Tuesday, 1 March 2011

Hi there!

I thought it was probably about time that I actually introduced myself. You know, properly.

I’m a Northern sprite at heart, but moved to the South Coast of England, to Brighton, back in the summer of 2009, and in that time I’ve already lived in 2 apartments.

The first was great – it was my first place with my other half, Matthew, and it will always have a special place in our hearts – but it was nothing compared to what we have now.

Thanks to a bit of snobbery about where we’d live, and a nice dollop of good luck, we landed with an absolutely gorgeous apartment in an old Victorian Mansion on a street lined with trees. We are just a hop and a skip away from the beach, but don’t have to hear those pesky seagulls on a daily basis. We live within walking distance to the town, but a 5 minute walk to the nearest train station and a 1 minute walk to the nearest bus stop.

Our neighbours are fantastic and our landlord is a gem. We’ve been incredibly fortunate to live the life we lead – but it’s not out of reach for anyone. We work hard, and penny pinch harder – but we still give the impression that we have more than we do.

As my other half is still a student, we’ve had to live on one salary. And not a great one at that. We don’t shop for clothes that often, and we almost never go out partying. Instead we spend on things that can benefit us in the long term – like a piece of furniture, good food, and quality skin-care.

I’ve not been a very healthy person. For the past 6 years my health has been a constant burden. I had headaches almost every day for 3 years. Then I had tendonitis in my wrist. I had an operation to remove an abscess and managed to get phlebitis – the vein running down my right arm completely emptied and I couldn’t straighten my arm for weeks. In October 2009 my knees gave way and I was out of work for 2 months – and then in September 2010 I had the worst abdominal pain I had ever experienced. Needless to say I started to question not only my overall health, but the competency of every doctor I had seen who refused to look at all of these problems as related issues.

And then I went to see a doctor. The best doctor I have ever seen in my entire life. Doctor Barker – the woman who saved me. Her no-nonsense approach to diagnosing me was incredible. She asked me every question under the sun and wouldn’t rest until she understood ‘why’.

My father was diagnosed with Coeliac’s Disease 20 years ago. I grew up eating an almost gluten-free diet, with the exception of bread, pasta and cakes in small quantities. My family weren’t big on ready meals and my Mum cooked a well-balanced meal every evening. I’d been tested for Coeliac’s before but the tests always came back negative. I explained this to my doctor. She told me that due to the low intake of gluten in my diet, it was likely that it spiked levels high enough to be detected in a blood test. Seeing as Dad has Coeliac’s and it’s genetic – add that to my surname (clearly I had Irish heritage – where Coeliac’s is most common) and bam – that was probably the root of all my problems.

Rather than being tested again, I was told to try it out. To go Gluten-Free for a month to see how I felt - and I was blown away by what happened. I started to feel better. I didn’t constantly feel sick or sluggish and I felt well for the first time since I could remember.

Of course I slipped up at first. After the initial month I ate a pizza to see how I felt and I did feel awful afterwards. But although it proved to me that I’d feel a lot better if I stayed off the gluten, the cakes occasionally tempted me. And I wouldn’t be happy afterwards. But I began to become more in control of my cravings and now I don’t even bat an eyelid. In fact, I look at it as if it were poison.

However – the feeling of well-being was short-lived. I felt great for the first few months, but in January I started getting more pains. Clearly I wasn’t being as good as I should be. Sure, I wasn’t eating gluten any more – but was a substituting bad food for good food? No. I took out what was making me ill, but I never once thought that I should add something to make me better. And then I read a book that changed me.

I became vegan the day after. 90% vegan. I still eat fish, eggs and honey. But I have cleansed myself of dairy and meat and I feel incredible.

It’s quite a strange feeling to become vegan without doing it for animal-rights reasons. People automatically assume that I’m a hippy (my dreadlocks probably don’t help this connotation either) and want to ‘save the world’. I also live in Brighton – the only contingency in the whole of the UK with a Green MP – but although that might just add to the ‘hippy’ idea, it also means I live in a great place to find great vegan food.

So food is a big thing for me to blog about. But I also love crafts and design. You may have noticed at the beginning of this (incredibly long) post that I love my apartment, and I try my very hardest to make it as beautiful as I can – with as little money as I can. I renovate as much as I am allowed in a rented property, and I decorate with colours. I’ve never been a fan of brown, white, beige colour schemes and to me, minimalism shows a lack of character depth.

I read lots and lots of blogs to help me with my inspiration and I have been known to copy one or two ideas I have found. Sometimes I like to have something that’s unique. Something I want something that is quick and cheap (I have a lot of Ikea things) but the main thing to me is that it looks more expensive and luxurious than it was. I have a deception of wealth because I know how to show it.

So welcome to my blog. I hope you will find inspiration, information and ideas. I’m all about making you the best person you can be when it comes to yourself and your surroundings.

Please come and say Hi.


  1. I just found you via twitter. Looks like a great blog. :)

  2. Hi. Nice to finally meet you properly. That is a great post you shared with us. Nice to know your “roots” if I may say so, and I am truly sorry about your health condition. But it’s all good when it ends good, right? I mean, you found the exact problem and now you are better. Congrats for that!

  3. Oh, you and my "lo gung" (husband) would get along SWIMMINGLY. Dude LOVES to shop...and put his money where it will count the most. He has gorgeous taste...and a tight fist when it comes to money. Which is why he's starting to let me build more of our furniture. ;0)

    I'm trying to develop a gluten/dairy-free bread for a friend...let me know if you come across any great recipes!!

  4. Hi! My mom also eats a gluten-free diet and has recently become vegan like me, her diet must be similar to yours! Found your blog on the kind life forums! Nice to meet you! :-)


Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...