Salem, OR

I took another Greyhound down to Salem from Portland. I planned on using it as a short break on my way to Eugene. The internet did not cough up much in the ways of cool things to do in Salem. A search for hostels or couches turned up nothing. I ended up last minuting an awful motel. I guess a cheap motel was always on my bucket list. The ride there was full of beautiful scenery. Blue skies and greenery. This photo is the only one I took in Salem and I didn’t even journal. It was that bland.

The motel was a good two hour walk from the bus stop. Locals thought I was mad for walking  and again probably homeless. The sun was blazing and my scabby, fat wrist was beginning to smell like wet dog. I used the motel in the middle of nowhere as an excuse to hide and order pizza. I had an eve of slobbing about, watching Adult Swim and not getting murdered. This was the night I stumbled upon Rick and Morty, the only thing Salem had to offer. I had a bus to catch the following day and could not wait to leave the place.  I have never felt more like Earl Hickey.

Maybe I was looking in the wrong places. It’s not awful, it’s a very inoffensive place. I guess if you live there it would be beautiful. It’s just not a place worth stopping off at. The transport system is barely existent and I witnessed a lot of bad politics. My advice would be to go somewhere else or drive through here for a few hours. That is all. Please stay tuned for my hopefully more exciting blog posts about the rest of Oregon, California, some desert and a bit of East Coast realness.

In fear of being a bit too grim about it all I guess it’s over and out. I am done.




If you don’t mulch yourself, how in the hell you gonna mulch somebody else?

I’m back. I’ve been off grid for a while whilst moving house. I now reside on an extremely windy, rural hill in County Durham on the site of an old windmill. I’m back to type about a new zen habit.

Between moving country and job, not smoking and streaming too much Ru Paul’s Drag Race I’ve managed to install a new daily ritual. Juicing. I’ve toyed with juicing in the past but I was lead to believe it’s something other people do. I worked an organic veg stall in Edinburgh once. I supplied to the local juice scene. Yes Edinburgh has a juice scene. Non of those people looked any different to you or I. So I just didn’t bother.

After stumbling upon The Joe Cross Documentary on juicing I thought I would try it. After giving up smoking I realised how long I have been awful to my body for. I mulch the garden so it makes sense to mulch myself. Below I have posted a few questions I asked myself and stuff I hear from other people. I am not an intense juice head. I split one huge juice with my partner on a morning. I am using it as away of adding goodness to my day. In the near future I plan on a juice cleanse or reboot or whatever people call them. I am going to plan in advance for that and make sure I have a long weekend of hiding from the world.

What is Juicing?

So my understanding of juicing now is that juicing vegetables is the best way to cram your body full of micro nutrients in order to heal and repair yourself. You can’t physically eat the amount of veg you would use in a juice. So juicing strips the food of it’s fibres to deliver you pure, liquid goodness.

Why Juice?

I am juicing to replenish nutrients and encourage healing internally. After recently giving up smoking and suffering from terrible skin due to PCOS I am trying anything to restore some kind of internal balance. Once your body has it’s daily dose of nutrients you are less likely to over eat as your body is satisfied and not crying out for more.


Is Juicing Natural?

No. Nature does not deliver mechanical processors. But medication, processed food, smoking and all of the other stuff we do to our bodies is also unnatural. This just happens to be at the good end of human intervention. I am no medical expert but I know people have juiced in a lot more hardcore of a fashion to heal life long issues which has replaced medication. I would pick farm food over pharm food any day. I guess in a nut shell. We do some horrible things to food and it takes a mechanical way of nutrient extraction to counteract the bad food and habits we have put upon our bodies over a life time.

What Do You Juice?

I like green juices. I always use cucumber and celery as a base and then flavour it with things like ginger, lemon, lime, chilli, etc. Then I ad green leaf such as Cavolo Nero, various lettuces, spinach and herbs such as parsley, mint or coriander. You can smuggle some other goodness in there like carrots, peppers or whatever you fancy. At the end I sweeten it with some fruit. I like a ripe pear or apple. It’s important to only include a small amount of fruit (less than 20%). Juiced fruit is liquid fructose. I think this could be very damaging for your health. I don’t really follow recipes but my favourite combination would be a whole cucumber, a few handfuls of spinach, ripe avocado and a ripe pear. I try and keep it as organic as possible. The thought of drinking liquid pesticide scares me. If you can’t buy organic then at least buy local. Just remember to peel your citrus. Juiced orange peel. Not so good. If you really get into juicing it’s even more of a reason to grow your own.


Life After Juicing

After a few weeks of adding at least one juice a day to my life I probably don’t look any different. Like those Edinburgh juicers I look like everyone else. But I know something is going on. I have juice as soon as I wake up and with in half an hour I feel so alive. This is at 8:30 am. For me that is a first. I don’t get hungry until after lunch now So for breakfast I will usually just snack on some fruit an hour or so after juicing. Juicing leaves a lovely clean feeling in your mouth and stops cravings for bad food. I find if I do eat anything on the greasy, bad side then I sure know about it not long after. I find I have a lot more energy and I am about to start introducing a lunch time juice too. Until I have a solid juice regime. My focus is on adding goodness to my diet and not cutting out badness. But juicing doesn’t give me much room for the bad stuff and if I do have a weekend of evil I feel less guilty as I know I am still getting the things my body needs. My aim is to eat and drink mostly leafy green things with a good helping of rainbow fruits and veggies and then adding nuts, seeds, lentils with whole grains and good fats. I am not cutting out processed food all together but I plan on making that around five percent of my diet. I am getting there.

