Sunday thoughts

Another fairly nondescript week has gone by, with some notable successes including another translation, selling some Great Expectations Fitness t-shirts and getting some photos taken with Matt, to whom I am donating half of the profits, two afternoons with friends, lots of blogging, one awesome training session, a new sports watch, and signing a new client up. Actually, that’s starting to sound a little better than “nondescript”!

New things I have learnt this week

Hmm. I don’t feel like I have done much learning this week. I could say that as my back has been all askew (lower rib head had popped out of place, gluteus medius is tight and pulling things out of line, etc), I have been asking Ben and researching ways to strengthen and stretch the things that need to be tightened and loosened, and experimenting somewhat successfully with appropriate exercise sessions, but that’s not really what this section is about. So I guess I have been slacking, at the expense of blog-reading and translating and writing and seeing friends. I can deal with that.

New things I have eaten this week

  • I’ve gotten back on the chocolate wagon and dug into the little Go*Do espresso chocolate bar that Kirsty sent me in June’s UK Vegan Food Swap parcel. At first I was a little taken aback by the grittiness of the ground coffee sprinkled throughout, but then I began to love it. Sweet and mature-tasting, voluptuous but not bitter, it was a perfect little pre-gym pick-me-up.
  • When I say back on the chocolate wagon, I mean firmly straddling it. I also broke open the second bar of NomNom chocolate I brought back from Hay-on-Wye – Clementine and Thyme. I was a little reluctant to opening it at it’s a thin little 80g bar, and I was worried that it wouldn’t satisfy my monster cravings, and lead me to snack on something else. I am pleased to report that I was wrong – smooth creamy chocolate, just sweet enough with a subtle juicy orange flavour, and a barely detectable hint of sweet herbiness from the thyme that only served to underline and bring out the fruitiness of the orange and cocoa. So good even just out of the fridge (I don’t normally keep chocolate in the fridge and pretty much abhore it, but with two housemates who cook all the time and never open doors, windows, or extractor fans, it was the best place to guarantee its safety and integrity).
  • Just yesterday I received my July UK Vegan Food Swap box, which I will post about properly this week, but I do have to admit that I promptly destroyed a little snack pack of Raw Chocolate Company Raw Chocolate Covered Mulberries. I have been wanting to try these for so long – repeatedly picking them up and putting them back down when I consider the price and how long a packet would actually last me – and they did not disappoint. Perfect late evening snacking and pretty close to healthy!
  • One final new food experience for me this week was a visit to Maloko in Camberwell. Serving galettes (savoury buckwheat pancakes) and crêpes in a friendly and colourful artsy little café, my friend Laura and I whiled away a good few hours chatting away and occasionally ordering more food. Although there were only two tables in use and the place is small, I wasn’t pressured into ordering anything, though it wasn’t long before I ordered the (only) freshly pressed juice – apple, carrot and beetroot didn’t sound that exciting but with the addition of fresh ginger it turned into a fiery and tangy experience which didn’t last long as I guzzled it all down. The galettes can all be served with vegan cheese on request, but I went for the cheeseless “Vegan Root” with sweet potato, quinoa, spinach, mushrooms, and I’m not sure what else. The food is served really quickly as the galettes are made in bulk and kept warm, and the plates look beautiful.Maloko galette I could go two ways here and either say the flavours were mild and delicate, or that it was a bit bland. To be honest, I’m not sure myself. They certainly were mild, but it was pleasant and not overly heavy. It tasted healthy and wholesome, which may or may not be what you’re after but I was certainly in the mood for that. The crêpes aren’t vegan, and I can’t say the cook was all that clued up about what it actually meant to be vegan, but he did offer me a galette with sweet toppings on – the dark chocolate they use isn’t vegan, so I had lemon, sugar and cinnamon, and added a little agave which is available. The galettes themselves are made with cumin, so it was a little strange, but tasty nonetheless – and the main thing is that it is a lovely environment to sit around in with friends, and we only paid £20 for two galettes/crêpes each and two juices, so I’m not going to complain and more importantly, I would go back.

Other highlights this week

  • Once again, Saturday afternoon was unbeatable in terms of feelgood factor – after an early start to train a client followed by my own training, Ben and I headed to Down to Earth in Kensington which I have spoken about before, with a couple of friends who didn’t yet know each other. Everyone had a wonderful time and really enjoyed their food – I had the raw pizza this time, which is as good as the raw lasagne (though different), and way better than the raw terrine. Their raw desserts continue to underwhelm me but their dairy-free pistachio ice cream… Oh my goodness. I want an entire vat of that stuff! Again though, it was just so nice to switch the phone off and put it far away, forgetting about the world as I fell into conversation with the wonderful people I am lucky enough to call my friends.
  • Also part of Saturday but deserving its own bullet-point, I got myself a new sports watch after my cheap Soleus gave up the ghost after about a month of light use. We stumbled across a Suunto M5 which I have longed for since I worked in a running shop. Snow+Rock price match any online price, so I was able to get it at the same great price Ben had seen online, and walk out of the shop with it. I love it, and I love being so excited about a new toy!
  • More retail therapy for me – a couple of months ago or so I spotted a travel mug that I fell in love with. Smaller than the average travel mug, and discrete in a clear white frosted casing, I don’t know why I didn’t buy it apart from the fact that I have no clear need for a travel mug. Needless to say I obsessed over it until I decided to go back for it… At which point it was no longer to be found. Ben had the genius idea of popping back in on Saturday to have a look – and there it was! There was no arguing from me this time, and now all I want is to need to leave the house early to have an excuse to use it!
  • So far, Sunday has been awesome. I always sleep in now that I work for myself, but only on Sundays do I wake up feeling relaxed – we switched the TV on to find Junior Masterchef Australia which was awesome, I made Ben a pretty attractive breakfast of Jus-Rol croissants with Pure spread and my mum’s homemade strawberry jam on the side (as he likes it), and a big fresh fruit salad with cinnamon and maple syrup. After catching up on blogs I cleaned (most of) the house while Ben made brownies. Now, after having some lunch and some brownie, I am relaxing in a clean and tidy room looking forward to going out for Karma Free Pizza.
  • Wednesday evening’s BJJ session ended with one long round of sparring… Which nobody called an end to. I spent the entire time sparring a blue belt who uses his weight and his experience really smartly and considerately, to teach me and to keep himself adapting and learning too. After what must have been about 20-30mins, I made a series of stupid mistakes just out of sheer exhaustion and as everyone else had stopped sparring by that point, I gave in – but it was a fantastic session and I feel like I did well but also learnt so much.

I think I will call it a day there as I appear to be in a talkative mood (I was, after all, chatting to Henry the Hoover earlier) – but I hope it has provided some entertaining reading.

I shall say no more, but I shall leave you with a photo of the flower Ben bought me on Tuesday morning, and I hope you have a wonderful and relaxing Sunday evening!

August flowers