I read lots of books, from mythology retellings to literary fiction and I love to reread books from childhood, this is a place to voice my thoughts for fun. I also like to ramble about things such as art or nature every now and again.
This is less of a ‘properly written’ long blog post, but upon realising that today is World Vegan Day, I wanted to take a wee second to reflect and mention it! I’ve been vegan two years and veggie five and it just feels so normal now, it’s never an effort, it feels easy and fun to do. I always like to avoid preaching, but I do think occasionally highlighting veganism can be helpful for anyone curious about it. I think it’s particularly apt given that COP26 is beginning- and will hopefully produce some important changes for our planet.
Veganism has so many benefits for animals, the environment and potentially health (although not the way I do it haha!), and whilst I would not like to force ideas on people, I would like to say it’s very easy and fulfilling. I’ll leave this here on the message that I would truly love to talk to anyone who has considered being vegan (or eating plant based foods more often), and who may have any questions about starting. Please think about the positive impact the smallest changes can have, and give it a go if it’s something you’d like to try 🙂
Please do comment here or talk to me on instagram at carlybooks_ if you do have any questions or comments 🙂
I hadn’t heard of this author until this month, when I listened to the Podcast ‘Greek Mythology Retold’ and discovered that Janell Rhiannon is writing a book series called The Homeric Chronicles. I loved this book, it’s an interesting and easy to read account of the events leading up to Trojan wars. I’d recommend this is you like mythology and this might be a good place to start if you’ve never read a Greek myth but would like to- if you google some of the characters and Gods/Goddesses as you go along 😊
I’ve already mentioned Girl, Woman, other this month, but this was another favourite read because of the thought-provoking writing style and the interesting characters.
I rewatched Killing Eve this month before starting the new season, I love this programme. I tend not to like crime programmes but I love the balance of dark humour, well written characters and the atmosphere in this show- the music in Killing Eve has been used so well to create this atmosphere, I love the way music can influence the tone of a show. 😊 I can’t think of anything I’d change about this show, I’d recommend watching it if you’re bored (I also enjoy You for its similar humour).
I LOVE music, I think it’s so important for mental health and can really lift and affect my mood. I end up listening to the same songs constantly and this month (basically this entire year haha) I’ve listened to The Beatles constantly. For some reason I keep listening to I’m only sleeping in particular, this song will not leave my head when I hear it.
The song Spanish Sahara by Foals came on shuffle recently, I’d forgotten how much I love that song, it’s very calming and atmospheric (apparently my favourite word to describe things). I think I first heard it years ago watching Misfits, another amazing programme. 😊 I really should listen to some new songs, please let me know your favourite singers or bands!
I’ve loved being able to get out most days and be around nature. I love riding my bike (very slowly, a man who was possibly 65 years old passed me today and rode away into the distance haha) and getting fresh air. (I know there’s no other way to write, but I feel like I say ‘I’ constantly and I’m very conscious of it now, it sounds very selfish haha). It’s also been good to feel a sense of community and see so many kind acts during the crazy times, even small acts such as clapping for the NHS and getting to speak to neighbours we wouldn’t usually get a chance to speak to- I’d like to say here that I completely understand the perspective of those who feel this is a pointless act and the biggest thing we can do is not vote the Tories. I’ve never voted the Tories and agree that they have made many many mistakes that negatively impact a number of people. I will continue to vote in a way that will hopefully remove the Tories power one day, and hope that we can become more liberal in our politics and actions. I do, however, think small kind acts have a place in maintaining positivity and helping people to feel together in times like these.
Someone has been painting little rocks with kind messages at the loch beside my house and it’s created such a nice sense of community, so me and my family decided to paint easter egg rocks at Easter as a little hunt for the children who live nearby. All of the stones disappeared so hopefully children enjoyed finding them, but a swan may have eaten them all, we’ll never know haha. I’d like to do something with books, like a little anonymous book swap at the loch, I’m unsure how that would work but it’d be quite fun to try 😊. I also enjoyed bringing some books for my gran to read and being able to speak to her (from a safe distance). I feel a bit useless sometimes because I can’t think of something I can safely do (my mum’s in the at risk category) to help or volunteer with, I’ll hopefully find something positive to do soon.
