VEGAN CAMP OUT 2018

Good morning beautiful souls,

Last weekend I went on my first proper solo trip! I went camping, to a festival all by myself and I’m glad I did! I get huge travel anxiety so this was a big deal for me, but I coped! Woohoo! I didn’t have a panic attack and best of all I had great time and met some lovely people! The festival I was attending was the Vegan Camp Out Festival at Newark Showground. With this being a very new festival (only it’s 3rd year running) I’d say it’s still a learning curve for the organisers too, but considering the number of attendees more than doubled from last year, it went down super well, there were no major hiccups and everyone had a blast.

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I departed lunchtime on Friday with far too much stuff (but hey I was only used to going camping with the car where you can chuck as much as you like on the back seat aha, so considering this I think I managed to reduce my camping kit considerably!). Jessica kindly helped me carry all my things to the train station and from there on I just about coped; luckily I had a direct train and once I arrived in Newark it was a just a taxi ride from the station to the showground and a little walk to the campsite.

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It was soo windy when I arrived that being by myself and with a brand new tent (which I hadn’t practised putting up beforehand) I really struggled to set up camp. Luckily some kind stranger next to me asked if I needed any help and together with the tips of two passing guys who had a similar tent we eventually, after what felt like hours, managed to erect it although I was a bit dubious as to whether it would stay up with the way the wind was knocking it around. Once I had my sleeping mat rolled out and the fairylights put up though I was very happy with my spacious but cosy home for the next 2 nights (I had a 4 person tent all to myself which was rather lovely I’m not going to lie).

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Before going to the Vegan Camp Out I’d joined a Facebook group created for all the lone travellers, so that we could interact and arrange somewhere to all camp together. However I also knew that my experience would be ruined if I were to be kept awake all night by loud neighbours haha so I decided to camp in the designated Quiet area. I had been nervous about plonking my tent amidst strangers but before going I by chance ended up making friends with a lovely girl named Molly via Instagram. She was coming to the festival with her boyfriend and they decided to camp with me for which I was very grateful. About three hours after I got there Molly and her boyfriend Will finally arrived and set up camp next to me.

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After settling in, we decided to check out some of the talks and went to listen to guitarist Jona Weinhofen’s personal vegan story, before ALF (Animal Liberation Front) founder Ronnie Lee took to stage and gave a very motivating speech about why we should not just be passive vegans but take to the streets and become activists. Having spent a  good 9 year in prison himself for being an animal rights activist this guy’s passion for animals and their welfare is seriously inspiring!

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Later in the evening I met up with Sam (a guy who’d messaged me from the Facebook lonelies group a day or two before the festival). We went to listen to the reggae legend that is Macka B and then sat down to chat the night away. Okay, okay you got me, we didn’t actually chat the night away. I mean I would have loved to, it was so lovely just chilling and chatting and Sam was super nice but I was literally yawing like every 2 mins come 12pm haha, so we called it a night.

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The next day Molly, Will & I went to some more talks and workshops, including one by founder of the Carnisim Debunked website, which were all very informative and thought provoking. One of the talks held by Earthling Ed had such a huge crowd I only just managed to squeeze in at the back, but I’m glad I did – it was amazing hearing him talk in person, what a guy!!!

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We treated ourselves for lunch and had some vegan pie & mash (I went for the mushroom one) which was so yummy and went off to listen to more talks such as by Peter Hammarstedt a Sea Shepherd Captain.

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In the afternoon we decided we wanted to go to the screening of Dominion. Watching Dominion was so difficult, not everyone made it through the whole film. It was very harrowing to watch – it’s a stark & emotional reminder of why we as vegans do not eat animal produce! Hearing the cries of anguish from mothers and calves being separated, bearing witness to the thousands of animals repeatedly abused, watching as foxes are skinned alive for their fur, seeing baby chicks get conveyorbelted into a shredder just because they are male, having hidden cameras reveal the disgusting dirty & cramped conditions farmed animals live in….. the list of unnecessary, inhumane cruelty we inflict is truly endless, terrible and heart-breaking!

PLEASE, PLEASE PLEASE, START DOING SOME RESEARCH TO INFORM YOURSELVES MORE ON THE IMPACT ANIMAL AGRICULTURE HAS ON ANIMAL WELFARE, OUR EVNIRONMENT & OUR HEALTH! IT’S SUCH AND IMPORTANT TOPIC!

Here’s some sites to get you started:

Carnism Debunked – Plant Proof – Must Watch Informative Vegan Documentaries

Well after a difficult afternoon, we went back to our tents to rest a little more before having dinner. I’d brought most of my food for the weekend with me (far too much in the end aha) and so I made an avocado salad sandwich but joined Molly and Will by the food stalls to treat myself to some vegan Churros for dessert. Annoyingly they ran out of chocolate sauce, 2 people infront of me?! Say what?! But they were just as tasty with just sugary cinnamon!

