Friday, 6 August 2021

Gardening in a Small Space

As always, you can click on any of the photos in this post to enlarge them.

This year I've really put a lot of effort into trying to make the best out of the small space that I have directly in front of my basement flat in Edinburgh. For years I mostly ignored this little area that I had, either thinking it was too small to do anything worthwhile with or not having enough free time to work on it or both.

It started very small last summer, when we bought just a small wooden raised bed kit from B&Q, which I filled with a few climbing plants and some bedding plants and then surrounded with a few pots with various plants in.

Over the course of the year it really filled out and the climbing plants really took off up the trellis and onto the railing (particularly the two clematis plants!), reaching the top by the winter. As well as the flowering plants I also tried growing a couple of French bean plants gifted to me by someone I had been helping get to and from work during the early months of the pandemic, and as I posted about last year even got a few beans to harvest!

Wednesday, 13 January 2021

Completing the Couch To 5K plan and joining Vegan Runners UK!

Back in October last year, I was at home and bored whilst isolating after my partner had a Covid-19 close contact at work when I saw that a friend had recently completed the Couch To 5K plan. Whilst I've always kept fairly fit and cycled regularly throughout my life, I'd definitely been feeling that I hadn't been as active as I normally am since the pandemic hit, so the idea of this programme really appealed to me, taking participants from not running at all to being able to run consistently for 30 minutes three times a week in just 9 weeks. I'm delighted to be able to say that this week I completed the program!

Wednesday, 28 October 2020

Making the most of being at home in autumn

This year has been a strange one. With the majority of my work normally coming from the live entertainment industry, I've had an unprecedented amount of time on my hands since March when all our work just shut down overnight. Normally I would have been travelling, working and keeping generally busy over the last seven months; in fact right now I was originally scheduled to be on tour with an aerial theatre show in England this week! I honestly can't remember the last time that I was consistently at home in Edinburgh for such a long time.

One thing I've been doing at home is getting back into growing my own food again. We're lucky enough to have a south facing window in our flat which is perfect for growing tomatoes and chillies, and despite a late start we've had a couple of homegrown tomatoes already and the chilli plants have started to flower. We've also grown some French beans on the railing in front of our tenement which were really successful - we'll definitely be growing some more again next year. I've found the website and some of the books from Allotment & Gardens to be really useful resources and am using them to plan some more growing next year, so definitely check them out if you're interested in growing your own too.

Friday, 20 March 2020

My Initial Responses to the Covid-19 Pandemic

Until a couple of weeks ago, my calendar was full of upcoming shows, events, equipment inspections and trainings - just a normal part of my life as a freelance aerial performance rigger and rope access supervisor specialising in theatre, entertainment and live events. As the reality of Covid-19 has become apparent, however, almost everything I had coming up has been cancelled until at least July as my industry shuts down to try to assist with social distancing. As such, I have an unprecedented amount of time suddenly on my hands.

Whilst I am trying to take some time back for myself to reset and to look after myself and my partner (who also works in theatre), I am also trying to put my skills and experience gained from years of peace and environmental activism to good use. In the hope that the things I am doing might be useful for others, you can find below some of the stuff I've been involved with over the last week and suggestions for how you can also try to work for good in your own community:

Tuesday, 16 July 2019

A trip to New York City, part 3

As always with any of my blog posts, you can click on any of the photos to enlarge.

This is part three of my series about my trip earlier this year to New York City. Click on the links in the text to read parts one and two.

Back in February I visited New York City and managed to write up posts one and two about it in March, but then life caught up with me so I've been a bit delayed getting this final post up.

Next on my trip I continued to make use of my New York Pass as I made a visit to the New York Historical Society, which despite being a small museum had some really interesting exhibitions, including a permanent display of Tiffany lamps and a temporary exhibition of work by Betye Saar.

Thursday, 7 March 2019

A trip to New York City, part 2

As always with any of my blog posts, you can click on any of the photos to enlarge.

This is part two of my series about my recent trip to New York City. To read part one, just click here.

On day two of our visit to New York, Paul had the day off from work so we headed straight to the all-vegan Champs Diner in Brooklyn that morning which had been highly recommended to us by several people and we were not disappointed! On the left is the Benedict with what Americans call hash browns (somewhat different to what we think of over here!) and on the right is the Breakfast Slam. Both were exceptionally good!

Two English muffins covered in a yellow sauce with salad and a pile of fried grated potato.Full cooked breakfast with sausages, fried grated potato, seitan bacon, scrambled tofu and pancakes.

Wednesday, 6 March 2019

A trip to New York City, part 1

Last month I visited New York City for my first trip ever to the city and I had an amazing time! Being February it was still pretty cold outside, so I made the most of enjoying the plethora of museums and art galleries in the city over the five days I was there, not to mention eating some outstanding vegan food.

View looking out over New York City on a slightly cloudy day. Empire State Building is in the centre.
View of New York City from Top of the Rock

Sunday, 6 January 2019

Using up bananas and making applesauce

In November I posted about getting a new regular veg box delivery every fortnight, which also includes some fruit. So far it’s been a great success, with some really tasty and interesting fresh, local and organic produce arriving at my doorstep every two weeks. However, whilst we’re generally getting through the contents of the box most fortnights, every now and again we end up with some fruit coming to the end of its shelf life - particularly bananas and occasionally apples.

Two ripe bananas lying on a kitchen worktop.

Wednesday, 7 November 2018

Getting a New Veg Box

One of the things I struggle with as someone with an environmental conscience who travels a lot with work and works a lot of unsociable hours is plastic packaging and food waste. I end up shopping at supermarkets which overpackage their produce a lot more than I'd ideally like to, and although I do my best to try and find the fruit and vegetables which come without a plastic wrapper, it's not always easy or possible to avoid it.

Back in 2013 I posted about a veg box I used to get regularly delivered back when I worked regular hours at the University of Edinburgh. Whilst this was great at the time, once my schedule became more erratic and involved more travelling this stopped working out for me and so I stopped the delivery.

However, recently as looked at me and my partner's calendars for the upcoming months, I realised we're both going to be mostly based at home until January at least, so I decided to give a veg box a try once again. Having looked at the options available, I went with East Coast Organics as they are both local and make it easy to suspend one or more upcoming box deliveries through their website, meaning that when we go away for periods of time we can easily stop the deliveries until we return.

Tuesday, 6 November 2018

Vegan Mango and Chicken Curry

As we had a mango sat around at home looking a bit sorry for itself this week, I decided that I fancied making a mango curry for dinner last night. A quick peruse of the internet didn't bring anything up that really inspired me, so I decided to make up my own recipe, which turned out very nicely so I thought I would share it here!