Thanks for reading as always and Stay tuned for my juice detox.

Liebster Blog Award 2016

My blog has been rather quiet as of late as my belongings are mostly packed up in my van whilst I am in between homes. It was great to check out my on line stuff today to discover I have been nominated for a Liebster Blog Award by Laura over at A Traveller’s Kitchen.

After a few internet searches I think I am supposed to reveal eleven random facts about myself as well as answering the eleven questions put before me and then I too nominate eleven people and ask eleven questions. So I guess this is a grand way for me to talk about myself and find out more about some of my favourite bloggists.  Here goes. Below are the questions Laura asked along with my answers.


What is your favourite place to travel?

I love the natural, local environment. I like to spend time in Northumbria. Throwing myself up hills and swimming in rivers. However, when in the good old U.S of A I make sure I get a morning in Williamsburg for The Roebling Tearoom. Quite a carbon footprint for a good breakfast.


What are your 3 favourite hobbies?

I have so many things I love to do but I guess they are all encompassing lifestyle things. Mainly textile based craft, dreaming / manifesting and feeding people.


Why did you decide to start blogging?

I had always fancied storing my memories and adventures on the internet somewhere. After years of procrastination and many events I got serious about it. It’s mainly for my own benefit, like an on line resume of life events. I thought it would help me be part of a wider community and find similar people with skills to share.


What are your biggest goals for 2016?

After a few years of exploring and adventuring and being quite unsure of where my next bed is coming from I am about to embark on an entirely different journey. This week I will be moving in to an old farm cottage with my partner. So this brings a whole load of new opportunities. I will mainly be focusing on putting down some roots for a while, becoming as self sufficient as possible, exploring the idea of home and just enjoying being calm and still whilst planning for the land owning permadream.


If you could have any job in the world, what would it be?

I already have a rather good deal. I am self employed and I work to improve community and health and well being all while being creative and working with people from all walks of life. Long term the plan is to own some land and live in a tiny house. This will mean working in and around the homestead and providing for ourselves. I would love to open up this environment to the local community and provide learning opportunities and pass on skills. I love to host so providing a retreat space or “eco” camp site is also a dream.


What is something you are afraid of?

Physical things I am afraid of are holes and clusters. I suffer from trypophobia. Gross. Oh and wasps and the ocean. But on another level I fear running out of time or waking up one day and realising there’s so much I didn’t do. Including conquering my fears.


If you could live anywhere in the world, where would it be?

I’m still not sure of this yet. I love Oregon but I am grateful that my current home has an NHS. If I lived in the states I would be scared to leave the house in fear of getting sick or arrested. I really love the Island that I live on. Not for the politics but it does have great potential if only we would evolve an amount. I also think wherever I live it’s about making the most. So for now I would say wherever my head lies.


What is the biggest risk you have ever taken?

I think stepping up to my life and making it my own. It’s very easy to take the path of least resistance. Once you begin to take ownership of your own decisions and actions it can be petrifying. People are watching. What if you fail? What if it means you are accountable for your own doings? Oh no. Turns out it’s actually the best thing ever being in control of your own destiny.


What is your favourite thing about blogging?

My favourite thing has to be how freeing it feels to write for yourself with out any goals or audience in mind. There will always be someone out there who stumbles upon it and feels some kind of connection. Just as I do with other peoples blogs. You don’t have to curb yourself or impress anyone. If you write for yourself it flows naturally.


What motivates you the most?

My motivation is mostly curiosity. What if? I constantly ask myself. It gives me plenty to think about and at any moment I tend to have a hundred questions for myself and a million outcomes. I like to see what the end of each day brings and what I have or have not achieved. Also not being a jerk is a massive element in my life. I can assure you there have been past versions of myself full of 100% jerkitude and I have made many errors. Mistakes are unfortunate and the only way I learn. They are also a reason to keep myself in check in the life decision and temperament sector.


What is your favourite recipe?

My favourite recipe would be my own green lentil chilli which I will share with you one day.


So thanks for reading a bit more about me. Here are my eleven random facts about myself.

  • I spend an unhealthy amount of time thinking about compost and soil biology
  • I really dislike cleaning myself
  • I always cry at the part in the movie where the parent accepts the child for who they are.
  • I look for reasons to talk to strangers when I am alone
  • My favourite smell is struck match
  • When I grow up I want to be Jo Brand
  • I like to read dystopian sci-fi
  • I really see my manifestations playing out and it is beautiful and petrifying all at once.
  • I am an only child and I guess it makes me weird
  • I am envious of Jennifer Anistons back
  • I am god awful at mechanics

And now for my nominations

The Curious Bum

Cuddle Your Globe

You Monsters Are People

The Modern farm Girl

The Seeds 4 Life

Raines Journal

Violets Vegan eComics

The Wannabe Starving Artist

A Pinch of Homestead

The Beautiful Health Guide

The Noble Aubergine

My Questions for you interesting people if you accept the nomination are ……….