Cooking/baking seems to be everyone’s go to just now (I’ve managed not to make banana bread yet haha), its been fun trying to make new things- I’m a kind of possibly okay as long as it’s just me eating it type of cook, but I cannot bake hahaha. I like giving myself little challenges, so I’ve been trying to make creations from the food I’ve bought and I’m only shopping around once every three weeks. A quicken nugget (quorn) katsu curry has been my favourite creation, and my homemade pizza was not what I’d call edible. Homemade vegan brownie recipes are also pretty good! 😊
I really hope you’ve all felt okay this month, thank you for your comments and I’d really like to know what books, films and shows help you to feel better 😊 I’m ending this with a picture of Dusty because she’s always my favourite wee thing.
Happy Earth day! I love finding ways to be sustainable and trying to look at the positive things that are helping the environment just now and there are lots of positive exciting facts to be found on happyeconews.com 😊 (for example, wildlife are freely exploring their natural habitats without fear or risk of human danger). I always feel that there’s more to do, so today I’m going to reflect on the 10 ways to help the earth (from the Ecology centre):
Go outside more– this is definitely the time for this! I’ve always loved forests and the sound of the birds singing, and I feel lucky in these crazy times to be able to go for a daily bike ride around loch beside my house (sometimes the deer are out). It’s always easy to slip into the habit of driving places we could walk to and I can definitely be guilty of this. This is something that I’m going to be mindful of when we are able to travel again, I’ll to remember the environmental and emotional benefits of walks and bike rides.
Get reusable bags– this is probably one of the easiest little differences to make and one that I’ve adopted (although I have broken a couple of bags by shoving too many books in, which defeats the point haha)
Recycle– I always try to do this and when I have a classroom (I’m a student teacher just now) recycling and sustainability is something I’d definitely like to involve the children in 😊 I’m unsure how good Scotland is at recycling as a whole, but hopefully it will keep improving. The main struggle is finding foods that aren’t covered in plastic and this is an issue that I really hope companies and shops will begin to take more seriously. I also like to paint sometimes and make collages, I’ve recently tried to incorporate recycled materials into collages to make a little difference (I love using easter egg wrappers as gold foil!)
Buy organic foods and products– This is again a little bit difficult where I live as I haven’t seen many whole food stores or zero waste food shops, but I try my best and would like to learn more about this this year 😊
Stop eating meat– I was a vegetarian for two years before becoming vegan six months ago. I feel that some people can be very judgemental and I don’t believe in preaching choices, however, for those of you who have ever thought about becoming vegan, I would say it’s easier that it appears 😊 There are lots of options everywhere I’ve been and I wouldn’t say it’s more expensive that buying meat. When deciding to become vegan I worried about missing foods like cheese, but once I made the decision it was surprisingly easy to adapt my diet and I haven’t craved anything that couldn’t be replaced. I would also recommend trying to make your favourite recipes replacing things with vegan alternatives (I love mushroom risotto) rather than trying to eat only ‘vegan’ recipes (endless chickpeas). Cheese can still be a bit dodgy; it has to be said, but I’d recommend Violife slices and applewood smoked cheese 😊
Start composting– we have a little compost bin and I try to freeze meals to save waste but this is still something I could make steps to improve!
Start gardening– this is definitely something I have to work on this year, I have little interest in gardening and somehow managed to kill a cactus haha. I might try a little vegetable patch though, now is the time 😊
Use glass bottles over plastic– I really only drink tap water and diet irnbru (I’m a stereotype) so this is quite easy to do, but it can be too easy to buy plastic bottle whilst out so this is something I’ll try to be mindful of (when I’m allowed out again in five years haha)
Make your own cleaning products– definitely something to work on, I’ve never tried this! If you have any tips please let me know! I might also try out making my own makeup and deodorant while I’m home to see if any of my experiments work out 😊
Plant a tree– There’s a fun little app called My Trees that I donate to 😊 Trees are planted with the money you donate and you’re entered into a weekly lottery. This is a simple way to have an impact if this is something that interests you and you’re able to (I know it’s really difficult in current times though). I also found a little app called Weare8 where you can watch short environmental videos and a little bit of money is donated to environmental charities for every video you watch (you can also make money by watching, it’s something tiny little 5p per video but every bit makes a difference) 😊
Happy earth day, and please let me know if you’d recommend any steps that can help to make a difference. I hope you’re doing well!