown love affair. Nick ticked all the boxes for me, apart from the fact he was damaged beyond repair due to a troubled and disturbing childhood and was a virgin at 27. No no matter he was hot and I wanted him so I snatched his virginity from him just like that. He was beyond grateful to me and I liked the adoration after years of neglect and no attention, it was lovely to feel wanted and needed by someone but with hindsight it was a totally unhealthy relationship to be in. It gave me comfort and thats all I ever wanted. Nick decided to come and meet me in Thailand for his 30th birthday, it was the first time he had travelled alone and I thought it would be good for his confidence to take himself out of his comfort zone. We were having a fabulous time in Malaysia and one evening before we were due to catch a flight to Singapore we decided to chill and watch a film. I put it on with the laptop that Vagish had supplied me with, and settled down. After about 20 minutes we were lying down and having a little slap and tickle, my phone starts ringing violently and repeatedly. Weird – everyone knows I am away and there is only one person who would call with such ferocity. I knew it was Vagish. What I also failed to tell you is Vagish was a software programmer extraordinaire so can you guess what he had done? He had installed a programme on the laptop that could see me through the camera that would send him my location via email and he had seen Nick and I getting real cosy. I was seized with panic for a minute, then I thought aww he cares in a creepy, psychotic way. Then I grew indignant and angry. He had been fucking around for so long and he can’t stand a dose of his own. The ball was now firmly in my court and I did exactly what he did to me – I told him he was imagining it, despite the photographic evidence which he proceeded to repeatedly send me over the next 3 days. I felt kind of bad, but reminded myself he had been doing it for years and at that point in my life this was an eye for an eye. I firmly told him if you don’t like it leave. Neither of us ever did though. After I returned home Vagish and I were really at each others throats but still decided after 8 years we should live together – crazy I know! I think we were scared of being alone if I’m honest. We found a house, but it never felt like home. He reminded me of this everyday and told me over and over that I wouldn’t be able to afford a home if it wasn’t for him and that I didn’t deserve to be there and would not care if I died today. Everything was moving rapidly downhill and I started to see more of the disgusting person he actually was. I am a clean freak and would spend hours meticulously cleaning, for him to come home and piss in the sink out of laziness!? He was a hoarder, I am a neat freak and on top of this he was continuing his disappearing acts under the guise of having ‘customers’ and fixing their computers. This was a lie I was told from the beginning of our relationship. The lie changed after I said its getting boring and the new lie was he was going to the gym for yoga. I said for someone who goes to the gym you have no muscle tone and your still chubby. So he stopped eating. and started popping laxatives as he said he was always constipated, mmhmm ok hun – now I know why you suffered issues dow there. I also showed up at a gym one evening he claimed to be in and it was shut. He came home and confirmed he had been there. I never told him I went to the gym and saw it closed as I was embarrassed I even went there and wasted my time on a lie I knew wasn’t true.
The bickering became a daily routine, my tearful recriminations of him being gay him denying it, my cousin seeing him on a date with a guy, the receipts of hotel visits. Him getting new ugly clothes, growing a man bun thinking he was some kind of Paco Rabanne model! The final straw was one evening my best friend Adam and I were chilling watching a film with Vagish and having a drink. Vagish had asked us to come over as he hadn’t seen me in a couple of weeks as I had been staying at my mums trying to get my shit together. I knew he missed me, I had missed him a bit too – not enough to come back to the house and live though! Half way through the film I dozed off and was woke up by Adam who said lets go and get another bottle of wine. We walked up the road and Adam said you do know he is fucking sitting there flicking between two sites and chatting up guys on Tinder! Vagish was so drunk he had shown Adam the phone by accident. Adam was totally livid and disgusted and said he will not tolerate me being disrespected like this, especially right under my nose. So we left there and then. I thank my lucky stars I have a best friend like that. I moved out properly and immediately. I was tired of being lied to, tired of it being spoken to like a fucking dick and tired of being told that I didn’t amount to anything. My mother did not give birth to me to be taken for a ride by some confused man who is running from his sexuality! I am not writing this for people to come and say to me well he hasn’t admitted it – the facts speak for itself, the evidence speak for itself. He would only get off when we had sex if I stroked his anus and pretended he was fucking me in the ass! There is so much more I have missed out because I have already wrote a fucking essay but I KNOW he is gay, he KNOWS I know. He even admits it now by saying in it a sarky mocking undertone and that is his way of admitting it. You see he is the type of person who lies and rubs the lie in your face as a joke its a clever way of taking the piss out of someone you think is below your intelligence. Later on if the lie was to be found the person can say I mentioned it. That is so messed up!! The long and the short of it is he came from a long line of lying cheating men. His brother is CFO of a finance company at present however what his current