Vegan cakes in the Lakes

Are you a city person or more at home in the countryside? Last week I got to go from my home in rural Cumbria down to London for the night and then back up for a night in remote Lake District. Talk about contrasts!

The trip down to London was a whistle-stop visit to see Adele at Wembley Stadium with my mum (potentially amongst the last people to see her perform live as she cancelled the two remaining nights after ours!). Whilst I’m not her biggest fan, Adele can certainly belt out a tune with her voice and her interaction with the crowd is some of the best I have seen. Plus my mum was happy so that for me = time well spent.

Being in London is odd for me now. Being a south-eastern girl, I used to visit London all the time. It felt comfortable. Now it is quite alien and uncomfortable. And I’m not quite sure why. I don’t think it is the current countryside living I am indulging in. I felt this way about London when I returned back from our travels. London has changed for me.

Whatever the reason underlying this odd unhappiness with London, I was relieved to be away from it again (though it was lovely to see my little mum!). Excited too as we were heading to my first vegan festival the next day and a night away in our little camper – always one of my most favourite things to do.

Cumbria Vegan Festival was a bit of a mixed bag for me. There was so much tasty food there to try. I had my first experience of jerk tofu, pulled jackfruit and a vegan meringue that was utterly amazing. Too amazing. It is seriously a good thing I don’t live near the bakery. This was all good. Thing was though if you don’t have much money to spend, there was not much else there. A few talks and films showing and that was pretty much it. I was kinda hoping for more advice and information on the vegan lifestyle. Paying an entry fee to then just buy things seems-well-a-little-rubbish to me. Maybe I expect a little too much.

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The good news was that the shop in the centre has an amazing selection of beers including the Samuel Smith brewery which does vegan beers! So we stocked up and then set off for Haweswater Reservoir on the edge of the Lake District. Bumping along single track roads in search of a spot to spend the night reminded me so much of our travels in Scotland as part of our Big Adventure – oh I want to do that again! We had hoped being a little cut off from the rest of the Lakes would mean it wouldn’t be so busy there. We were wrong.

Thanks to a little bit of patience and some fast manoeuvring, we got ourselves a perfect little spot overlooking the reservoir tucked at the end of the valley. Once the walkers (people who were walking the fells not the undead I hasten to add) had cleared off, peace and isolation reigned. And the weather rained.

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Tucked up in our cosy little home, this didn’t seem to matter and we chatted the evening away over our beers. We woke up to spells of sunshine and people arriving to enjoy the hills by foot, bike, 4×4 and motorbike (some nutters even turned up at 4am!) as we packed up and headed home.

Strolling up the hill/mountain/steep thing behind our camper was the perfect antidote to the unease of being in London and gave the perfect opportunity to take some more Haggis and Horse photos too. I regret that it has taken us till now, when our time here is running out, to explore and sleep more in our little house on wheels.

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Introducing Haggis and Horse

 

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Yes I know I am an adult. And to some people that may be too old for soft toys. Especially soft toys who travel with you. Well I am here to say no it is not. Why? Because I said so. So ner. *demonstrating my point with a seriously grown up response*

So who are Haggis and Horse? Or should that more be why?

The story starts with Horse. Well actually before Horse. The story starts with the animals of the Chinese zodiac. Thanks to our obsession interest in all things Japanese, we started collecting little squishy Japanese versions of the zodiac animals. We always had the animal for the current zodiac year on show. It was the year of the Horse in the year we started travelling. So we took Horse with us because that is obviously what you do when you go travelling.

Horse lived in the camper keeping himself to himself…until we meet Haggis in Scotland. This little fluff ball of a wild haggis starting creeping into photos and encouraging Horse to do the same. They became part of our adventures and made us smile.

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They kept fairly private until we all got bored at our airport motel in Auckland. A ceiling fan got involved and the cult of Haggis and Horse was born (cult = slight interest from our family and friends). Ever since then they have clamoured for more recognition and so we have started a page over on Instagram for them. (this has nothing to do with having way too many photos of them that amuse us).

