Saturday 29 October 2016

Barmy for Sarnies

A while ago I heard an announcement on the radio at work about a secret sandwich club on Tooley Street near London Bridge. A bit like a speak easy cocktail bar, but for crisp sandwiches... 

Fast forward a couple more weeks and my friend Siobhan mentioned the same club. We decided to head there to check it out. Sio bought the tickets online (£3.50) and we met outside the 'Chris Peters Newsagents' (nice word play there). It was pretty cool, and really; well done Walkers marketing department! 

Basically you walked into this 'normal' newsagents and told the guy behind the counter that you were 'Barmy for Sarnies'. He then slid across the wall display of crisps to reveal a hidden door behind which are a troupe of (very attractive) waiters and waitresses wearing aprons and bow ties made of crisp packets. 

We ordered our sandwich, drink and favourite flavour of their new crisp varieties. On the way out after lunch we stopped for a picture posing on the top of a large sandwich and then filled our arms with a packet of each flavour. These went down very well in my office!

It's obviously very gimmicky, but since it's no more than buying a sandwich in the tesco meal deal t's definitely a fun experience! Well done Walkers! It's closed now and the shop has once more become a nondescript house front.

Monday 10 October 2016

Zero waste :: Successes

Further to my zero waste challenges, here are a few of my successes. It's hard, and I'm trying to make changes slowly so that they are more permanent changes, rather than trying to cut everything out and failing because that's not sustainable.

These are a few of the small changes I have adopted that have become part of life now. There are many many more ways I can (and will) change my lifestyle to produce less waste and lessen my impact on the environment. But I thought since I listed my challenges, I would also celebrate my successes!

Coffee To Go

Since I got this cup for Christmas I have used it A LOT. There have been a couple of times when I forgot it, and I have taken a paper cup. But those times are few and far between. In fact I have been documenting every time I use the cup and am planning to put together a little video of all the photos as a reminder of all the cups I've refused!

I also love using this cup because not only do I now prefer to drink out of it, I'm now not a walking advert for the coffee shop! No one knows where I bought my coffee! It's just me and my cool mug strutting down the street! Since I'm photographing it, I've also started to think more about what I want as the background of my shot! All very sad and arty but fun as well!


 I have three water bottles - two camelbaks and one glass apana bottle. I use these all the time. I have found that there are many, many places to fill them up and this has increased the amount of water I drink resulting in far better skin. All round this has been a great change!


I don't use clingfilm really any more. I've realised that there is never really any need to. If I am warming something in the microwave, I just cover the top with another plate. I use Tupperware boxes in the fridge, I have 3 glass ones as well which cuts out plastic somewhat). 

If I really need to wrap something, I will choose foil instead of plastic wrap since I can wash it and then recycle it. I have also seen this beeswax paper stuff that looks intriguing and I 
may experiment with in the future.


I have adopted a couple of zero waste tricks in the bathroom that I am pretty happy with. Firstly. My floor cleaner is now castille soap. This little bottle has lasted for a long time, and it acts a just a floor cleaner for now, but I will be rolling this out to clean the rest of the bathroom once my method spray has run out - incidentally method is eco-friendly too.

More importantly (and used for longer) are my cloths. I've never really used many disposable wipes, but I wouldn't have actively avoided them before now. However, I am now consistently using these micofibre clothes, and a scrubbing sponge. Once they've been used, I just chuck them in the wash. Maybe lots of people use these, but I list this as a successful zero waste addition as I am very conscious of using them this way now.

Lastly, I have invested in these reusable cotton pads which eliminate the need for face wipes or cotton wool balls. They come with the little cotton bag to hold them all together when they are in the washing machine. I also used this bag when I washed out my sponge last time. Worked a treat!

Zero Waste. Period.

The cup is inside this bag. I didn't think it appropriate
to take a picture of my used cup and post it on
the internet for everyone to see...
I haven't bought tampons for about 8 months. This has helped lessen my environmental impact, but more significantly it has saved me a tremendous amount of money. I've actually been using the diva cup for around 2 years, but I was using it in conjunction with tampons, but now I don't really use tampons at all. I have a few left over still, and these serve as emergencies incase I am caught at work or out and about without the cup - so I keep a couple in my bag.

There's basically only gains to be had from using a menstrual cup. I had read this before, and was put off by the need to empty the cup. However I've since got over that, and I wouldn't really want to go back to tampons now. They are bad for your body, carry the risk of developing TSS (and dying...) plus they are extraordinarily bad for the environment. I'm also not clear on whether the tax on tampons has actually been scrapped... I don't much care anyway since I no longer buy them.