employer doesn’t know that a mere 14 years ago he was jailed for embezzling cash out of the last firm he worked for and served 6 months in jail. His family only found out because his girlfriend ( who they didn’t know about) and who he kept secret due to her being Muslim was worried they would think he was dead! Wow! The same brother who cheated on his newly married wife, called her a gold digger to the family and attempted to marry a young Muslim girl whilst still being married – now thats fucked up. The reason why I stress Muslim is that Vagish’s family are so intrinsically fucked up is they were more bothered that the girl was Muslim rather than the actual acts of Vagish’s brother! I am so happy and blessed that I got out of such a horrid and toxic family. They have money and think that is what makes them superior but they are unhappy and mean spirited and that is putting it nicely. The husbands of Vagish’s sisters are down trodden and only stay together for the sake of the children. I know this because one of the husbands told me he made a big mistake marrying an Indian girl and that she is rude to his mother, hence his mother’s dislike of her. Vagish’s mother is pleasant to my face but turns a blind eye to both her sons indiscretions. I even told her that Vagish cheats. She said no, no my son wouldn’t do that. Children are a product of their environments and she clearly done a bang up job raising four horrid, cheating, lying and judgemental people. I am not saying all Indian people are like this, and I have some wonderful Indian friends with morals who are not racist, but this is my experience within this Indian family.
A couple of months later I decided to get some stuff out of the house, Vagish had not been spending a lot of time there – new found freedom I guess and I had shit I wanted to get out of the house so I waited until I knew he wouldn’t be there – first thing in the morning. Not going to lie, I also wanted to be nosy, I walked into our old bedroom and opened the wardrobe I was nearly decapitated by something that fell on my head. I looked down, to my horror and disgust it was anal beads – beads that had clearly been used. A wave of disgust and nausea washed over me, I looked up on the top shelf and there was a bag, I pulled it down what I found I was not expecting! There was a big bottle of lube, bags of condoms, a massive vibrator clearly expensive (he likes premium sex toys obviously) being the classy guy he thinks he is. I even found women’s underwear, underwear that he had bought me! So when he had purchased them he had been buying a set for himself too! I also found a butt plug in a bag, it was used I could smell it – gross I know. I also found a a cock extender (WTF?) – I had to google what this was! I sat down I was shaking, my foot was twitching. I felt so sick and I did not know what to do. Everyone can say well you knew all along, but when you are confronted with evidence the feeling is not what you expected. I didn’t feel vindicated, I didn’t feel like doing the dutty wine chanting I’m right. I felt utterly exhausted over the years of lies and deceit.
The door bell rung downstairs. Who the fuck is this?! Whoever it was their timing was impeccable. It took all my strength not go to pieces and trash the whole house. I went down and opened the door demurely – it was his brother in law, the semi hot French one. The same one who told me me he made a mistake marrying an Indian girl as it’s too much aggravation – well welcome to the fucking club. It took me all of my self composure to not scream at him and reveal what I found and that Vagish is a lying bum bandit! My acting was world class. I came across as dignified, polite and made friendly chit chat for what felt like an eternity – I deserved a fucking oscar! He said Vagish has not been seen for a couple of days and his mum was worried as he makes his ritual call to her every night and he didn’t last night as well as not picking up the phone this morning and not made his regular morning call to mummy dearest either. Wow the D must be good – very good! I wanted to say he was with his BF but out of misplaced loyalty I kept my mouth shut. I smiled sweetly and replied ”his phone must have died”. He seemed convinced. After he left I went back upstairs and started rummaging around, he had a large Arsenal football club jacket on the rail, the kind of jacket that they wear on the sidelines with the massive pockets. What I found in pocket one was a sight I will never forget. Three dildos in velvet bags, the pink rampant rabbit style dildo had large blond pubes over it, I sank down to the floor – in the other pocket about 13 blackberry phones filled the pocket to the brim. To me it was obvious this was his dogging/cottaging jacket where he would go out like a fucking night stalker and fulfil his kinky and dirty fantasies. My disgust turned to anger again. I have a phobia about diseases and here he had been clearly doing this for years, my man was a fucking veteran out here! What if he had caught something? Granted I can see he uses condoms, but what if there had been an accident? What if he had contracted something? I would have still been there living my life oblivious! I know gay men are promiscuous and thats the choice some of them make, but if you want to do that don’t pretend you need a woman for whatever reason and put her life in jeopardy. Luckily for me I never caught anything but that has always stayed in the back of my mind. For anyone who was interested in his shit response at me finding his freak nasty sex stash, he claimed that he found it them at work, then it was one of his yoga friends gave him the pink one to fix as it was broken (I checked they all worked and all fully charged). Lastly was that the big large premium vibrator was for massaging his back! Finally I was told it was his business that did not concern me. OK – I’m dead!