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In the evening we went to see the last bit of Simon Amstell’s show on the main stage and have a good laugh. Molly and Will went back to their tent after this and I headed off to find Sam and hang out with him and some other lonelies grooving away to JME! After JME it was time for the afterparty, but I was pretty tired by then and knew I had an early enough start the next morning so I made my way back to my tent. Sam came back with me to my tent (I was forcing my leftover booze on him as I did so not want to have to carry it all the way home again aha) but instead of going back to the party straight away he stayed a while and we talked a bit more which was really nice as I felt like we’d just clicked really well. Eventually I did go to bed though and Sam went off to continue the party, well into the early hours of the morning apparently (I’m so glad I’d listened to myself and did not sleep in the lonelies area of the camp as this had apparently been the afterparty of the afterparty area where I would have got 0 sleep).

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Anyway I woke the next day to a grey sky and chilli morning which made getting out of my toasty sleeping bag rather difficult. I had hoped both mornings to be up and awake to join in on the morning yoga sessions, but totally failed both mornings, preferring my cosy lie ins aha! But this morning I couldn’t lie in too long as our taxi was booked back to the station for 11.30am (following the horrendous queues for taxis to the festival we made sure to book on Saturday for Sunday, and I’m glad we did otherwise who knows how long we’d have had to wait!). I’d packed my things together quite quickly and was having my breakfast by the time Molly & Will woke up and in the end our tents were all dissembled quicker than I thought, which was good though because it meant we could still go to one of the morning talks before leaving. I was also a good call getting up earlier as it started to rain and so we just about had everything packed away before it got too wet!

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Once we made it to the train station the last leg of my trip began as I had almost 4 hours to wait for my train home. It wasn’t too bad though, I read my book (The Handmaid’s Tale), drank coffee and before I knew it 4 hours had flown by and I was on my way home.

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I apologise for this essay of a blog post, but I guess I’m not good at being short and precise aha, so you get the long winded ramblings of my weekend adventure! I hope you enjoyed learning a little more about what I got up to and might even be inspired to check out some of the links 🙂

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DURHAM PRIDE

Good evening beautiful souls,

Today is Durham Pride and I have spent a fab day celebrating love in all its beautiful forms with a bunch of amazing people 💟

Last year I went to Newcastle Pride with this lot (it was my first pride event) and this year I was excited go to Durham Pride.

We couldn’t have asked for a better day the weather has been amazing all day. Not a single cloud in sight, just brilliant hot sunshine. Anyway, I don’t have much to say really apart from I’m glad to be part of such an amazing LGBT community and I’ve had an absolutely brilliant day, well I’m still having a fab day and thus I just wanted to share a couple of photos with you:

Makeup and festival gems at the ready!!!

The March from Durham Cathedral down to the Sands (a field by the river Wear).

Celebrating with all these beautiful souls 💟

My delicious vegan burger from the Green Guerrilla which was to die for!

As sun was out all day I luckily thought to bring sun cream with me because some of us started to turn red pretty quickly!

The vibes were all super friendly and happy. We enjoyed entertainment from Stooshe, Lloyd Daniels some fabulous drag queens as well as many other acts…

Now we’re just having a bite to eat before heading out to town for a bit. I hope you have all also had a wonderful sunny happy day!!

Love Carina xo

WHAT I’M CURRENTLY READING

Good morning beautiful souls,

If you follow me on Goodreads you will already know what I’m currently reading, but in case you don’t (psst.. go follow me..) I wanted to share with you the books I’ve been enjoying.

Firstly however I just want to talk about how much I love Goodreads, it is such a great website and if you’re not already on it you totally should be, at least if you’re a bookworm! This site enables you to yourself reading goals and log all the books you’re reading/ have read. You can rate them and leave reviews or even share them/recommend them to friends. If you enjoy discussing books there are also numerous book clubs you can join or even just discussion forums. I’ve not really joined a book club before. Well I tried it once but was put off as soon as the chosen book arrived in the post. Said book was the Count of Monte Christo, which I’d soon discovered was like a 900 page novel in the smallest writing possible! Needless to say I didn’t think I could finish it in a month and so I soon gave up and haven’t joined a book club since. However I did enjoy the story and so as you will see in a minute, I have picked this book up again and it is one of the books I am currently reading.

Every year I set myself a goal of 52 books a year, which can be quite challenging and I rarely complete the challenge, but it’s great fun being able to tick a book of the list and see how far you can get – it gives me a lot of satisfaction! So far I have read 15 books this year and that means I am currently 4 books behind schedule! (I hate seeing when I am behind schedule aha). However I also currently have about 10 books on the go so if I finish them all simultaneously it might balance out again!

I don’t know if you are like me when it comes to books but sometimes I just jump between books or randomly decide start a new one; essentially I follow where my mood takes me. Some books I read every night until they’re finished, others I delve into only now and then and again some are books which I picked up, lost interest in but am still determined to finish!

So without further ado,

The books I am currently/actively reading:

The Ambassadors Mission

As the son of the late High Lord Akkarin, saviour of the city, and Sonea, the former street urchin turned Black Magician, Lorkin has a legacy of heroism and adventure to live up to. So when Lord Dannyl takes the position of Guild Ambassador to Sachaka, Lorkin volunteers to be his assistant in the hopes of making his mark on the world.

