Sunday, 12 November 2017

Going Eco: a Truthful Update

You may have read in September this year, that I am attempting to assuage my consumer guilt by reducing my environmental impact. In order to do this without overwhelming myself and therefore ultimately failing, I am trying to make small changes and be more aware of the way in which I live and how that impacts upon the environment. 

I have written before about breaking down large problems and finding tiny solutions to chip away at it. I began then, in May, to try to reduce my landfill output by using reusable face pads instead of disposable ones and stopping buying plastic water bottles. In September, I made a few conscious purchases to further lessen my environmental impact.

So, I may as well be honest here. This is, after all, my blog and I'm in charge of it. So if there is anyone reading it you may as well know what's really going on. Here's a breakdown of what has and hasn't worked for me on this quest for an eco lifestyle, failings and all:

Solid Shampoo Bars
I bought a Lush solid shampoo bar for £6 and was quite pleased with it. I did, however, find that my roots were greasy after a day which is not normal for me. I endeavoured to be more thorough next time, which I was. My hair still didn't stay too clean for long and, being the lazy washer that I am, I've started using the solid shampoo about only every third shower. Not a triumph yet.

Glass Fridge Jug
Love it. I've got two. One has never had anything it in and the other gets filled with tap water when I remember and put on the table for dinner parties. Must try harder...

Almond Oil
I'm sure it's a fabulous oil for skin. Haven't tried it yet...

Charcoal Soap
I bought Charcoalogy soap from TK Maxx and love it. It leaves my skin squeaky clean but not dried out. I did mention that I am a lazy washer so I do only use it a couple of times a week.

Reusable Cotton Pads
Now these I do use every day. I use them to cleanse my face with my micelar water, and to tone too. (I have bought witch-hazel to tone with but haven't yet).

I have toothy tabs from Lush for travelling but they taste vile and I've yet to get used to them. I also have their Atomic Tooth Powder which is better. But I love my Kiing Activated Charcoal Toothpaste that came from a vegan festival in Portsmouth. I haven't been using it every time I brush my teeth but a few times a week so far. It's minty and satisfyingly black.

Natracare Panty Liners and Sanitary Towels
The next best thing to non-disposables. These cotton pads are so much better than anything else I have found on the market. Team these with my MoonCup and a period is a dream (well, less of a nightmare than usual).

DIY Multi Purpose Cleaner
I made this one which works great but smells very strongly of vinegar (go figure) and has gone a less-instagrammable brown colour now...

Glass Containers
Mostly used for display in the kitchen to be honest but I'm also getting better at using them for fridge food storage.

Water Bottles
I have a reusable bottle that I bring everywhere with me with the exception of my holiday in Barcelona where I bought bottled water almost every day... I slipped! Forgive me.

Has anyone got any tips or recommendations? I'm loving trying to change my lifestyle but am struggling an some areas. Any haircare tips? That seems like the hardest part!



Saturday, 11 November 2017

Revisiting Oxford

From the ages of 19 to 22 I lived in Oxford. I started off at Brookes University for a year and a half and, after deciding that the course wasn't for me, continued living there for another year and a half, working in some incredible places. I had some of the best times and some of the worst times whilst living there. I learned how to be an adult, made a lot of friends (a few of which are among my closest friends now), learned how to be in a relationship and learned how to deal with a broken heart. It's a beautiful city and I hadn't been back properly for five years.

I have family in Oxford and have always loved visiting them. When Tom and I recently visited for a weekend, staying with my family, I was a little apprehensive about how I would feel about the city. I would see the houses in which I lived, walk past pub gardens in which I cried, parks in which I picnicked and buildings in which I worked. When I thought about Oxford, I felt a sense of loss and all the complex emotions from happiness to sadness echoed in my stomach. 

Oxford is a beautiful city. If you haven't been and ever get the chance to go there, please do. I needn't have worried about returning there at all because, although it was exactly as I left it, I wasn't exactly who left. I'm no longer the vulnerable newby-adult trying to figure out how to live. Don't misunderstand me, I am still a newby-adult and I am trying to figure out how to live, but I'm more or less comfortable in my search and familiar with my sometimes overwhelming emotions... and it turns out, Oxford is amazing regardless of the past or the present or the future. 

We spent the day wandering around the town, myself acting as a poor tour guide - 'I think that we're nearly there', 'I feel like there's a pub called The Red Lion (whose bouncer always I.D'd me) round this corner', 'I can't remember how far it takes to walk there but...'