Here is a guy who earns £13,000 a month contracting, yet doesn’t want to pay service in a bar or restaurant when he is with me, he will however when he’s in a gay bar or hotel bar (I saw the receipts). He sells printers he gets for free on Gumtree for a fiver, and as far as I knew was the thriftiest person I knew, and thrived on that fact. After years of him being a tight wanker, I was more livid that he had us trying to live a certain cheap way, not buying food making me pay for lots of things when I earned not even 15% of what he did yet here he was spending money on random hook ups without a second thought. It reminded me of a time in the early days he gave me a Tiffany & Co bracelet when they were all the rage. He gave it to me on the corner of Selfridges which was opposite our old work place and I thought it was really sweet as it was only a couple of weeks into our relationship. He then proceeded to take me to Gucci where he bought himself £200 dog tags. As time went on I used to see other people bracelets and mine looked kind of different and eventually it broke. One day at work I was talking to one of the guys who and he told me it had been a knock off that Vagish had bought off him. So the way I saw it and the way it is Vagish was mocking me by giving me some shit piece of tat whilst lavishing himself and rubbing it in my face without me knowing and thats the sort of nasty person he was. I confronted him about it and he laughed – just sums our relationship up from the get go. All the while taking his boyfriend out on my birthday and using my oyster card. I knew because I logged into his account and my account and could see the journey they were taking to Westfield. Ah totes adorbs hun.
The most common things I was told about myself in Vagish’s words over the years was – your existence is pointless, I don’t like you, your empty, you don’t enjoy your life you have no career, you are the mistake I made in my life. You can’t take words back once they are said and when someone says nasty horrid things to you over and over you start to feel worthless and believe it, even a little. Nobody has ever disrespected me in this way and nobody ever will again. If anyone is caught up in this kind of relationship, even if your significant other is not gay, find the strength to leave. You deserve better and there is better out there.
There have been loads of incidences I have missed out as there have been too many to summarise. We were the ultimate best friends when it was good. We laughed together, took trips together yet the passion wasn’t there. I guess we using each other in different ways when you look back on it. So with all thats been said and done my only piece of advice is don’t live a facade. Don’t even try to find the truth as you already know. My mum always told me to go with your gut instinct and when I haven’t I flopped hard. It is so important you surround yourself with positive people who inspire you, and people who want to see you do well and evolve. Don’t settle for sub standard relationships or anyone who takes advantage of you or is using you for their own gains. I lost a lot of time trying to get my own back and was living an unhealthy life which made me unhappy in the long run. I never look back on things with regret and I am am happy I lived through all of it as it has made me who I am today and has equipped me to not settle for anything less than a loving relationship.
I love bread & this is one of my favourite & most simple bread recipes. I do use a mixer to knead the dough as I don’t have time to do it myself and it cuts out lots of time. You can knead it and you would have to spend about 15 minutes doing this when I use the mixer. If you like that arm work then this recipe is def worth it. Serve this with salad if your feeling healthy. Alternatively if your feeling really greedy and want a carb overload like me – potato wedges are the way forward! Long live carbs!!