  1. What is your favourite daily ritual?
  2. Where is your favourite place to be?
  3. What do you do to treat yourself?
  4. What are your goals for 2016?
  5. Why do you blog?
  6. How do you give back to the world?
  7. Who or what are your influences?
  8. What is your favourite smell?
  9. Where do you see yourself in five years time?
  10. What do you do for fun?
  11. What is your advice to new bloggers?



Bohemian Like You

So I chose Boise as I wanted to see where real people lived and after learning about it I thought if I was as obsessed with Portland like I thought I’d be then it’s a place I could one day call home. I heard of the Boise after reading this article in The Guardian. Apparently its the number one area to live in the world. The Dandy Warhols based “Bohemian Like You” on the neighbourhood. After having been there I do sort of get it. I guess every city has it’s tucked away quarter for students, baristas and liberal, right on sort of people.


I walked from Downtown Portland with no map and just my memory. The heat was insane and I just walked until I found the Friendly Bike Guest House. When I arrived there was a few people around to hang out with including the owner who was a really nice guy. He didn’t really spend much time at the guest house. I think he was just there to greet me. The place was like a hostel but had a more homely, caring feel. I was on a top bunk in a nice, cosy room. It was mostly for bike enthusiasts and had a work shop and tools in the basement. I spent a good day or so just relaxing as my feet were ruined and my tattoo was having healing issues. It rained a lot. But even the rain was beautiful. You could hear it pounding the concrete and it filled me with excite. It gave me the urge to drive an old car and listen to mix tapes. Like I was from one of the many comix I would read as an awkward teen. Being in Boise seemed all that the indie movies had told me to expect from life.


So I lazed about reading and resting and had never felt more at home anywhere else on my trip. People would come and go. Some quiet and some you couldn’t shut up. I drank some beers and went out for eats. The area has amazing places to eat and even the pizza places provide excellent craft beer and do vegan. I didn’t journal here in as much detail but I remember gate crashing a party, lots of walking, some wines and not being able to sleep because of snoring and my incredibly swollen hand. Everyone here is so friendly and I think The Guardian was right. Maybe this is the best neighbourhood to live in. It’s big on organic, health food and locally sourced everything. I’ve noticed everybody rides bikes and seems pretty healthy. This is also the only place I’ve managed to drink nice tea. I’m not sure if it’s the water but all the tea is sad in America. So here are some snippets from my journal.


Boise Journal Snippets

“Boise is beautiful and cool but possibly trying too hard. I feel officially home sick for the first time in my life. Maybe I’m confusing it with the fact I feel very vain and selfish for doing this trip alone. I think I would just like for all of my friends to be here to soak up the awesome. Theres something about making memories with the people you already know. Why make new friends when the ones you already have are the best? What an awful thing to think. I’ve lazed about in Portland so far. I mean it’s good but not what I expected. I’m feeling rather uninspired. I need to plan an entire weeks worth of things to do whilst I am here. Or maybe I will just casually stroll about classically observing people and things from afar and  poking the odd thing with a stick.”

“So it’s been a while and I’ve kind of warmed to Portland. I just wish I had a room to myself. I’m finding another guest unbearable. He dominates conversation and is one of the strangest people I have met. He was born in the mid west, grew up in San Diego and has Irish blood. He’s moved out here to start his own film production company. He wants to make a documentary about the different sides of history. He is always right and has already hinted at a green card marriage. If I have to see him for one more day I think I could actually kill him.

On a lighter note there’s new guests. Larry arrived on his bike. He’s been cycling for a week from Kansas City, Missouri. Larry is doing a three month cycle tour on his own. He’s been sleeping in bushes in parks. He is a lovely, polite, middle aged guy. It seems like he is going through some massive, life changing, empowering happenings. Tonight he is sleeping in the basement amongst the tools. There’s Chris in from Hawaii. He’s thirty and a smart fun man. He’s here looking for work because Hawaii is broken. he has a Japanese mother. There’s a quiet German girl who’s name I don’t remember and the couple from Chicago and the wife’s brother who sleeps on my bottom bunk. I feel bad for him. He comes back late at night. His sister and her husband make him cycle all day. It’s the first time he’s left Chicago and I bet he just wants to get drunk and eat corn dogs.

Last night I heard what sounded like a great gathering a few blocks over. On close inspection through a fence I could see a fire pit and people playing music. I wanted to be there with those people. That was my kind of thing. I grabbed Chris and he suggested we just go and see what happens. We went to investigate. I was very nervous and Hugh Grant like but Chris was full of positivity about the whole affair.

We knocked on the door and asked to be involved. We were greeted with hugs and permission to join. It was a swanky house. The guys were lovely and inviting and laid back. There was bikini clad women about the place too. They mostly ignored me and talked about just getting out of jail. We went out back to discover a hot tub with naked writhing people. I was partially weirded out and partially thinking that you just couldn’t write this. There was a strange creepy edge to some of the evening even though it was nice to get out and meet local people. I eventually ended up in said hot tub although not naked.