A small part of me felt a sense of ownership over the city and I had pride in showing it off. We got caught in the rain in Christchurch Meadow and saw Greg Davies (the Taskmaster himself) in the Covered Market whilst we were having pastries. 

I took Tom to about the only eatery in which I was happy to part with my well earned money: G&Ds. George has three cafes in Oxford - named for each of his three dogs. They specialise in bagels and ice cream. Need I say more to convince you?

The Natural History Museum and the Pitt Rivers Museum were a joy to show to Tom. We spent hours wandering around, gazing in every cabinet, at each bizarre weapon, at each huge skeleton, at the shrunken heads and yes, we found the witch in the bottle. 

Both these museums are free, as is the Science Museum and the Ashmolean Museum of modern art and antiquities. The new library had a special Jane Austen exhibit on so we soaked up some literary history too. 

On the second day, we ambled down the canal to the pub we always visited with family around Christmas. It's as run down as ever, just how I like it. 

Have anyone else been apprehensive about visiting an emotionally charged place? 
Were you happily proven wrong, as I was? 



Friday, 10 November 2017

Visiting Barcelona as a Vegetarian & Vegan

Travelling when vegetarian or vegan can be tricky - and I'm not even talking about real travelling. A week in another European country can be difficult enough. We Brits, in general, are pretty embarrassingly useless at languages so rely on the intelligence and kindness of strangers abroad to know what we mean. Add that to cultural differences and, as a veggie or vegan, you may be in for a bumpy ride. 

You will have figured out by now, through this blog or simply through the above paragraph (nothing gets by you) that I am a vegetarian. I would call myself a vegan-curious vegetarian. Last week I had the enormous pleasure of travelling to Barcelona with my family and partner for one last fling with Summer before the cold weather really sets in. Myself and my sister were raised vegetarian and have chosen to remain so. My Mum has been vegetarian since the age of 16 and is now vegan. My Dad has been vegetarian since marrying my Mum. My brother in law and partner are vegetarian day to day but still eat a little non-veggie when out and about or when at home with their families. The six of us expected to spend the week gazing nervously at menus and opting for safe options of bread and salad. We travel together a lot and usually choose to buy food at a local supermarket to cook and eat in our apartment after a long day of exploring. We love this, but in Barcelona we were more able to engage with the local food scene than we have ever before because, guys, Barcelona gets it.

We kept coming across vegetarian and vegan restaurants, cafes and shops. Standard restaurants had vegan and vegetarian options and everywhere had beautiful fresh produce. We had more choice than we have ever had as a vegetarian travelling group in any other European city. The above picture shows Teresa's, a health food shop with fresh juices, vegan treats and meals. It's pricey but the window was packed with beautiful looking things. 

In Barcelonetta we sat down for a drink at a place called 'Makamaka' where my sister ended up having "the best drink of my life" and my Mum and I had a vegan snack of homemade seed crackers, a trio of hummus and carrots. Simple, amazing vegan food. Plus you get to sit here:

When we were in Amsterdam we found a vegetarian fast food chain called Maoz which sells falafel pitas with help-yourself salad and trimmings, alongside the best chips. We found another in Barcelona and that was one lunch sorted.

The market, La Boqueria, was a feast for foodie eyes. Veggies beware of the numerous stalls for fresh meat and fish - you might want to hot tail it through that bit. However, there are also numerous stalls with fresh fruits, juices, spices, dried goods and breads to gaze at. Plus, on the periphery were one vegetarian food stall selling wraps and burritos and one vegan place with some of the best falafel I have ever had and THE best tahini dressing. My Dad bought one, we all tried it, everybody bought one. The guy behind the stall was hilarious :"one won't be enough", he warned us. 

We were excited to find a restaurant called Vegetalia which has three premises within Barcelona. The whole menu is vegetarian and has vegan options. Not a stuffed pepper in sight. We had pizzas, paella, seitan, curry, burgers and vegetable crisps. The decor could do with an update as it certainly has a hippy 70s vibe (including wicker baskets on the walls) but it had its quirks  - in one of the restaurants the sink is a bucket with a plug in the bottom! The food was cheap and the staff were lovely. 
Veggies of Europe - eat there. 

Seeing as we were flirting with the last of Summer it would be foolish not to partake of a little ice cream. Most of the ice cream places had a selection of 100% fruit, vegan lollies. The above lolly was apple and raspberry, eaten in Park Guell. 

