Saturday, 30 July 2016

Cambridge III - Downing College

Tell me a bit about your recent travels! x
    Part 1 // Part 2

      Saturday, 23 July 2016

      how YOU can like porridge

      Also known as oatmeal, porridge is the dish that I've been starting to turn to on recent mornings over my ex-beloved coco pops and buttery toast. This is mainly because it is the one thing that manages to keep me full right up until lunchtime, even if I have an early start. It boasts a lot of health benefits, present in its fibrous nature, slow-release energy, bone-strengthening abilities and vitamin A. It's warming in winter, and on a summer's morning too, when you just wake up and want a bit of comfort.

      What I am inclined to delight in, is the fact that it is completely customisable. It can easily be made suitable for coeliacs by insuring that the oats you purchase have the gluten-free symbol on the packet. Oats in their purest form are naturally gluten-free, but it's the way in which factories cross-contaminate or add that changes this. Too, by using almond milk, soya milk or even just water over cow's milk, porridge can be made dairy-free and therefore suitable for vegans. Due to its runny nature, all sorts of things can be mixed into it, such as health foods like chia seeds, milled linseed or (if you're really craving chocolate cereal) cacao powder. It can be sweetened with whatever sweetener you like; sugar, honey, agave nectar, maple syrup or stevia. Or you could forget adding sweeteners altogether and concentrate on throwing in dates, berries or bananas for sweetness. My mother likes to add toasted sunflower seeds for an added crunchy texture. The oats are yours. I usen't to like them at all, but it is so easy to create flavours that you enjoy and that don't even have to be bad, or good for you. (@rachelnicole, please do not fear the upcoming banana)

      The method I've been following as of late:
      1/3 mug oats
      1/3 mug almond milk
      2/3 mug water
      1 teaspoon chia seeds
      1/2 a ripe banana
      3 medium strawberries
      dash of cinnamon
      maple syrup

      1. Put the oats, chia seeds, milk and water together in a saucepan, and simmer for about 10 minutes. You'll notice it "growing" and bubbling a bit as the oats break down.
      2. When you're happy with the texture, take it off the heat, stir, and leave to cool for a minute.
      3. Slice the banana and strawberries. Pour the porridge into a bowl.
      4. Top with fruit, sprinkle over ground cinnamon and maple syrup to taste

      Obviously you can do whatever you want with this, throw in some more ingredients, take out a few. Nothing is completely essential (bar the oats themselves!) and can be adapted to suit your tastes! Also, you can make porridge in the microwave, but it doesn't break down as nicely. The longer you cook it for, the more puddingy it becomes!

      Porridge inspiration:

      Do you eat porridge for breakfast? If so, I'd love to hear what toppings you use!


      Wednesday, 20 July 2016


      Three and a half years ago, I told you about my first experience going for a jog with my dad. I still remember it well. None of the clothes I wore were really meant for sport. My shoes were clunky, heavy, and made a slapping sound as they hit the pavement. When my five minutes of running were up, I felt both overjoyed and wretched. Though it's true that I am naturally very slight, I was at that time incredibly unfit. The run exhausted me, despite my weekly P.E. lessons (which I was never much good at). The fact that my diet was very unbalanced certainly didn't help with energy levels. So, when I came back to my front door after two laps around my neighbourhood, it was understandable that I felt just the slightest bit of nausea and that my legs ached for three days straight afterwards.

      Thankfully, I didn't give up.

      I kept going, every other weekend and then a few days more in the summer. I don't remember when my first 5K was, but I've done it so many times since, finally a runner, each time glowing with sweat and achievement for beating previous speeds and building up stamina. I remember moving forward to running trails and beach jogs. I remember the first time that I noticed I finally had muscle somewhere on my body, showing off my calves to whoever could be persuaded to look.

      As I grew older, my diet got better as my willingness to try new foods expanded. I developed an almost love for running. Sometimes I wouldn't go for a run for as long as three months and still be amazed that I hadn't lost my stamina when I eventually returned. Earlier this year, rather apprehensively, I went on my first (and thus far only) 10K. I went further afield than ever before, not stopping once, in utter disbelief when 5K only meant halfway. And then when I was finished, I was too tired to be pleased.

      I was there. I had run it in about an hour and fifteen minutes, definitely with room for improvement, but I had done it even still. After three years of running on-off, three years in which I had always said "I'm no good at sport", I had proven myself wrong. I had found a sport I could stick to and be good at.

      My dad has always been my running companion. I think I've only gone on fewer than 5 without him. He's acted as my coach and we've been our mutual distraction from the difficulties of running. I feel incredibly lucky that it's something we can bond over and do together. He is just as much as part of my running journey as I am. However, today (25th of June 2016) I went for a 5K run with my sister, who took up running long after me and took to it just as well. It was really very lovely, chatting to her the whole time. I felt like my father, really, as this time I was the leader! I showed her our running route. It's so much more fun to run with people than to run alone.

      What sport do you do? x

      Saturday, 16 July 2016

      Cambridge II - Colleges at a Glance

      I was fortunate enough to gain an "insider's look" into a few of the colleges in Cambridge. Some being hundreds of years old. It's easy to feel inspired in such places!

      Featuring: King's College, Clare College & Trinity College

      Are any of you in college or university at the moment? x

      Part 1 // Part 3 

      Saturday, 9 July 2016


      Today I turn eighteen.

      I don't know how to feel, whether I should feel, should react.

      Somewhere along the line this age became considered old enough. Suddenly, I am an adult.

      From today on I can vote, join the army, drive a motorcycle, buy cigarettes and alcohol, give blood. I can make a will, become a policewoman, sit on a jury, be paid more.

      And, while I don't intend to do the majority of my instant priviledges, not a single person can stop me. I think I'm supposed to feel free.

      Instead, I feel anxious.

      Legally, the status of my being has changed. I am trusted, able to seek a full time job. The passport which this week I shall renew will look different. It will last 10 years rather than 5, because I am finished being a child.

      Should I reminisce? Should I be wishing some part of me goodbye?

      I am a day older than I was yesterday. But today I am new.

      The baby that was born this day eighteen years ago could not think in words.

      The girl who turned five this day thirteen years ago was scared of going to school.

      The girl who turned thirteen this day five years ago missed primary school with all her heart.

      The girl who turned fifteen this day three years ago did not know yet how cruel people could be.

      Being an adolescent is perilous, turning even the doziest into an insomniac. It's about wearing stupid outfits and too much make up with too little skill. It's a time of passing obsession and figuring out whether it's you or them or neither.

      I don't think I'll miss that aspect. I am so through with being my own mental punchbag.

      But I am not ready to leave it all behind, either. Too much of what I love is in what I know.

      Today, I am free.

      Today, I choose to stay.
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