Sunday 19 March 2017

Best of Bosnia :: Mostar

During my trip to Sarajevo, before Vanessa arrived arrived, I took a day trip to Mostar by myself. It was mostly a success, although I ended up heading the wrong way from the station so went the scenic route to the main town. 

I did manage to get to the main bridge area (from the opposite side than I had intended) and enjoyed a day walking around the small town. It is pretty small, and can be 'done' in a few hours. I was lucky with the weather as the sun come out, although I had decided to wear boots so that wasn't the most suitable footwear choice. It was also very difficult to walk around the main bridge area because my boots didn't have very good grip and the stones over the bridge are very smooth and slippery. The other areas were paved with round stones and it was quite uncomfortable to walk over.

I went into the small bridge museum which was interesting and ended with great views over the bridge and town from the top of the tower. Whilst I was at the top I also saw someone jumping off the bridge which was fun.

Most of the day I wandered in and out of the small tourist shops, I visited the Muslibegovic House, a 17th Century museum showing traditional ottoman style rooms of a noble family house. It was only a small complex and very rustic but a sweet little break from the city.

Mostar was definitely worth the visit from Sarajevo, and I'm sure if you stay for a day or two it's a nice chill out place although I couldn't see a whole lot of things to do in the town. I believe it is close to caves and waterfalls so also a good base for other day trips around the country.

Tuesday 7 March 2017

My Vegan Diary

For lent this year, I decided to give up all meat and animal products, essentially becoming Vegan (although not giving up honey). Last year and the year before I was vegetarian, and I wanted to have more of a challenge this time. For the past year I have been adopting more of a plant based diet, for environmental reasons; since 18% of  greenhouse gases are produced by animal agriculture and this is more than exhaust emissions from all transportation (which is 13%). 

Although I've not been cooking as much meat, and have started having soya or nut milks, completely vegan is much more restrictive. So that's why I'be adopted it for lent.

So far, it's been a bit mixed. I'm five days in, have had a bit wobble in Tesco when I wasn't sure I could find anything and might have to resort to a cheese sandwich, had vegan afternoon tea and a bit of a disaster with pancakes. I thought I would document my vegan experience on the blog. So here's my first few days...

Three bean chilli and baked sweet potato, sea salt pop chips and a Deliciously Ella energy ball from Planet Organic. This was a pretty good lunch at work although the pop chips were £1!

These pancakes were terrible... They broke up in the pan, had a weird consistency and didn't really cook very well. They also burnt on the pan a lot turning it VERY brown and making it difficult to clean.

Remembered to request no straw in Bill's and whipped my own metal one out! :-)

Vegan choices at Bill's in Oxford were not as varied as I had hoped, but this root salad was good and I decided that I was ok with the sweet potato fried being cooking in the same oil as vegetarian products.

Porridge for the win; with berries and some almond butter which was surprisingly nice!

Couldn't really believe it but these nachos didn't have any animal products in the ingredients!

On a day when I fancied a sandwich, but couldn't find anything suitable I settled for falafel, carrots and hummus. Very filling which was surprising.

Seriously always surprised how full I feel after eating essentially just a plate of vegetables. This spicy roasted cauliflower was really good (although next time I will be a bit less liberal with the cayenne pepper!)

Roasted tomatoes were a nice little extra for my breakfast on Sunday. Also avocado <3 font=""><3 font="">

:: Have you given anything up for Lent? Ever tried to adopt a more environmentally friendly diet? ::

Sunday 5 March 2017

Wanderings Lately :: February

February is my favourite month. It's my birthday, which obviously helps! But it's a short month (so pay day comes quicker!), it tends to be when the days start getting longer and you can finally start finishing work when it's still light. The weather starts to throw you a few sunny (but cold) days that remind you that it won't be cold forever and did I mention that it's my birthday? :-)

This month had been full of outings and experiences.


For my birthday, I decided to sign up for a 10k race. It's a bit of a random thing to decide to do, but I had wanted to push myself to a 10k for a while, since finishing the 5k colour run last year. I enjoy running, but I'm also lazy and find it difficult to push myself to do it regularly. Having a goal to aim for, and a reason to train means I need to get myself out. I probably didn't give myself enough time to train for this one, as I over exstimating how often I would be able to get out and run after work in the 6 weeks from New Year to my birthday.

Amazingly I managed to run the whole thing, albeit slowly, and got to the end without dying! It was pretty difficult as the race was in Greenwich Park which is very hilly! I haven't been for a run since though...

I saw the advert above on the tube after my run and it reminded me that it doesn't matter that it took me 1 hr 13 minutes to finish the run, or that I often get overtaken on my cycle to work, I'm still getting out and being active.


The main other thing that characterised this month is friendships. We managed to keep our work new years resolution and headed out for a few drinks (and Polly and I went to the cinema), plus we have set up a regular pay-day drinks date.

I went to watch my housemate in her cheerleading competition in Stratford (which they won btw!) and I spent a weekend visiting my friend Vanessa in Leeds, where she moved last August.

Leeds was great fun, we signed up for a workshop to learn about making your own body scrub and butter (I like to add more beauty recipes to my repertoire), took a Tai Chi class and walked around a little of Yorkshire's countryside at Boston Abbey.