There I was in a hot tub full of naked people, on the corner of Haight and Failing (Really)  in my ugliest sports bra and pants combo drinking free beer with strangers. You certainly could not write this. It was at that point I realised for certain that Boise is probably indeed the best place in the world to live. Thank you The Guardian. I dried off around the fire and listened to some guitar music. “



I am writing this in POA Cafe just next door to the hostel. I’m not sure what it means but I’ve ordered a veg and tofu rice bowl. There’s tonnes of kids. It reminds me of The Settle Down back home.  I’m all about the sports wear right now. Upon my return home I shall be more active. I think I’ll try climbing and harness my upper body strength.  I need to unleash the power of my massive shoulders.”


Now for the list of things to do in Portland that are free or cheap:-

  • Walk until your feet bleed
  • Avoid smothering your room mate in the night 
  • Drink the largest “Big Gulp” you can lay hands on
  • Shop at New Seasons food market
  • Watch a kids soft ball game in one of the many local green areas
  • Gatecrash your neighbours party
  • Listen to the rain whilst thinking you’re in your favourite Indie film
  • Gross people out with your vile knickers and vest combo
  • Find the grimmest street names 
  • Be smug
  • Go to Pizza A Go Go
  • Watch the sunset
  • Think of ways America will keep you that don’t involve green card weddings

Make Your Own Planted Draining Board

Welcome to my craft sector. I like to find creative solutions for the most mundane of problems. I can get rather nerdy about it. Here is where I show you the things I make and do to improve my home and garden. I’m not posting as often as I’d like as I’m working in between two countries this month. Wonderful. However, I will be committing  to  Englandshire once again next week. I will be moving to the depths of County Durham to raise hens, propagate guinea pigs and live the earthy dream with my man friend/most favourite person. We’ve bagged ourselves a beautiful farm house on a rural estate. It is perfect except for the tiny kitchen.

We are plotting on some inventive ways of maximising the space in the kitchen. It doesn’t even have a draining board. We were thinking of using a tree slice with draining grooves and a missing crescent piece to nestle into the sink. I passed my local garden centre today  whilst thinking of those moss bathmats that people on the internet make. I thought that would be perfect as a draining board. I took it a step into the more obscure and made our first house warming item. It will be perfect with a plate rack over the top and I plan to eventually fill it with more slow growing alpine plants or moss as the pebbles are mostly just for drainage.


You will need:-

A large shallow box or tray (I used an old apple crate)

A liner (I used a thick bin liner)

Cardboard from your recycling

Pebbles, rocks, stones or gravel.

Low growing perennial plants (I used a few alpine plants but succulents or moss would work)

Take your crate and fill it with layers of cardboard as your plants won’t require a lot of depth and this saves on pebbles. When you are happy with the depth line your crate with tarp or bin liners so the water will pool inside. You can use a staple gun and scissors to sit it neatly. Load up your drainer with rocks or whatever you have chosen. Be sure not to fill it right up as you need space for plants and roots. I used a wooden spoon to dig out some rocks as I hated the feel of them. They were all dusty and it reminded me of chalk and blackboards. Place some soil in the dug out areas and then fill with plants. Press and cover with your pebbles or rocks. You can cram your tray with loads of plugs but I have left room for my alpine plants to grow. I will maybe add sphagnum moss to the spaces for now. It is highly absorbent and will be great to sponge up that grey water. There you have your draining board ready for a lovely wooden or metal folding dish rack. When your kitchen is clean you can fold it away to reveal pretty, green decor. In the spirit of permaculture “The Problem is the solution”.


I will perch this on the end of the bench. Maybe on a separate unit so it sit’s level with the work top. You can see how small the kitchen is.

It would take more maintenance and is time consuming but you could try annual crop rotations on something like this. You could try a top layer of soil with grass or cress. Let me know how it’s worked out for you. I’d love to see any versions of this you have seen or have made. Leave some comments or email me



Portland, Oregon was the main point of my trip. From the moment I knew it existed I had the urge to take myself there. I was a teen when I found musician Autry down the back of the internet. It opened up a portal to a whole other world. It was then that I realised the positive weirdness of Portland. I planned on spending a week in Portland. A few days downtown and the rest in the Boise Neighbourhood. The Dandy Warhol’s apparently based “Bohemian Like You” on Boise. After spending some time there I get it.


After an uneventful Greyhound ride through beautiful scenery I checked myself into the Northwest Portland hostel. It was huge and beautiful. It appeared more lively and worldly than the various hostels I’ve stayed in. I got chatting to an Australian girl and it was great to converse with another quick talker. My accent was quite an issue on the West coast. I spent a good day just hanging out with some beers and Nicole and another Australian. There was sun and sushi and Blue Moons in abundance. If you are in the Northwest of Portland and looking for sustainable sushi I highly recomend Bamboo Sushi.

