Queen of Jams

Queen of Jams

Okay this Jam (Rhapsodie de Fruit, High Content Fruit Spread, Raspberry) is officially the best Jam out there (in supermarkets, I'm not dissing your granny's homemade jams) and here's why:

– It doesn't contain cane sugar (all sugars are from unsweetened fruit juices)
– It's 51% raspberries (it does also come in other flavours but haven't checked their percentages as why would you get anything but raspberry).
– It doesn't contain preservatives, flavouring or colours; IT'S LITERALLY JUST FRUIT.
– It also doesn't contain gelatine (using fruit pectin, naturally found in fruits, to get the jam consistency) or Cochineal (red food colouring made from beetles) so it's vegan!
– It's available in supermarkets not just health food stores, so it's easy to get your fix.

This has always been my favourite jam since I was little, find me a better one (or what you think is better) and I'll be happy to try it! But for now, Rhapsodie de Fruit wears the sticky crown!

10 Life Lessons I Wish I Knew When I First Moved From Home

1) Buy 4ply toilet paper. That 80p saved by buying the cheapest ‘own brand’ is NOT worth scratchy toilet paper on sensitive areas. Treat your bits.
EDIT 19/07/2017: Get Who Gives A Crap toilet roll! It’s mostly made from recycled paper, donates 50% of its profits to hygiene and sanitation projects around the world, and is 3ply which I think is a good compromise. Plus if you send me your email we can do the ‘refer a friend’ thing where I ‘invite’ you to buy from Who Gives A Crap and if you use the link we both get £5 off our order 😃.
2) Don’t put your spices in a cupboard above a cooker or kettle (unless they’re in an airtight container) – they go hard and un-shakable because of the moisture and will go mouldy much quicker…I pretty much thought spices had an unlimited shelf life until I put them in that fated cupboard. 😩
3) Opt in for online bills with email reminders when you first move house/switch energy providers…you’d be amazed at how many trees they will send you through the letterbox just to say you have been successful in switching…and would you be interested in these other services of theirs?…and now here’s your first bill the day after even though you haven’t used the gas yet…oh that’s the previous tenant’s usage? Excuse us whilst we send you 10 more reminders to pay it even though you’ve explained to us multiple times via phone and email it’s not you who needs to pay it…EUGH.
4) Now put when you need to pay bills in your calendar…as a repeating event. I know it sounds obvious, but you’d be amazed at how quickly the months come around and you could have sworn that you already paid the gas this month…didn’t you? 
5) If you really need to get up for something put your phone on the other side of the room, so when the alarm goes off you HAVE to get out of bed. No getting back in after though!
6) Night-shift on your phone is your friend for getting a good-uninterrupted-by-pointless-Facebook-chats-at-3am night’s sleep. Just remember to temporarily put the electrician in your ‘favourites’ the night before so your phone will actually ring when he calls to say he’s arrived…
7) There are many many ways to make pasta more interesting. Find some more recipes for your repertoire. 
8) Invest in good earplugs, or keep the pink & yellow swirled ones from gigs (most other throw-away ones are uncomfortable). Your boyfriend wants to stay up watching UFC in the living room next door? No problem. Your neighbours having noisy sex? No problem. Seagulls trying your sanity? No problem. And yes you will still hear your alarm. 👌
At this point I asked my partner what tips he had and after a long pause I got this gem…”Always check for double glazing”…thanks babe. To be fair this is actually a very good tip for if you’re looking for a flat in Brighton as 99% of these old town houses seem to be single glazed, so you can say goodbye to the feeling in your fingers and toes for 6 months of the year…unless you pounce on a double glazed flat when you can! 
N.B Whilst editing this post he came up with a second tip: invest in service washes at the Launderette whilst you can. I myself am a do-it-at-home-and-wait-3-days-for-it-to-dry kinda gal, so it is rather nice when he comes back with freshly washed and dried clothes from the Launderette…but it’s usually upward of £12 per load!
9) Expect to move around a lot, especially in Brighton. It’s not uncommon to move every 6 months or less for the first couple of years whilst you’re getting your bearings – disguised mould, hippies in a shared house who don’t pay bills, break-ups with partners, bastard landlords and disruptive neighbours are all common factors to contend with, it really is luck of the draw. I’ve moved a total of 9 times in 3 years!
10) Stay at home as long as possible before moving and save save save save save save. Even then you’re still likely to blow it all in the first year on deposits, rent, utilities and council tax. 
WELCOME TO THE REAL WORLD. 
P.S Moving out is still a fun and necessary part of life and I don’t regret my experiences – I just wish my parents or someone had told me how stressful and sometimes overwhelming it actually is, so hopefully someone will read this and feel a little more prepared!