Take a peek and give them a follow. You will want to. I mean look-at-them. See Horse’s jaunty angle and Haggis’s bemused, confused face. How can you resist?

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If we were having coffee right now…big news time!

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Hello! How are you? It is good to catch up again after 5 whole weeks since our last coffee and chat. What is your drink of choice for today? I feel a slight fraud with the title of this post as I am actually sitting here sipping a cup of tea…

If we were having coffee right now, I would be bursting to tell you our big news. We are going to be on the move again – yep – finally! The roots we put down in Cumbria have turned out to be only surface deep. First planned stop is back ‘home’ to Tokyo. Where we go after and whether we do head there first remains to be seen. ‘When?’ I hear you ask. Fingers crossed October – November time this very year!

If we were having coffee right now, we would talk about how this time round it is going to be different. How this time we will not be storing our possessions. Well not many of them anyway. I would tell you how bogged down we felt after our travels by the sheer amount of stuff we have. How tied down and overwhelmed. So this time we are selling most of what we have accumulated in our 22 years together. If or when we settle again, we will start again. Start afresh. I would tell you to let me know if you have your eye on anything of ours!

If we were having coffee right now, I would sadly tell you I will be closing down Mr B’s Button Jamboree in the next few months. Partly because of our plans. Partly because I feel too stretched with the writing, blogging and microstock photography. I would share my disappointment that I never got to develop it in the way I planned and pride in actually doing it in the first place. It took more courage than I actually thought I had. I would tell you this may not be forever, we shall see.

If we were having coffee right now, I would finally give you my exciting news about my blog. I have chosen its new name and am now designing its new look! No you are not finding anything out about it now! Patience!

My! What a catch up this has been with all sorts of big news from me! I feel I have monopolised the conversation slightly…what’s your news? What have you been up to?

 

Photo by ColobusYeti

Strolling and Street Art in Sheffield

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We went to Yorkshire Cosplay Con in Sheffield a few weeks ago so Phillip could do his thing and take lots of awesome cosplay photos (check out his ColobusYeti Instagram feed to see some of his work!). He got two press passes so I went along as the plus one. Now I like a little manga, anime and sci-fi, 2 days of it though is kinda not my thing. So one of the days I took myself exploring the streets of Sheffield so I could see some of its famed street art. Visual art means lots of photos and not so many words…a change from many of my posts. Hope you enjoy!

 

Charles Street:

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Brown Lane:

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Brown Street:

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On the wall of the Rutland Arms

 

Sidney Street:

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Even the skips are arty!

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Sylvester Street car park:

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Arundel Street:

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Here I found a suitable arty place to stop for lunch called ‘The Holt‘ where I had a rather scrumptious TLT (smoked tofu, lettuce and tomatoes with vegan mayo) and a lovely soy cappuccino.

 

 

Street art is not for everyone and some will see this as plain old grafitti possibly. I’m not a fan of someone simply lazily spraying their name without any real effort put in to it. This though felt like it gave character and life to this part of Sheffield and I for one loved it.

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Harry Brearley – inventor of stainless steel

 

 

Sunday Sunrise

Took ourselves off in our little Bongo for an overnight stop at Tan Hill Inn ~ the highest pub in the UK last night.

We had a slight food issue which was a little grrr.  Phoned to ask if they could cater for a vegan, they said yes, got there and they said no!  This inn is on the middle of nowhere and we had already sampled a couple of beers so we were driving nowhere.  Luckily we had enough breakfast with us to eek out 2 meals.  Oh and some frazzles!

The surroundings of the peaceful Yorkshire Moors with sheep and birds more than made up for it and this beautiful sunrise would have been worth missing a meal for (*possibly*).  Beautiful spot, beautiful morning.  Happy Sunday everyone!