Downtown Portland is vibrant and lively. I had breakfast with a squirrel every morning and  I spent a few days wondering around and getting lost as is tradition. My feet were still bleeding from all of the walking. I managed to cover roughly fifteen to twenty miles a day and my skate shoes were done. A thrift store saved the day. I managed to find some ugly looking trail shoes. They cost six dollars and felt like wearing clouds. Onwards.


I spent a day observing. I adore the succulents and stag horn ferns that are so easy to grow in this climate. I walked over to the Japanese Garden. The walk was a great way to explore Portland and see where real people live. The journey there was slow and full of beauty. The garden is known for being the most convincing Japanese garden outside of Japan. I’ve never been to Japan yet but I was certainly tricked.  I walked through the rose test garden which was free and stunning. There was a lady playing the harp as I walked about which provided a filmic experience. As if there wasn’t enough greenery I also visited the Chinese Garden where upon entry I was attacked by a territorial Jay bird.

Garden viewings aside I killed some time with an underground tour of Portland. The physical walk about in the tunnels for me was rather underwhelming. I enjoyed the folk stories and legends. The lady told the tales very well. I learned of Vortex One. A huge festival organised by the government as “hippie bait” to distract the city from a visit by president Richard Nixon. The police were instructed to cuff any demonstrators and drop them at the festival and keep them there until it was over. The police were informed to allow as many drugs and illegal happenings as long as people did not leave the festival.

I would of loved to visit the Rogue Brewery and farm but it’s out in the sticks and I’d probably need a car. I managed to visit the distillery and bar on North Flanders. Rogue is an all time favourite of mine. Not that I drink often but one huge breakfast, coffee stout is a treat. After a good look about Downtown I was sun burnt and blistered but it was well worth it. I had gave up on trying to look or appear like anything and just did whatever I could to deal with the heat. Those hemp pants were truly doing something to me. Here is a picture of me resting in a park whilst trying to not look obvious I was photoing my self. Look at my red face and burnt nose.


Journal Snippets.

“So here I am in Portland. It’s beer town and I’m here long enough to make some friends so heres to that. My wrist is huge from my new tattoo and I can barely see my knuckles amongst the swelling. I’m feeling emotionally drained so tonight I shall prescribe myself sushi, beer and possibly a frock. I’d like to lure some hostel goers out for dinner. It’s so hot here I am burnt and peeling. Homelessness is a constant and here they have shopping trolleys. I’ve noticed more meth issues now I am further South.

So far I have only seen one McDonalds and one police car in the whole of the Northwest. It’s very un-American. People still think I am German or Persian. Yes. Persian. Look at me.  It has become apparent I can’t hold conversations but Portlandians seem more sincere. “


Stay tuned for the Boise Journal. Thanks for reading and as always below is a list of things to do in Downtown Portland.

  • Eat good sushi
  • Don’t be a meth head
  • Thrift shop
  • Visit the gardens
  • Nap on some grass
  • Converse with the homeless
  • Visit breweries
  • Drink in Rogue beer venues
  • Stay in the Northwest Hostel
  • Avoid Voodoo Donuts and other tourist tat
  • Be slightly saddened it’s not as weird as you had hoped.




Olympia WA

I didn’t write or sketch much in Olympia. I was pre occupied with cats, tattoos and walking. I arrived by greyhound and I was surprised at the service. Compared to the UK’s Mega Bus it was absolute luxury. Very large, comfortable seats, air con and a clean toilet. I was slightly concerned about taking the bus after reading some of the feedback and forums about the Greyhound.

I arranged to stay at Ambers house via Airbnb. It was a pleasant, short walk to the South Capitol neighbourhood. The area was poppled with trees and tiny, cute houses. I was greeted by Amber, some friends and her animals. I paid a very small fee to stay with Amber. I was shown to my quiet room up some ladders. I was staying in the attic. Ambers home was gorgeous and she had added little touches like bedside lavender. One of her cats “Duncan” became my new bestie. He was an absolute bonus.


My first morning in Olympia I packed a picnic and took a walk on down to the state capitol. I’m not too interested in government buildings but I am a fan of architecture so I checked it out. The sun was out and in spite of what I’d heard of the terrible weather in the Pacific North West it had been a dream thus far. Capitol Lake was near by so I headed on down. The lake appeared heavily managed and man made. I think they had some problem with invasive mud snails and sectioned it up.


I crossed a walk way leading to Marathon Park. This is where the city feels left me. The park lead to greenery and that classic North Western tree packed landscape. I wondered through trees and passed docks and bridges. I found myself lost for a good while. I was spat out in Turnwater historical park. After trying various ways to leave other than the way I came a man approached me from his car and offered me a lift. It screamed of “Blood Lies and Alibis”. I politely declined as I promised my Aunty that the next time she seen me it would not be on the forensic channel.

I called an end to my daily exploration and began the long walk back. I walked that day until my feet bled. A whole human league. I observed my first hummingbird on the walk back. I retreated to my loft hatch and slept like a dead thing. Well. As dead as one can feel with a cat draped around their throat. This is how Duncan sleeps. Or so  he says.