Just Do The Best You Can Do

There is always ‘better’:

Coconut water is so good for you, especially if you’re dehydrated, but it’s quite expensive…

…also did you know it’s usually from concentrate or is pasteurised, which takes lots of the nutrients out…

…so raw coconut water is better, but even more expensive, and that plastic bottle isn’t great for the environment…

…even better, why not buy your own coconuts fresh, buy a tap thing, and drink it straight from the coconut!…

…but that’s a lot of effort, and I feel kind of guilty about all these air miles… and are they organic?…

…why not just move to a tropical Island and drink coconut straight from the coconuts that grow there natively, and are naturally organic, and pick them yourselves so there’s definitely no one being underpaid and no air miles (after you’ve flown there initially of course)…

…or maybe that pasteurised coconut water is all you can justify spending right now, and hey, it’s better for you than Lucazade. 

Zoe x

Heads remember past loves. They remember thoughts and emotions. Luckily, our bodies can’t truely remember pain. You can remember where it was, what you were thinking, your reaction to it and even how to describe the pain. But trying to truly feel it again after we have healed is a difficult feat, thank goodness.
So yes, we can protect our hearts from getting hurt, we can hold back, we can pull away when things get serious, we can push feelings down. But we can only know true happiness by knowing despair. Heartbreak is the natural reaction, from the action of loving someone. But just as we don’t know when our lives will be over, we also don’t know when love will be either. And anyway, as A.A. Bondy so beautifully and ruthlessly sings: ‘Love it don’t die, it just moves from girl to girl. Town to town, rose to rose, all around the world’.

Love is always within you. Don’t be afraid. When you love someone, as long as they are sharing their love equally, you’re not giving anything away, you don’t lose energy or anything of yourself. You’re sharing it. And shared love is amplified love, amplified energy, amplified life.

 

Zoe Brownrigg

These are my own words. 

Rethinking My Wardrobe

Rethinking My Wardrobe

Becoming vegan has been like gradually cleaning a window and seeing little by little into the world of animal ethics, where before the panes were murky from ignorance, guilt and an unwillingness to investigate for fear of more guilt.

Today, materials such as leather and suede have probably been harvested unethically – usually the animal is kept in ghastly conditions and killed young for its meat – their skin being a by-product sold to the fashion industry. Of course I knew this before, but its only since ceasing to eat meat that I have started to really hold a mirror up to everything I do and consume. In an ideal world, and probably with an echo of ancient practises, animal materials wouldn’t have to be gathered unethically, but would be harvested once the animal had died naturally. However, in this day and age, such a method is just not possible with the demand for leather and suede etc. being so high.

Yesterday  I watched this video made by PETA on the abuse that sheep receive when they are shorn on some ranches in Australia and America.

It made my stomach heave and my eyes water. I cannot believe that this is happening in multiple sites across the world.

Although I’m sure that not all shearers treat their sheep this way, after seeing this video, to be on the safe side, I will simply not be buying any woollen garments from now on. This will not be hard, as thinking about my wardrobe, I am sure there aren’t many woollen items anyway – I find it very itchy!

Another wool that I have known to be unethical for about a year, is Angora. I discovered this after a news story ran on BBC’s Radio One about the horrific treatment of rabbits when harvesting their fur. Because it was a radio story there weren’t any images, but the sound of the rabbits screaming in the background was enough to put me off for life. If you want to find out more, watch this PETA video. It was kind of ironic when my uncle bought me a ‘cosy’ Angora wool hot water bottle cover with a cute cartoon rabbit pattern on it, only a few weeks after I heard the radio programme. To me it was like some sort of sick joke – happy rabbits woven from the fur of their own kind – begotten in pain and suffering. I do not blame him, he was not to know, in fact most people are ignorant to wool gathering practises and we need to educate them now!

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Please share this post or be inspired to write your own or tell your friends and family to stop buying wool of any kind. Whatever you do, please take action now, no matter how small.

Thank you.