Wednesday, 25 March 2020

An open letter to the aerialists of the UK: please stop aerial training during the COVID-19 lockdown

Hi folks, it's your friendly neighbour rigger here! Today is 25 March 2020, the second day since the UK lockdown was announced in response to the COVID-19 coronavirus, and I'm here to urge the many aerialists of the UK to please stop aerial training for the time being.

I have no intent to name and shame anyone in this post, but I've seen multiple photos over the last few days on Facebook and Instagram of people continuing to train aerial on freestanding rigs or home installations since the lockdown was announced, and have heard first-hand stories of aerial equipment suppliers offering discounts on or offering a cut to people who run aerial studios for the sale of kit explicitly for use to train at home. This needs to stop.

I know it's hard when so many of you have lost your income as self-employed or small business aerial performers and tutors, or have lost your regular training spaces. These measures are hard to live with, but are absolutely necessary as we all try to stop the spread of COVID-19, which threatens all of us but especially older people, disabled people and people with underlying health conditions. You may very well want to keep fit and ready to return to normal once the virus is under control, but there are lot of reasons why aerial training really isn't the way to achieve this whilst we remain under lockdown.

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!

Thursday, 1 November 2018

Happy (Vegan) Halloween!

Happy Halloween!

This year Paul and I decided to carve some pumpkins for Halloween, but of course I knew that we couldn't let the pumpkin flesh go to waste. According to a recent article I read online, more than half the buyers of pumpkins in the UK intend to bin the flesh as food waste! This really shocked me as there are so many delicious things you can do with it.

Wednesday, 31 October 2018

Making recipes from the Bosh! cookbook

I recently bought the Bosh! cookbook having seen some of their videos online, and decided to try out a few things from it. I was very impressed with the recipes it contained and I'm sure I'll be bringing it out again before too long.