I awoke refreshed the following morn and strolled to the downtown area. Olympia has a very small town feel. The buildings are low and have a sense of relevance and past. In search of cheap eats I found a vegetarian indian buffet at “The Great Cuisine of India”. It was affordable and basic and should have changed its name. I come from Newcastle where indian food is done very well. I learned an important lesson that day. It also made me appreciate a British curry and slightly miss home. I visited a market on the marina which separated the East and West bay. It had all kinds of standard tat. There should be some kind of universal market bingo. Stained glass dolphins, wicker shit and cheap jewellery. I also spotted some bonus hacky sackists.

Olympia appears the kind of place to have an awesome underground nightlife. I was too exhausted from exploring to even try and socialise. While I may sound unenthused by Olympia I can assure you I found it to be a beautiful place. The nature was accessible and it’s a very low key, humble city. I could actually see my self living somewhere like that. It’s hard to see that it’s even a city. It has a town feel. In order to remember my trip I wanted to collect a tattoo. I passed Spider Monkey tattoo shop and decided that was the place. After seeing so many bright pink Rhododendrons about the place I decided to pay tribute on my forearm. I booked in with Wizard Garret. After seeing the kind of art he likes and makes I feel bad for him having to go through with this bright pink flower. If I had of known in advance I would of loved some of his darker designs. But I ended out pleased with the flower. Turns out it’s also the state flower.


I did a lot of lounging and napping in and around the city. I found a lot of folk art and graffiti and nice tea shops. I acquired some brown, hemp pants as my jeans were just not cutting the heat and hiking. I sat down in  Traditions Cafe and thought long and hard about my life decisions. I finally accepted that I had become a hemp pants wearing, travel wanker. But at least I wasn’t cashing in on poverty tourism or “finding myself” on a beach in Goa. As is the tradition here is a list of things to do in Olympia WA. Thanks for reading and stay tuned for my Portland Journal

Things To Do In Olympia WA

  • Stay at Ambers place and meet Duncan the cat
  • Picnic on the North bank of Capitol Lake
  • Look out for hummingbirds
  • Get tattooed at Spider Monkey
  • Walk until your feet bleed
  • Walk around the marina
  • Window shop at some of the markets
  • View the Capitol Building
  • Get lost
  • Walk through Marathon and Turnwater historical park
  • Ingest sweet egg rolls from a food van
  • Hunt out the street art
  • Lie on some grass
  • Purchase some travel douche pants
  • Ponder your life decisions whilst drinking terrible tea.

Dry Body Brushing

So I’ve began the New Year with a new habit. Dry body brushing. I had no idea this was even a thing until recently. So every day when I wake up I bust out the natural bristled brush and get scrubbing. Even standing about in the nude in this weather is totally worth it. And I’m a never nude. The brush I use is quite small and I could do with a long handled one to get right in between the shoulder blades.

So why do people brush their bodies every morning? It feels amazing and fills you full of energy. It’s obviously great for your skin. I’m no scientician so don’t quote me on this but it’s good for evening out fat deposits, cellulite etc and good for your lymphatic system and removing toxins. Sweet deal my friends. Sweet deal.

I find it quite zen to stand about naked, taking the time to acknowledge my own limbs. There is a knack to it and you start at your ankles gently buffing away in circular motion increasing to full blown strokes up your legs and buns. Then I work from my wrists to my chest. You are aiming everything towards your heart. Except for the back where you work from your neck down over.

I’ve just recently started pondering the lymphatic system. I wasn’t sure what it was for or really did. You only really hear about lymph nodes when people talk about cancer or they are sick. Your body does not move lymph around too easily on it’s own. You can help your body out with exercise, deep breathing, stretching and massage. Something to think about. Give it a try. I will let you know at the end of the month if I feel or look any different.

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Sleepy in Seattle

Thanks for tuning in to my travel sector. This is where I read you snippets of my travel journal and talk about things I have gone and done. Some healthy and green and some definitely not so. I shall begin with my Journey to and around Seattle. I hope it warms your heart.


So I flew to Sea tac airport via Reykjavik. I was convinced I’d end up sat next to Jón Gnarr on the flight. Alas it didn’t happen. Oh the chats we could of had. I flew on my twenty eighth birthday. I had pre ordered a vegan meal. Amongst the other options was kosher, vegetarian, a list of various others and muslim meal. Well done America. I guess Halal was just pushing the boat out too far. It was all a rouse anyhow. There was nothing to be served at all . I survived the long flight on olives, red wine, dark chocolate and sobbing unsubtly at Mr Magorium and his Magic Emporium. Something about air travel appears to chemically mess me up on the inside. My poor moist eyeballs.

I arrived in Seattle a sleepy, humid mess. This is the first time I had left Europe and was surprised at how I could suffer so much culture shock from a place I had became accustomed to via TV.  Whilst on my West coast road trip I wanted to trust myself more, experience new things, swim in the wild, observe the landscape  and Americanism whilst hopefully meeting some new faces.