1 Red Pepper
1 Yellow Pepper
1 small Red Onion
Tsp of dry Oregano
Tsp of dry Basil
Salt & pepper to taste
1 Tbsp of olive oil
Fresh Basil for decoration (optional)
3 ½ cups (500g) bread flour
7g sachet dried yeast
2 tsp salt flakes
2 tbs caster sugar
300ml warm water
2 Tbps olive oil
Prep and roast your veggies – slice peppers and onions long ways, and half the cherry tomatoes. Add oil, salt, pepper and oregano & basil and put in the oven at 180c. These normally take about 45 mins as the liquids need to come out of the veggies so to not make your bread soggy. Let them cool slightly before putting on the bread.
Dough – The prep time for the dough is 10 mins approx
Split the dough into 2, or you can have one big focaccia – the choice is yours! 🙂
Attach the flat beater to the stand mixer. Combine the flour, yeast, salt, sugar in the bowl. Mix on speed 2 to combine.
Add the water and the oil and mix until mixture just comes together.
Change to dough hook, knead on speed 1 or 2 for 5 minutes or until soft and smooth. Roll into a ball with lightly floured hands.
Place into an oiled bowl, cover with a clean tea towel or plastic wrap and prove 1 – 1 ¼ hours or until nearly doubled in size.
Preheat the oven to 180c. Grease a baking tray, I lay grease proof paper and a tsp of olive oil to coat.
Roll into a circular shape around approx 9 inch diameter (if you are doing 2 focaccia). Top with the cooled roast veggies. Drizzle with a Tsp of olive oil and add extra herbs. Some people let it prove before this but I just pop it straight in the oven and it comes out great!
Bake 15 minutes then reduce the temperature to 190C and bake a further 10 minutes or until golden brown.
When I started this blog I was full of so much enthusiasm for writing and creating. I put up some posts of my recipes and started writing about my travels but something was off. I didn’t want to do what all the other bloggers were doing I wanted to be different. Whats different though? OK – I had barely got started yet and already felt I didn’t fit the blogger mould or belong in blogosphere. There are so many great blogs out there and I respect how they can earn their living. Why not become influencers and make a shit ton of cash if you can? Best of luck to them but thats not me. I was also blithely unaware of how much hard work and dedication it takes in the upkeep of a blog and to stay relevant.
As the start of 2018 got underway I felt out of depth, juggling work, travelling and the increasing pile of responsibilities. I was suffocating and felt a stifling need to run away from it. So I stopped writing, stopped uploading, stopped everything. Deleted my Instagram full of pictures of food I had taken – all gone with a hit of the button. I felt relieved and free. I didn’t want to sell myself, help others flog their products or pretend the world is a sunshine filled happy place whilst munching on a vegan burger outside on a rainy Sunday afternoon taking a million photos of said burger. It made me happy for a while that people liked my recipes and pictures but long term that wasn’t me. The world is a sucky place and hell yeah I am totally grateful for the life I live. I’m healthy, eat well, travel frequently, have a supportive family & some dope friends but the subjects I want to talk about are not usually found in blogs. Now as we are drawing to the end of 2018 I decided I will just be me and if you don’t like reading, I couldn’t care less.
I don’t know who can relate, but in my life whilst pretending I have got my shit together, not knowing what I am really supposed to be doing people have said to me – you should do something you enjoy. Err?? I enjoy going out and partying can I get paid for that said my 25 year old self? No really if that was an actual job offer I would have snapped that up and got myself a hell of a promotion. Alas this was real life, so I booked a flight to Spain – if I am aimlessly wandering might as well do it on a beach. Whilst living in Spain and enjoying being on my lonesome, I came to the conclusion that I might as well make it a more permanent thing and do some soul searching whatever that was? I decided to travel alone for longer periods of time on my quest to find something I enjoyed doing. I went off travelling for a few months to rid myself of toxic energy and my shitty boyfriend (we’ll get to that in a bit) I came back restless and wanted to be anywhere but London so for a couple of years I bounced around doing contract roles, chilling with friends in Germany, partying, taking the odd six week holiday, but I knew this was all fleetingly temporary. I needed to figure out what my purpose was, and how I can make a difference. I won’t lie I am still thinking and evolving and will continue to do so. I also understand I need to be present and enjoy the journey. I’m in a much better place than I was at the start of the year and have exercised some demons and this is why I can share my short stories, life diary and anecdotes with you.