So I did have the disaster with the glass jar, and it did melt during those hot summer months but... I have made my own toothpaste and use it every morning. This has been a success. I checked this through with the dentist and she approved it. After I'd been using my own toothpaste for 6 months I had another check up and everything was still ok. 

I like this recipe because it makes as actual paste rather than the usual tooth powders. I'm sure they are just as effective but I like that this is more similar to what I am used to. I haven't completely migrated to this paste, since it doesn't have any fluoride and I'm not convinced that we get all that we need from our water. However, by introducing this into my routine I have halved the amount of toothpaste tubes I personally put into landfill.


This is me on a bike in Cambodia, since I don't
have a photo of my current bike!
I've had a bike since last April. I use it everyday. I try to ride all the way to work at least twice a week, and recently t's been much more. I'm a bit of a fair-weather cyclist so if it's raining I am put off. However, even if I'm not going all the way to work, I cut out any bus emissions from my journey by cycling to the station. 

This isn't exactly zero waste, as I wouldn't be driving anyway. But cycling is better for the environment and my health and I feel it is an added bonus of this kind of lifestyle! :-)
 ::Are you conscious of your environmental impact? Are you trying to be less wasteful? Let me know your successes below and feel free to share any tips of things that you love doing/using that are good for the environment!::

Monday 3 October 2016

Wanderings Lately :: September

Well I missed a couple of months, but things are back on track for this last quarter of the year! September was a transitionary month, things switched a gear at work - all the Summer groups are well and truly finished with and we're now planning all our programmes for 2017. My brain is already quite far into next year and I've already made some bookings for March!

The weather has started it's transformation from warm sunny days to colder, damper autumn. The nights have started to get longer and more leaves are littering the pavement. I love this time of year though, along with many others if the many articles online are anything to go by! 

This month started with some fun in Oxford for my brother's birthday and had ended with a long work meeting in Oxford which meant I wasn't home until after midnight! It wasn't all bad though, as I took the time back the following work morning and only had half a day! 

October is probably my favourite month, as autumn really starts to take hold, and we slide along into days with beautiful sunsets and cosy nights in. I'm also starting my final module of my MA, if the university ever gets back to me with the class info, and I have a cheeky little break to Bosnia planned as well! 

Korean nibbles

I found a little Korean shop on Tottenham Court Road this month and was very excited to buy a little box of kimbap for my lunch. Although I have had kimbap since coming back to the UK from Korea (as I was reminded after posting this photo), this felt very authentic as it was actually cheap (£1.99) and from a 7-11 type shop. It took me right back to the corner shops in Asia.

I also bought some weird flavour crisps, pepero and face masks in the same shop. I have to limit my visits there because otherwise I am likely to spend all my spare cash there!

Family time

At the beginning of the month I went up to my brother's house to celebrate his and our Nan's birthdays. We had a lovely weekend celebrating together, even taking a little boat ride on Sunday afternoon. True to form, I annoyed my family by snapchatting them all with silly filters. They do moan, but secretly I know they love it!


I've been back playing netball since 2013, and after having jumped around in different teams and leagues, am now quite settled in Southwark. Last season our team; Vauxhall Vixens, finished the league as unbeaten champions. I was pretty chuffed when this medal arrived in the post. Unfortunately I am now out for the remainder of this season because the games clash with my classes for my final uni module. But so far we're still unbeaten and who knows, I might end up with a second medal (since I'm still part of the team!) for this season!

Fancy a Sarnie?

Completely buying into marketing and gimmicks, Siobhan and I met one lunchtime outside an unassuming newsagents near London Bridge station to make our way into a clandestine cafe to enjoy a cheeky sandwich and crisps. We also got our photo taken atop a giant sandwich. Why aren't all work-day lunches this fun??

Open House

A full post is in the works on this, but Sio and I also decided to check out Open House London, and although it wasn't fully up to our expectations we still enjoyed our day wandering around the Piccadilly area, even if Sio did cheat at chess in Waterstones.


I went to Oxford in the last week of September. I had to attend an evening meeting to discuss my two programs next spring. It meant that I didn't board the bus back to London until 10pm and consequently got back home and into my bed after midnight - loooooong day. The upside to this was that I had to following morning off of work, and since I was in the weekly routine I still woke up early enough to make the most of the time at home. I also managed to enjoy a couple of hours in the sunny afternoon in Oxford. Taking some photos for our student handbook and expensing (most of) dinner at the wonderful Perch pub. One of the perks of my job that make the coach journey and late night so worth it!