I arrived quite late in the evening and grabbed a metro down town to Pike Place where I checked into the Green Tortoise Hostel. It was dark and everything was new and scary. Bright lights and a lot of people with little consideration for personal space. Upon initial observation the strangest thing was the public toilets and how wide the roads and streets were. I felt three learning to use a pedestrian crossing. To see the world through a child’s eyes is exactly the reason everyone should visit new places and jump out of their comfort zones. Here’s some snippets of my journal to inhale at your leisure. It’s basic observation. I’m quite the quiet traveller. I like to watch and walk. Let’s not get too excited. Enjoy!


The Seattle journal

09/05/2014 Hell I feel alive! I’m writing this next to the Puget Sound in Seattle on my way to the olympic sculpture park. I hated Seattle at first. It’s shifty at night but the people are friendly. I met some Canadians last night. I joined twenty people from the hostel and walked to Capitol Hill with a boom box. We played Macklemore at Macklemore himself. We went to drag bars for my birthday. They’re very big on I.D here. A Texan cheerleader suggested 3am septum piercings. I declined. The hostel is cheap and alright. I’m on a bottom bunk in a mixed dorm. Average. 


I’ve walked miles from Pike Place through the sculpture park and through Magnolia. Pike Place has a colourful market. I can’t make out if everything is expensive or if that happens to be the cost of fresh produce here. I followed the crowds down towards the Sound front where I sat on a picnic blanket smoking with a homeless man and his kid. He asked if I was Persian. I followed the path along through the sculpture park that hugged the Puget Sound. The sculptures were bland and barely noticeable. I followed bike trails through train yards, past rusted carcasses of dead machinery. The heat was intense and my water was running on empty. The trails lead to Magnolia where I  purchased my first Jalapeño corn dog. I just had to. The American dream begins here. I’ve ditched my ethics because of you know. America! Corn dogs are delicious and the gas stations here have cheap available eats. If I was poor here I would be obese  and malnourished. Who can blame them?


I navigated through small neighbourhoods and greenery towards a river. There was a fish ladder and a strange crossing. I’d kind of got lost. I just had the vague map in my brain of where I was headed. I reached Ballard, across the locks. I’ve walked miles and miles and only spent cash on a corndog. I consumed a free hostel breakfast early. The classic peanut butter, jelly toast arrangement and fruit. I was running on nothing so managed to grab a bus to Fremont. Fremont appeared everything I’d read about. I’ve just seen a beardy, hip, guy stacking apples in a health food shop whilst wearing a red wooly fisherman type hat. Welcome to Fremont. The air here smells like root veg and malt. Refreshing compared to homely smells of rain and fumes. I am staying at Hotel Hotel. A swanky looking, cheap hostel in Fremont. I want to check out the house boats on Lake Union, walk to gas works park and find the Fremont Troll

10268508_10152422732705180_7388292631044567703_nHouse boats

10291256_10152422732915180_7786573853977131830_n.jpgGas Works park.

10/05/14 I’m back downtown. It’s quite a scary place. There’s often people shouting at themselves. I like the Sound front. The art museums here are so expensive. I really appreciate free art back home. The UK could learn a lot from Seattle, mostly Fremont and Ballard. Well aside from health care and homelessness. I’ve not seen an overweight person yet. Everyone here jogs, rows or bikes. I guess people tend to look after themselves more when there is no NHS to take care of you. Tomorrow I go to Olympia where I will meetAmber and her dog. I’m off to see a movie tonight. Something crap about a boy and heaven. I’m loving this trip but I often feel a little unsafe downtown on an evening. I just walk near groups of people and hide.

I’m not sure if Seattleites are friendly? I would say more forward. Whereas I am quietly awkward like a Hugh Grant type. I can’t work out the sincerity of peoples smiles. I know I’m genuinely friendly but a little shy. I think America has smiles and protocol drummed into it’s face. It’s a formality. I’ve just bought Kerouac Big Sur for Greyhound readings. Rice bowls are a big thing here. Available everywhere as a healthy choice. I am awaiting my first Greyhound bus now.


In short here’s a list of things to do in Seattle that are free or very cheap.

  • Visit the Fremont Troll and soak up the awesome in Fremont itself.
  • Visit the house boats and various surroundings on the North side of Lake Union
  • Walk to Gas Works Park and sit on a grassy mound looking over the lake
  • Shop at Pike Place market and surroundings
  • Look at the space needle from the ground.
  • Walk around the Seattle Centre and Science Centre
  • Checkout Belltown
  • Check out the shoreline along the sculpture park
  • Get lost and sweaty
  • Nap on some grass
  • Eat a corndog
  • Eat six corndogs
  • Stay at Hotel Hotel, The Green Tortoise or City Hostel.
  • Make friends with fish at Ballard locks
  • Take a walk out to Discovery Park
  • Talk to strangers
  • Shout at yourself





All Aboard the Vegan Train.

So I spent a good ten years being mostly vegan, strict vegan, part time vegan, vegetarian and a lazy, meat eating, vegan sympathiser. I’ve experienced highs and lows. From a fully organic, plant based diet to shamelessly inhaling cold hotdogs from a tin at 3am in a strangers flat. I’ve been a chips and coke vegan and an artisanal, hand crafted, hummus vegan.

Does it matter? Why am I telling you this? Is there really types of vegans? Well I guess I’ve learnt a lot from these experiences. How not to do it and what’s succesfull.