People have always said you have a strong personality, um isn’t that a nice way of saying I’m a complete bitch? You say bitch like its a bad thing hun…. Ok so I don’t like being told what to do, I can’t stand injustice and I’m vegan so yeah I’ll be a strong personality. Granted my mouth has no filter and I generally gave zero fucks about telling the truth since I was a child – this has landed me in all sorts of situations. Good things, bad things, lessons and blessings, I wouldn’t have had it any other way. I truly believe everything happens for a reason. I’ll be bringing up some uncomfortable topics, and situations that have happened, are currently going on – basically my life in a nutshell which you may or may not find interesting.
So I sit here sipping a large glass of Merlot, and never have I been more decided about how I will use this blog. This will be my place to vent and talk about experiences good and bad. I’m not here to sell you a dream, just keeping it real as possible. I just want to talk about shit thats happened to me, start positive conversation with like minded individuals and share the odd recipe. Keeping things, classy, authentic and honest.
Ethiopian food is extremely vegan friendly – lots of legumes and veggies with pungent warming spices! Yum! It made perfect sense that I attempt to make this hearty dish on this cold winters day.. This was my first attempt at making Chickpea Wat, and certainly not my last. Loaded with chickpeas, green peas, potatoes and carrots its easily adaptable and can be served with rice or any other grain of choice. It was extremely quick and easy to make I wish I had made more! Typically this dish is served with injera (flat bread) but I am yet to attempt that recipe, I will try one weekend soon and let you know how I get on!
1 carton of chickpeas
1 carton of chopped tomatoes
1 red onion
3 cloves of minced garlic
1 tsp of minced fresh ginger
1 tsp of paprika
1 tsp of fenugreek
1/2 tsp of black pepper
1/4 tsp of cinnamon
1 tsp of cumin
1/4 tsp of ground cloves
1/2 tsp of ground cardamom
1/2 ground coriander
1/2 tsp of cayenne (all depends on how hot you like)
1 cup of frozen green peas
2 medium carrots
3 red potatoes
2 tbsp of olive oil
Salt (I used 1/2 tsp)
1 cup of water
Fry the onion in olive oil until soft
Add the garlic , ginger & spice mix cook until the spices release the aroma
Add the chopped tomatoes and the cup water
Add the potatoes (quarters) and the chickpeas, peas and carrots, bring to the boil and put the lid on
Turn the sauce down and simmer for 45 minutes, occasionally stirring.
Cook until potatoes are fluffy and the stew is thick or desired consistency. I left on the hob after I turned heat off for a further 45 minutes but this is optional.
I have and always will be a pizza addict. I am usually partial to a Marinara with lots of garlic oil, pine nuts and olives therefore making this a new addition to the pizza family for me. This was the first time making this and it was delicious. Lots of Brussels sprouts at the moment in the UK so a great way to use seasonal winter veg & paired with the lemon give us the vibrant colours of spring!
2 cloves garlic
1 small leek
1 tsp of salt
1 cup of Brussel sprouts sliced
2 tiger lemons
Salt & pepper to taste
1 Tbsp of olive oil
Method: Fry the onion, garlic, leek & shallot in olive oil, add the salt and pepper. Once the mix is soft transfer to a bowl to cool.
The prep time for the dough is 10 mins
375g of plain flour
1 tsp of salt
3 tbsp of olive oil
225ml of warm water
small pack yeast 7g
2 tsp of sugar
Combine the salt, sugar, flour & yeast in a mixing bowl.
Mix in the oil & water, knead dough for 5 mins
Put some oiled cling film over the bowl with oiled side facing the dough
Leave the dough to proof for half an hour – I turn my oven on for 5 mins & turn off & leave the bowl on the oven shelf (don’t use a plastic bowl)
Pe heat the oven to 374ºF, turn the dough on a lightly floured surface or baking tin
Roll out in to a circular shape, add toppings – place in the oven for about 15 mins or until crispy around the edges
Top with pesto
One cup of peas
Small handful of fresh parsley & basil
2 garlic cloves
1/2 a cup of virgin olive oil
2 Tbsps of nutritional yeast
Juice off half a lemon
1 cup of cashews and Brazil nuts (mixed)
Place everything in a food processor & blitz to combine ingredients, add more lemon or oil until you reach your desired consistency.