When news comes that Lorkin is in danger, the law that forbids Black Magicians leaving the city forces Sonea to trust that Dannyl will save him. Besides, her old friend Cery needs her as never before: someone has been assassinating Thieves, and when his family is targeted he finds evidence that this Thief Hunter uses magic.

Either a member of the Guild is hunting down the Thieves one by one, or there is – once again – a rogue magician on the streets of Imardin. And this one has full control of their powers – and is willing to kill with them.

The Count of Monte Cristo (Audiobook on Audible)

The story of Edmund Dantes, self-styled Count of Monte Cristo, is told with consummate skill. The victim of a miscarriage of justice, Dantes is fired by a desire for retribution and empowered by a stroke of providence. In his campaign of vengeance, he becomes an anonymous agent of fate.

The sensational narrative of intrigue, betrayal, escape, and triumphant revenge moves at a cracking pace. Dumas’ novel presents a powerful conflict between good and evil embodied in an epic saga of rich diversity that is complicated by the hero’s ultimate discomfort with the hubristic implication of his own actions.

And the Mountains Echoed

Ten-year-old Abdullah would do anything for his younger sister. In a life of poverty and struggle, with no mother to care for them, Pari is the only person who brings Abdullah happiness. For her, he will trade his only pair of shoes to give her a feather for her treasured collection. When their father sets off with Pari across the desert to Kabul in search of work, Abdullah is determined not to be separated from her. Neither brother nor sister know what this fateful journey will bring them.

And the Mountains Echoed is a deeply moving epic of heartache, hope and, above all, the unbreakable bonds of love.

Coffee Table books (the now & then books):

Bloom

In Bloom, Estée shares the moments, people, things and life lessons that have made her who she is today and offers her tips for surviving life. Celebrate your bloom story and what makes you unique.

The Little Book Of Hygge

The Danish word hygge is one of those beautiful words that doesn’t directly translate into English, but it more or less means comfort, warmth or togetherness.

Hygge is the feeling you get when you are cuddled up on a sofa with a loved one, in warm knitted socks, in front of the fire, when it is dark, cold and stormy outside. It that feeling when you are sharing good, comfort food with your closest friends, by candle light and exchanging easy conversation. It is those cold, crisp blue sky mornings when the light through your window is just right.

Denmark is the happiest nation in the world and Meik puts this largely down to them living the hygge way. They focus on the small things that really matter, spend more quality time with friends and family and enjoy the good things in life. The Little Book of Hygge will give you practical steps and tips to become more hygge: how to pick the right lighting, organise a dinner party and even how to dress hygge, all backed up by Meik’s years’ of research at the Happiness Research Institute in Copenhagen.

The Sun And Her Flowers

From Rupi Kaur, the bestselling author of Milk and Honey, comes her long-awaited second collection of poetry. Illustrated by Kaur, The Sun and Her Flowers is a journey of wilting, falling, rooting, rising and blooming. It is a celebration of love in all its forms.

The books I started, haven’t picked up in a while, but will get round to finishing eventually:

Tintenherz (or Inkheart in English – I’m reading it in it’s original language – German)

Meggie loves books. So does her father, Mo, a bookbinder, although he has never read aloud to her since her mother mysteriously disappeared. They live quietly until the night a stranger knocks at their door. He has come with a warning that forces Mo to reveal an extraordinary secret – a storytelling secret that will change their lives for ever.

Cider With Rosie

Cider with Rosie is a wonderfully vivid memoir of childhood in a remote Cotswold village, a village before electricity or cars, a timeless place on the verge of change. Growing up amongst the fields and woods and characters of the place, Laurie Lee depicts a world that is both immediate and real and belongs to a now-distant past.

Anna Karenina

Anna Karenina is one of the most loved and memorable heroines of literature. Her overwhelming charm dominates a novel of unparalleled richness and density.

Tolstoy considered this book to be his first real attempt at a novel form, and it addresses the very nature of society at all levels,- of destiny, death, human relationships and the irreconcilable contradictions of existence. It ends tragically, and there is much that evokes despair, yet set beside this is an abounding joy in life’s many ephemeral pleasures, and a profusion of comic relief.

Have you read any of these books?! I would love to know!! ❤

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I’M OFF TO SEE BRYDE

Good evening beautiful souls,

Tonight I am off to a gig. I barely ever treat myself to go and see live music and so I am very excited for this evening. I’m off to Newcastle to go and see Bryde. I first saw her play at the Lindisfarne festival last summer and absolutely loved her ethereal indie-rock sound.

‘Pembrokeshire-born, London-based Bryde aka Sarah Howells, is a woman and an electric guitar playing fierce and fragile songs. Swaying from vulnerable to uncompromising within one verse and chorus, Bryde’s music is honest and furiously authentic.

Fascinated with human psychology and inner workings of relationships Bryde’s songs still hold close a defiant and life-affirming quality. Described as being about “entangling and unravelling” they move from tender and delicate, to tough and unforgiving, drawing reviews that reflect this. ‘

Has anyone else heard of Bryde before?! If you don’t know her I highly recommend you check her out 😊

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