Almost every morning, my sister, mum and I would wander around the corner from our apartment in Sant Antoni to a little bakery called Macxipan where a wonderful woman helped us through our clumsy order for pastries. The best was a cone shaped pastry covered in a thick, crisp layer of dark chocolate. She would help us choose the one with the most chocolate: "Aqui? or aqui!?" I've never felt less silly for trying to speak a language of which I know none. 

Of course where there is food, there must be drink. Sangria and Mojitos were the theme of the week with a little limoncello and a lot of coffees for the guys. An amazing bar tender in a bar in Sant Antoni told us there was no menu, she could make whatever we wanted...

and whatever we wanted seemed to be the theme of food in Barcelona. 
Afterall, it's:


How do you other veggies and vegans find travelling around Europe? What are the best cities for v friendly eating? And, most importantly, how can I make that sangria at home?


Friday, 6 October 2017

Birthday Weekend in Winchester with my Instax

So far my 28th year is panning out pretty well. Last weekend my family tribe and I went to Winchester to celebrate both mine and my Mum's birthdays. It's fairly standard for our family to celebrate birthdays with a visit to a pretty city for views, history, architecture, food and shopping. Sometimes it's Brighton (the weekend before), Stroud, London or Lewes but this time Winchester was the order of the day.

Apparently Winchester has the has the highest rate of life satisfaction in the country. Now I can believe this: the city is beautiful, the cafe culture is heaven and the history is rich and palpable. Plus everyone seems to live in a mansion, so I'm sure that helps. 

I started my day off opening my birthday present from my sister and brother in law: a lime green Instax mini camera. My hipsterdom is growing at an alarming rate and it's fabulous. It takes heavenly credit-card-sized polaroid pictures that have the high-key retro charm of days gone by. The shots are limited and therefore every picture has to count. So far I've taken four, one of which is a failed attempt at a low light mirror selfie that ended up looking like a mystical keyhole in space, but it's a one off and it's 'abstract' now. No pressing the delete button and trying again.

I miss having a real film camera. One day, my dad brought me home a chunky black film camera and I put a big orange sticker with my name on it. There was something so special about choosing each shot and waiting for the film to be developed. This Instax camera brings some of that feeling back (but without having to wait weeks for negatives to be developed - hooray!)

Everywhere you look in Winchester there's a new view. Tiny winding alleys lead to rivers which read to parks which lead to castles and cathedrals.

I will definitely be back to Winchester for the Tudor Tour and the Jane Austen Tour, to see 'King Arthur's Round Table' and Winchester Cathedral. I will also be back for the crazy-amazing shops and this mossy wall of dreams:

P.S. Charity shops in Winchester are INcredible. I picked up THIS House of Holland budgie sweatshirt for £3.50 and a pair of navy Kurt Geiger heels for £10.  Budgies and heels for £13.50? Winchester, you little beauty.



Saturday, 16 September 2017

Consumer Power to the People

I have recently acquired a healthy dose of consumer guilt. You may remember my advice earlier this year of never looking at the big picture. Humans weren't made to be able to process anguish on a global scale and it can often feel overwhelming to think of everything that's wrong with the world and try to fix it. I'm not saying that we cannot achieve great things by being bold and brave but sometimes it's the little things that add up. 

I've always been somewhat of a hippy girl, an earth child. My Mum used to make her own beauty products, dye and sew clothes and dry hydrangeas around the fireplace. I have some of that power in me. I was raised in a vegetarian household that respected the world around us, spent time with nature, celebrate the seasons and valued history. But lately I've been having pangs of guilt. Without getting preachy here, we waste so much and throw away so much plastic that the earth can't cope. I've initiated the 'make a difference in small ways' strategy. I've decided to exercise my consumer power here by choosing to spend money on the things I value and to avoid things that cause a lot of waste.

I've started with a few (experimental) changes to my daily life, pictured above and explained here:

Solid Shampoo Bars

I recently read a post online about how much water is in shampoo and how backwards that is as you're standing in a cascade of water, duh. I bought this solid shampoo bar from Lush for £6 (eek) and a metal tin to keep it in for £2.50 that you can refill. It's blue and seaweedy and I'm skeptical but hey-ho. No plastic bottle to throw away! I have a lot of hair that always needs taming so we'll see how this goes. I only wash my hair twice a week so if I need to use it more often than that it's probably a false economy and false ecology (is that a phrase?). I've used it twice so far. I didn't use enough the first time so my hair was a little oily the next day. The second time I used it I did a better job and my hair is still clean 2 days later (I know, I told you I was a hippy). So far so good!