My American travels broke me. Well America broke me. I wanted to experience every day american things and kind of closed off the ethical window in my brain. Corn dogs, pulled dead things, meat with a side of meat. It was delicious but I returned a flabby, bloated mess.

I landed on an organic farm in Scotland Where I have lived and worked for the last year and a half. It was just the trick. Delicious, organic, vegetables on tap, good foraging and an active lifestyle to support it. I lost around two stone. Things were grand. Recently I have ditched my van dwelling, farm going lifestyle for new projects. This involves living in a regular home with modern conveniences. I no longer see the moon, wee outside or hurt after a days work. Some people like that. Not this woman.

It’s so easy to take such things for granted. I feel disconnected from nature and since the move my habits have reflected that. So it’s time once again to dust off the old mung beans and brave veganism. It’s different this time. It feels more certain and intentional. More fitting with my minimalism, frugality and current state of health. Things have gone a bit wrong. I’ve had too much mac and cheese with extra carbs on the side.

So here is a classic list of reasons I need to be vegan. I guess it’s a list of why you should be vegan too. But that’s not my style.

Diet and Health

I’ve tried high fat and no carb, high protein, cutting out simple carbs and various extreme diets. With good short term results. They are unsustainable. They make you feel good for a week and then when you finally submit to regular eating you feel full of guilt for piling weight back on. I know everybody is different and various things work better for other people. For me it’s the vegan way. I have made mistakes in the past by gorging on white flour, potato and sugar but I have a better knowledge of nutrition and diet these days. Eating more plant matter and colour gives you a lot more vitamins and not that you need an excuse but…… JUICING! Yes.


Cooking and Inspiration

I love to cook. Having a plethora of meat and dairy kind of kills the thrill of cooking for me. I find more inspiration in vegan cooking. The colour is vibrant and the textures are more varied. It’s a challenge trying to create new flavour combinations. A steak is a steak (although I know people who would argue that) But a giant pan of carefully thought out ingredients and tastes made with intent and love can be way more impressive.


Guilt Free

It’s easy to distract yourself from the true reality of the meat and dairy industry. But it’s a good feeling knowing that you don’t have a part in it.



I have always known that raising livestock for human consumption is terrible for the planet. Desertification, condensed nutrients (animal waste), water consumption, rain forest destruction and the amount of crops grown to feed livestock are all problems caused by mans meat demands. But after seeing some of the actual figures I feel there is no way I can say I care about the planet and not be vegan.


Turning Thirty.

Yeah. That’s happening soon. I need to be on top of my game for hitting thirty. It seems a significant point in my life. I need to be a real life grown up. Healthy, happy and leading by example. A lot of stuff has to go down by then but veganism is a must. it’s almost like the first twenty nine years of your life are for testing out all of the options and making thousands of mistakes.


Going Wild

It’s Friday night, you’ve bossed work and spent a week kicking life in the hams. Oh no, that pomegranate salad just looks too lively and fresh. It mocks you. Go wild. Dirty Burgers. Tri-grain bread bun stuffed with double fake burgers, smothered in melted faux cheese, topped with fried onions and mushrooms, a generous amount of ketchup a side of sweet potato fries and lets humour that salad. If that’s the worst thing you’ve ate all week then you’re winning. It may be a plate of oily, slightly processed decadence. But in reality it’s plants. Some weekly processed plants aren’t too bad when you look at the bigger picture.
Let’s not end on too much enthusiasm. Below are a few hurdles I find and have often in the past made me fall off the wagon.


Eating out.

Fries and some leaves. This is standard in most places people like to eat. Just don’t eat if theres nothing worth eating. Eat before hand. Most cities now have vegan friendly or all vegan restaurants. Even some chains such as evil Wetherspoons do a good vegan curry. You could always just not eat out. If in doubt there is always sushi. Japanese food gives you plenty more options.


Dinner with Friends

Your wonderful friends invite you for dinner and kindly make you some vegan food. You invite them for food and don’t go out of your way to make meat food. This makes you a terrible person in some peoples eyes. I have friends who like meat so much they would bring their own pocket meat to your vegan dinner. That’s fine. I really don’t care. Other people can do what they like.


Peoples concern over your nutrient intake

“Where do you get your iron from?” I feel like asking them about their iron intake or slipping in a mother joke. But I just brush it off by saying “I eat a varied diet full of all of the things I need thanks”. I hate having to explain to anybody what I do or don’t put in my mouth.


Asking for a Soy latte

To me that is the most pretentious thing that can come from my mouth. But it’s worth the embarassment.


Wondering where all of the other vegans are

I’m not  preachy about what other people eat.  I think if you believe in something enough you shouldn’t make people want to set you on fire. But I am quietly hoping everyone will just be vegan and make life easier. Or at least get it. Most people think it’s rediculous. Come 2030 Who’ll be mocking me then?


Thanks for reading. Heres to my new vegan venture. I’ll keep you posted with vegan eats and ideas. Read more of my farm life and travel journals soon. Please comment with vegan problems, solutions and inspirations. It would be lovely to hear from you all. Vegan, non vegan, whatever.