Laughing, spinning, swinging madly across the sun

Oh, the post title? That’s one of my favourite song lyrics, from Bob Dylan’s Mr Tambourine Man. When thoughts are swirling through my head, keeping me awake at night, that song always calms me down and rocks me to sleep, without fail. As I have been away from the blog (and most of the internet) for almost two weeks – possibly the longest I have ever been without posting since I started my Great Vegan Expectations journey 20 months ago or so – I have spent a lot of time in my own head. And as I now offer you a collection of random thoughts and events and highlights from the last two weeks, I thought the title was quite fitting. Think of this post as one of those movie montages where the leaves and calendar pages sweep across the screen. Or whatever else does it for you.

Ordinarily I would shrug my absence off as not owing the internet any explanations as to what I do with my offline time. But I also feel like blogs are a little more than “just” the internet. I put a lot of me into this blog, and I assume that if you read this blog regularly, it’s because you have connected with me. As such, I do owe you an apology – not for not posting, but for not even telling you what was up.

Well, it started as an honest silence. I’m not a fan of speaking when I have nothing to say, and last week I just didn’t have anything to share that I felt would be worth your time. I spent a couple of days getting back to basics, reading things here and there, working with this client or that client. I ate plenty of simple dinners of grilled veggies and tofu.

Simple pleasures. #eatrealfood #whatveganseat #whatpersonaltrainerseat #30minutemeal

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I spent a day on a first aid course to renew my current certification. I lost a day to a fairly stressful social media debacle, the details of which I don’t feel would be welcome on here as they are fraught with negative energy which I am glad to have left behind. I spent an afternoon catching up with a friend over tea.

On Thursday, I started feeling nauseous. “Probably from eating too many snack bars” I thought, but hours passed and it didn’t fade. By the time I woke on Friday I was officially sick enough to cancel my evening clients.

Unpacking is going well…

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Unfortunately our house move could not be cancelled, so I dragged myself through the day like more of a dead weight than my surprisingly heavy suitcase which contained nothing but clothes. Poor Ben and his amazing client did all the lifting and carrying and dragging and running around, while I spent most of that day and the following either slumped in an armchair or curled up on our futon mattress. My few attempts at eating anything were not overly successful.

The only food that worked was fruit, lots of fruit; pineapple, mango, strawberries, and green apples were all I craved. I supplemented with plenty of electrolyte tablets, and Ben also brought me loads of gelato from our new local, Creams. I tried mango, raspberry, passion fruit, banana, and blueberry sorbets. Mango and banana were my favourite! That would definitely be my top tip for anyone feeling too unwell to eat – try sorbet!

By Wednesday afternoon I finally felt strong enough to venture out and take my first client in almost a week; although I started each day feeling great, even our brief ventures into town to wander around and pick up bits and pieces for the house resulted in me having to collapse back in bed for a lengthy nap.

Of course, while all this was going on, I was in a new home with no internet. So although ordinarily I’d have ventured to a coffee shop to write my usual posts (which is where I do about 90% of my writing anyway!), I just couldn’t face being out and about.

I can tell I’m all better now partly because I am eating proper meals again, but mainly because I am seriously jittery about all the work that needs doing in the new place. I am going to have to do some hardcore prioritising so I don’t drive us both nuts (assuming that hasn’t yet happened).

Things we have already done:

  • put up my wardrobe and bought a new one for Ben, and unpacked all our clothes;
  • filled the kitchen cupboards, bought a new dish drying rack and cutlery organiser, and ceremoniously taken my nice kitchen serveware out of hiding;
  • bought a new welcome mat;
  • bought and put up a shoe rack for our little entrance, and filled it with shoes which had previously been piled into the bottom of my wardrobe;
  • bought a small bin for the kitchen and implemented recycling containers (as opposed to the huge vat without a lid that we had in the old place, which was usually filled with plastic trays which had once contained some form of meat);
  • bought and installed a new toilet seat (it’s all about the little luxuries guys!), a new toilet brush, and a cool soap dish for the bathroom as it turns out I had way more fancy soaps hidden away in my underwear and sock drawers than necessary for scenting purposes.

The next steps – as I see them – are:

  • to put up our new front entrance curtain, so that it actually keeps light and draughts out without getting tangled in the door;
  • to put up the shelves we already have, to buy new ones, and to fill them with books and decorative items;
  • to put everything up on a wall which belongs on a wall;
  • to give the entire place a good thorough clean once the DIY is done for once and for all!

I also want to fix up our little outside entrance; we need a sign to tell the world we are actually there, I need to clear out the drains, our landlady is getting some astro-turf put in, and I want to replace our letterbox and outdoor lighting. As for all the fun decorative bits, those will have to come from the heart, so how about I update you all as and when those get done – with pictures!

It’s been so great being able to just wander into town to pick up everything we need. I am minutes away from one of my most frequented live music venues, a vegan and organic hairdresser, and a vegan and allergy-friendly coffee shop. We have a cheap supermarket, a middle-range supermarket, and a more expensive supermarket all within a few minutes, as well as an outdoor market. We can wander down to the river or to Richmond park on a sunny day. Most of all, we are in a place of our own, where I can put whatever I want on the walls and dictate what gets recycled (everything).

What did I do with all those hours spent lying in bed feeling unwell? Mainly, just that – but we also watched some awesome documentaries I would highly recommend:

They were all brilliant – watch them. Generation Iron was the most fascinating to me, Twenty Feet from Stardom perhaps the most inspiring, and Sound City the one I most resonated with as a world that wasn’t too wildly unfamiliar. But seriously, watch them all.

And with that, I leave you to digest that highly random collection of thoughts and news, with my sincerest apologies for the absence. Shall we say same place on Sunday for some good old-fashioned Sunday thoughts? Cool – see you then!