Glass Fridge Jug

I already have a larger one of these from Ikea that I love. I use it for tap water and like to put it on the dining table or just use it for cool drinks throughout the evening. This one was £3.99 from TK Maxx and I intend to use it for homemade almond milk but to be honest I'll believe that when I see it...

Almond Oil

I love essential oils and use them quite often for aroma therapy - lavender makes me sleepy and frankincense calms me down. I've been researching homemade beauty recipes and carrier oils come up a LOT. I bought this almond oil from a heavenly shop in Chichester called Manuka for £5.99. It;s in a glass bottle that I can reuse so there's no plastic waste! Although I have today realised that I maybe was supposed to buy sweet almond oil and not regular almond oil and I have yet to find out whether what I bought it the correct thing... It's a learning curve!

Charcoal Soap

I got this charcoalogy soap from TK Maxx for £3.99 for 3 100g bars. I was a little disappointed to open it and find that each bar is plastic wrapped - that kinda killed my Zero-Waste-Buzz but it's still better than a big tube. So far it's left my face feeling super clean. 

Natracare Panty Liners

These panty liners are organic cotton and are more about treating my body right than treating the earth right. I have a Mooncup which is brilliant but sometimes you need a back up. I've also got some reusable pads but I'm still adjusting so these Natracare liners are perfect for now. 

DIY Multi Purpose Cleaner 

Simple ingredients cleaning up my home in more ways than one. Read more here. 

Glass Containers

Boo to single use plastic containers. Yay to glass jars and bottles! Simples. No purchases necessary, I already have a LOT. 

And lastly, a few things I already did to help myself and the planet:

Reusable tote shopping bags - this is pretty much becoming normal now in the UK -hooray!
Reusable water bottle - I have a Hydr8 which nags me to drink more water. No throwing away plastic bottles.
Not showering every day - I use ecology as an excuse to be lazy, basically. Anyone else seen that video of the little girl who won't shower and wants her Mum to hold her ipad so she can watch it in the bathroom? "But I'm gonna be COLD"...
Mooncup - As above, it's the bomb. What are tampons about anyway?
Reusable cotton face pads- washable and no more throwing away a cotton pad a day.
Natural Deodorant -  from The Natural Deodorant Company. No aluminium, no nasties, glass jar. Smells heavenly. Actually works!  

So I'll keep you updated on all these little changes: which ones I'm able to keep and which I need to work on. I'm not sure how this less waste thing is going to work our with my printmaking... there's always quite a bit of waste paper, lino cuttings, scrap fabric etc. but I'll see how it goes. For me right now it's just important that I'm making some small positive changes.

Anyone got any tips? A little help here? 



Friday, 15 September 2017

DIY Multi Purpose Cleaner

Why do we have so many cleaners for our home? Do I need a separate cleaner for my kitchen surfaces and my bathroom surfaces? I've always been a little wary of cleaning products and prefer to buy brands such as Ecover and Method but now I've gone one step further by making my own multi purpose spray! It's all part of my personal campaign to keep a healthier lifestyle for myself, those around me and for the planet. 

This one was a pretty simple start and I already had all of the ingredients! I got the recipe from the Telegraph online - I used recipe 2 from the article because I have a huge clump of rosemary in the garden that I love to pick and use. Thanks Sarah Lonsdale from the Telegraph!

The recipe uses vinegar as its main component - I use vinegar to clean a lot already. It's the only thing that can get the limescale off our shower glass! To this recipe is added bicarbonate of soda (I keep an out of life pot under the sink for cleaning), tea tree oil and a drop of washing up liquid.

I'll admit, I did have to open the windows in the house whilst making this as the smell of vinegar was quite potent... but once it;s used as a spray the vinegar smell is very mild and the small of rosemary and tea tree are more prominent.  The tea tree and rosemary are antiseptic and antibacterial without the need for synthetic chemicals. 

When the cleaner was made, I poured it back into the original glass vinegar bottle and screwed on an old spray lid I had saved. It fit perfectly and eradicates more disposable plastic from the house! 

So far, so good. Right - I'm off to whittle some salad servers and concoct a sourdough starter...



Butter Bean Sumac Hummus

Do you ever spend the whole day at work thinking about what you're going to have for dinner? 

On Tuesday I spent hours thinking about socca. Socca is a kind of chickpea flour pancake that's absolute heaven with everything. My Mum recently started making it and we're all in love. It's quick and easy to put together and really feels like you've achieved something. I thought about socca at work. I told my friends at yoga that I was going home to make it. I thought about all the things I was going to have with it. I had planned to make The Hairy's Biker's socca with red onions and pair it with Deliciously Ella's sun dried tomato pesto.

