A bit of an odd week this one, having spent 3 days of it running around madly at work trying to get the loose ends tied up before 2 days of annual leave, then going out for a fancy dinner, then getting about two and a half hours of sleep before stumbling into a cab and onto a train, and waking up in Paris.
A few days of relaxing ensued, but I am finding it increasingly hard to let go of the manic London and work rhythm, and so found it hard to totally let go and enjoy my time off. However, I have been feeding my mind with different experiences and getting bits and pieces done from the comfort of a warm and quiet house, so it has been far from a bad or wasted week.
New things I have learnt this week
- I learnt a few little facts during the writing of my two–part post, namely I heard of adrenal stress for the first time and found out it’s not a medically-recognised condition, and also found some interesting stats on veganism around the world.
- Did a little research on the health benefits of oolong tea – of course, most of it isn’t backed up by sufficient peer-reviewed scientific evidence, but it’s still good to get an idea of where it lies between black tea and green tea and all the other teas that are out there (and it just so happens to be discreetly delicious).
- I learnt about Foucault’s Pendulum which really made my mind boggle!
- During my visit to the Panthéon, where Foucault’s Pendulum is housed, I learnt a lot about all the great thinkers and scientists and revolutionaries buried in the crypt – I didn’t know just how much Marie Curie had pioneered and achieved, and I also didn’t know she was Polish! A really inspiring visit.
New things I have eaten this week
- I have almost polished off all of January’s Vegan Food Swap box, having devoured my little pack of Humdinger Dairy Free White Chocolate Buttons. I had been carrying them around in my backpack for a few days, as they are perfectly portable-snack-sized, and the intense desire to crack the packet open hit me on Monday after lunch. Perfect. Totally hit the spot, and I even shared some!
- Ben and I visited the Dover Street restaurant… Unfortunately no huge surprises in terms of vegan-friendliness.
- Ben discovered a new chocolate for me to test, by Madécasse, an ethical brand I had never seen or heard of. Definitely one for seasoned chocolate-lovers, but you will have to try for yourself as words can’t do it justice.
Other highlights this week
- A long weekend away in Paris, and everything that that entails – being able to visit and learn about important historical places and events, taking time to think and to write a good long blog post, having time to catch up with friends even if only over instant messaging.
- Going for a run for the first time in a while, and though not hitting any new PBs, I am still running much faster than I used to before I started training with Ben, and pushing myself a lot more (i.e. the whole run hurts, from beginning to end, rather than being a nice gentle little gambol).
- Ben coming to meet me as a surprise when my train got back from Paris – I always look forlornly at the small crowds of people waiting at arrivals gates, knowing nobody will be there to pick me up (in fairness, most of them are cab drivers with their clients’ names scrawled on a sheet of paper, so I generally conclude I would prefer to be left alone), but it was so nice to have someone to hug!
- I do hate talking about the weather, but it was nice to see the sun again!
I am anticipating another fairly strange week, with lots to do before half-term, which is next week and will signify a more relaxed and flexible working day as we will have no external visits to make. Next weekend Ben and I will be cat-and-house-sitting at his brother’s, where Ben is planning a cooking extravaganza along with a visit to Riverside Vegetaria which I have known about for a while now but never visited, so I’m looking forward to that! I will also be putting together a box of treats for Anna, in February’s UK Vegan Food Swap, which is always fun.
In other news, I will be joining the social media team for Vegan Fitness and Great Vegan Athletes, so follow them now if you don’t already – gotta establish our presence as plant-fuelled compassionate athletes! MyProtein are doing a huge sale on loads of vegan-friendly items so I stocked up on basics (vanilla soy protein isolate, unflavoured soy protein isolate, more peanut butter than I care to admit) as well as trying out a couple of new products (unflavoured hemp protein isolate, and their own brand flax seed powder). Also just discovered Sativa Shakes which I think I will be trying out in the very near future – always nice to see a new vegan supplements company out there! I will keep you posted on all these news products – I for one am very excited!