Hard Graft on the Home Front (East Sussex)

More tales of hard graft on the home front. It's the only way to make a home ... Location made me think of you - Milena Silvano!


Birmingham and 100% Vegan

Selfridges by Future Systems, now over a decade old.

Taking full advantage of the Evening Standard’s offer with Chiltern Railways for 50p return fares from London (yes, 25p each way) it was time to visit Birmingham again after two great trips last year.

Credit Crunchers

I love this city. One of the grandest Waterstone’s known to man, the fantastic daily food market, great vintage and super-friendly people. As ever, and it’s true of every city I have ever visited, I quickly bypassed the busy thoroughfares and instead concentrated on the nooks and crannies. When my feet gave way I hopped on a bus to visit Indigo Wholefoods in Moseley (I have a vague determination to visit every independent health store in the country) but in truth I could have stayed close to the city centre because of 100% Vegan. No regrets though as I passed some wondrous decaying and just-alive buildings (I used to be an architectural historian in my past life).

Moseley Road Baths, the oldest of only three Grade II listed swimming pools currently open in Britain.
100% Vegan
The Warehouse Café
Sprocket Cycles

So, 100% Vegan (known as the One Earth Shop on my past visits) nestled between the Warehouse Café/Birmingham Friends of the Earth and Sprocket Cycles. It’s a gem. Somewhat obviously, everything was vegan but old habits die hard or perhaps it’s because so many vegan establishments still offer the odd dairy concession that I blurted out with regard to the bakewell slice, ‘Is it vegan?’ It was, and it was also delicious. 100% Vegan’s owner couldn’t have been friendlier and told me about their locally sourced cakes and pastries and that if you should want something they don’t currently have in stock from further afield, just ask … My kind of independent health store.

I also visited Wolverhampton again but more on that soon …


Spring 2014

Spring finally sprung this week (along with my rhubarb) which means it’s once more time for day-trips and also a burst of renewed blogging energy. I’m not deserting this blog (I remain resolutely old-school) but will also be posting randomly on Tumblr (just how often remains to be seen).


Circular Keys

I have never used a phone or satnav to make a journey and I’m much the same on the web. I love the way that finding something the old-fashioned way (if you can call the web old-fashioned), just browsing and clicking, here-there-and-everywhere, takes you on a journey, sometimes tedious, but oftentimes sweetly rewarding when you land upon a perfect little gem.

I was looking to make a Valentine’s day cake (late as ever in blogging about this) and as the day was so gloomy I wanted something evoking sunshine. I’d always been seduced by a picture of a lemon sponge cake with passion fruit icing from an Australian vegan blog called ‘The Fairest Feed’ which was hugely inspiring in turning me vegan. Alas, the link failed because the blog had been deleted. A big yeeeeeessss though to Wellsphere which turned up a significant part of the blog (including the aforementioned cake) should anyone want to read further and investigate the great recipes ...

A few more clicks led to stumbling upon Philippa’s music website (her band is called Circular Keys) and then swiftly onto her inspirational Tumblr and Flickr (superb greenery, cakes, crafting and cafes) and finally, saving the best until last, her Tumblr food blog and contact with Pippa herself … circular keys indeed.

All pics via or © Philippa O (with thanks).