I thought about Socca all the way home from yoga, opened my ipad to retrieve the recipes I had photographed from my Mum's cookbooks and then remembered that I didn't actually have sun dried tomatoes. You see we had done the shopping in tesco and although I had them on my list I didn't buy them because they are cheaper in Lidl. But I never actually went to Lidl. Rethink. 

Hummus. The perfect accompaniment to socca surely? My friend had actually suggested it when I was going on about it after yoga - " socca and hummus - too much chickpea?". I went to the cupboard to get the trusty tin of chickpeas that I always have in stock and lo and behold: no chickpeas. The odds were not in my favour but I would not be stopped. Socca would be had by me and my boyfriend this evening. I reached for a lonely tin of butter beans and thus this recipe was made: butter bean sumac hummus. 

1 tin butter beans
1tbsp rapeseed oil
1/4 tsp sumac
small clove of garlic
black pepper
pinch of salt

Blend everything together in whatever style of food processor you may possess. If you don't have one, mash with a potato masher and finish by beating with a fork. Let nothing stop you.

Sprinkle a little sumac on top because it's fancy and serve with socca, olives and any other accoutrement in your kitchen. Put everything into tiny bowls and eat at the table. On a Tuesday no less. And you didn't even have any chickpeas. 



Tuesday, 12 September 2017

Pizza from SCRATCH

As part of Bread Week (it's basically GBBO in here) we made pizza! I had plain flour in the cupboard and wanted a simple recipe without any faff so of course I turned to 'A Girl Called Jack' by Jack Monroe. If you haven't got this book in your kitchen, buy it now. It's budget store cupboard cooking at its finest. Nothing feels like you're missing out and you can serve all the recipes to your friends with pride. Buy it. 

This pizza dough is a tweaked from a recipe for Penny Pizzas, made into one very circle of heaven. 

I wasn't in the mood to cook a batch of tomato sauce for the topping and I'm not always a big fan of the slightly intense raw taste of tomato puree or passata. Here's my cheaty-no-cook-tomato-sauce recipe for those who want to spice up the basics:

1/2 carton passata
2 tbsp tomato puree
1 heaped tsp Chillish chilli oil (from Pollyanna's Kitchen, bought from the Chilli fiesta!)

If you don't have Chillish oil, drizzle in a tsp of chilli oil, a sprinkle of chilli flakes and a couple of chopped sun dried tomatoes. The finished sauce has a rich, deep flavour and gets rid of the rawness of the tomato. 

We topped with cheddar (or use vegan cheese or nooch), mushrooms, olives, peppers and basil. Yum.




Sunday, 10 September 2017

Living Room Transformation!

We started on our living room in February after our housemates had moved out. As you may remember, this room was once a bedroom at the front of the house. It was carpeted and the room was dominated by a large brick fireplace. The whole thing was really tatty and felt pretty bleugh so I was desperate to get in there and turn it into a living room again.  

Above is my original plan for the room. I am into warm greys in a big way and was desperate for a laid back grey sofa. I spent about an hour online gazing at worn rugs and finding out what houseplants I could keep alive.

We stripped the carpet and painted the floor with a Farrow and Ball floor paint (read the full saga here).  For a long time I was determined to rip out the old fireplace - I hated it so much. But after realising how much work it would be  (and we don;t actually own this house!) we thought we should try to paint it and see if it worked. I love it. We later added a solid rubinia mantel to even out the proportions and that made a huge difference.

My lovely dad came and built some heavenly book shelves. I've ALWAYS wanted book shelves like this. Tom and I spent a good couple of hours organising our books onto these shelves (we decided on by genre for the curious amongst you). 

£20 bought us this huge mirror to fill the entire chimney breast. We painted it in the same colour as the floor. In the reflection you can see that we got the exact sofa from the mood board - Ikea, Stocksund. 

Tom's grandparents had this beautiful rug in their garage which we were pleased to snap up. The armchair is from a university art project: the cushions are machine embroidered and the arms and fron are drawn on. It's so tatty but I love it all the same.

My houseplant dreams came true. Does anyone know what this plant is though?

We can't light the fireplace - the chimney is a disaster - 
but I've rekindled my love of candles in a big way. 

We've still got some artwork to put up, a light fitting to hang and shutters to build but all in all it's a pretty perfect living room for the two of us.



Wednesday, 6 September 2017

Flatbreads, Falafel and Tom's Slaw

Classic September mood. It doesn't seem to matter how long it's been since you were at school, September still feels like the start of a new year and the time to learn something. Last night I finished a yoga class (I know, I'm a stereotype but don't worry, I can't even touch my toes yet - more on that later) and I felt the need to achieve something. It was eight o'clock, I was half a glass of wine deep and there was one hour until The Great British Bake Off on Channel 4 +1...

and I decided to make bread. 

I started small though, and made these flatbreads with falafel and Tom's slaw. Here's how to do it:

Serves 2, 1 hour from idea formation to plate
For the flatbreads you'll need:
100g plain flour
pinch salt
1 tbsp olive oil
50ml tepid water
(this is based on the BBC Good Food Quick Flatbreads recipe - thank goodness for googling)

For the falafel you'll need:
1 small onion
Tin of chickpeas
Shake of cumin
Shake of turmeric
1/2 chilli (depending on the heat and your sense of danger)
1/2 grated carrot
1tbsp flour
2 tbsp tomato puree
Splash of rapeseed oil to cook

For Tom's slaw you'll need:
Little gem lettuce
1 carrot
1/2 tbsp olive oil
1/2 tbsp cider vinegar
Clove of garlic

Start by making the dough. Mix the flour and the water and then the oil. Knead on a floured surface for a few minutes. That way you know you're really making bread. Split the dough into two or three balls. 

Meanwhile, start the falafel. Finely chop an onion and tip it into a hot pan. Shake in about 1/2 tsp cumin and turmeric and grate in 1/2 a carrot. Making a falafel mix on the heat like this seems to give greater depth of flavour and cut out that raw taste you can sometimes get with falafel. Drain the chickpeas and add to the pan along with chopped chilli and the tomato puree. I like to add tomato puree to recipes like this as a binder instead of egg. That way, it stays vegan and it doesn't matter that I almost never have eggs in the house. Sprinkle in a tbsp flour and mash the mixture together with a potato masher. Mash until the chickpeas are mostly broken up and the mix starts to come together.

Split your mix into about 8 balls and put into a small non stick pan with a dash of rapeseed oil. 

Now make the slaw. Tom made this one and it's the perfect acidity to complement the falafel. Slice your lettuce into strips and grate the carrot into a bowl. Mix up your dressing of olive oil, cider vinegar, crushed garlic, pepper and salt. Toss the dressing into the slaw, adding a little at a time until it's all lightly coated. Sesame seeds or flax seeds would be great in this. 

Give the falafels a turn when they are browning on one side.

Back to the flatbreads. I was about 45 minutes in at this point so no pressure. Roll out one of the balls of dough onto a floured surface.  Heat a large non stick pan on medium and rub with a piece of kitchen towel and a little oil.

Place your first flatbread onto the pan and leave it alone. They take a couple of minutes on each side. I majorly overdid the first one and it turned into a crisp-bread. It wouldn't bend so would have been useless as a wrap but it was so good dipped into chilli oil! See:

Flip your flatbread when it's puffed up a little and starting to slightly brown. Load it up with your slaw and falafel. Add more salady bits if you feel fancy - I added sliced radishes and chilli. 

Feel smug and go to watch bake off. 

Gotta go, my pizza dough has finished proving.



Sunday, 3 September 2017

Victorious Festival and Flower Crowns

Guys, I found a flower crown hanging in a tree. This isn't the kind of thing that happens every day. A lovely florist called The Little Southsea Florist hid it at Victorious Festival with a little label saying 'finders keepers' and I was happy to oblige. 


Victorious Festival takes place on Southsea Common on the south coast and boasts an impressive selection of local food vendors and amazing musicians. I had one of the best veggie burgers of my life and an incredible vegan burrito (plant based food is on the up babes).

The festival was packed and HOT and sticky and delicious and we loved it all. 

There were six (I think) stages throughout the festival each with a full timetable of bands and artists. We caught lots of brilliant music both on small, intimate stages and on the Common Stage where the headline artists were playing. Acts on the Common Stage included:

Pete Doherty, who zoned out often, spoke incomprehensibly and was then forced offstage by security when his set overran. But don't let that put you off! 

Turin Brakes were brilliant and provided the perfect calm summer atmosphere - if you don't know who they are you won't regret looking them up.

Franz Ferdinand allowed us to scream-sing along with glee...

and finally Elbow rounded off the weekend in arm-swaying spine-tingling awe.

So next year, pick out your best festival outfit (glitter and bum-bags optional but encouraged) and head down to Portsmouth for Victorious Festival.

See you there y'all


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