Wednesday, 4 March 2015

Altruism



An inspiring talk by this lovely French Buddhist monk, Matthieu Ricard.

Enjoy!

Kay & Sime
xx 

Monday, 2 March 2015

Lights Out!


Just 4 weeks to go until this year's Earth Hour.

Here's the link to join in: Sign Up For Earth Hour.

We'll have friends staying, so a candlelit meal will definitely be on the cards...


What do you have planned?

Kay & Sime
xx

Friday, 27 February 2015

Living Without Money


               We came across Heidemarie Schwermer recently, she is a German woman in her 70s who back in 1994 created a Gib und Nimm (Give and Take) sort of swap shop/LETS scheme. Two years later, she decided to give up her job, apartment & possessions to try out a life without money & continues to enjoy her fascinating & inspirational journey.  


Here's a link to a film all about Heidemarie: LIVING WITHOUT MONEY.
Please take time to watch it as it really is an interesting film.

It has made us think more about where we are right now...
 We are in the process of decluttering our home & it feels great, very soon we will have so much space as we free ourselves of furniture, books, etc.
We have toyed with the idea of starting up the B&B again, but both feel it's really too much pressure. Instead we are thinking about welcoming people into our home with the Give and Take principles in mind - helping each other, learning & connecting. It will be flexible, not a regular volunteer post of 5 days hard work in return for food & lodgings, but more about sharing tasks & ideas, enjoying each other's company.
We have this large house & have loved sharing it with family, friends & guests...
It would feel wrong not to continue sharing it while we remain here & what better way than with like-minded people.

No exchanging of money, just a commitment to having good times!

Who's in?



Kay & Sime
xx

Thursday, 26 February 2015

Ralph The Mandola Man


This lovely chap has died...
Well known in Cornwall, Ralph entertained the shoppers of Truro for many years.
Sal's partner, Ryan took this beautiful photo back in 2007 & we wanted to share.
If you'd like to see why Ralph was so popular - watch this great short film: Eighty Eight. You'll be glad you did!

Kay & Sime
xx


Wednesday, 25 February 2015

Ups And Downs

We have been busy sorting through all the stuff on our laptop & have found these 2 videos of Bebe taken in November... 

A lot of what she's saying in this first video is make believe, but it just shows how she can somehow be totally convincing & is quite a storyteller!

This is just a few days later, but you can see how low she would get & how irritated we were feeling too.

These are just small examples of what life was like towards the end of her time with us.
Her manic high moments would sometimes go on for hours, talking & singing non-stop. Eight hours was the longest stint, which was on her last night here. As her behaviour escalated, so did her voice - she became louder, full of aggression & threats, in the end we called for a doctor. She finally quietened down at around 1:00am with sedation, but had been on the go since before 5:00pm. 
During her restless periods she was like a tired out toddler getting her second wind. Sometimes she would run from room to room, pile all the cushions up on the sofa & try to climb on top, demand food & drinks in the early hours, desperately try to find the front door key to get out in the night & even attempted to phone the police to tell them we'd kidnapped her. In Bebe's last few days here she managed to climb over the barrier (which was like a stair gate) at the top of the stairs during the night & finally she completely smashed it to pieces. 

As time was going on, we were getting more & more exhausted, falling into deep sleeps between being disturbed in the night - leaving Bebe to get up to all sorts. Fear was (& still is) a big problem for her, most nights she was convinced she would be attacked & didn't want to be left alone. Fear in people with dementia is common, a lack of understanding causes them to panic & eventually the adrenalin kicks in. Their 'fight or flight' instinct takes over & this is what would happen to Bebe most nights - often she armed herself with various weapons (coat hangers, broom, walking stick), she would either barricade her bedroom door or attempt to break out of the house! She can go for days without any sleep at all, but being in the care home now means there are night staff to sit up with -something we couldn't do...

Dementia is much more than memory loss, Bebe's behaviour is certainly complex & with nearly 36 million people worldwide now suffering from the disease - it really does make us wonder how on earth others are coping, especially if they are not receiving the support we had. 

We have gone through periods over the last few months of regret in taking Bebe on. We thought it had been pointless - she wasn't happy most of the time, so why had we bothered? Were we foolish in believing we'd have an impact on her life? Then when we visited her yesterday, we were pleasantly surprised to hear her mention that she remembered living with us! We truly thought she'd have no recollection, but she does... 

 Perhaps we did make a little difference in the end!

Kay & Sime
xx




Sunday, 22 February 2015

Settling In

Apart from telling us that she's feeling like a prisoner...
 Bebe is actually settling into the routine of life in care. We know she is safe & on the whole quite happy. One of the good things for us is being able to walk away if she starts getting agitated during our visits - knowing we can leave & let someone else deal with her difficult behaviour is liberating!
The staff are doing a great job, although Bebe is probably one of their most difficult clients... 
Hard to believe when you see her so happy, but when the camera comes out - she loves to put on a show!

She has been in care for a month now & we are still appreciating every moment we have to ourselves. Being able to do everyday stuff like going for walks, cooking, watching a film, visiting friends, turning up for work on time & sleeping is all just wonderful...


And one of our favourite pastimes has to be crawling out of bed & walking down to the beach before breakfast. 
On Wednesday, we were down there at low tide. The beach opens out & we were able to enjoy some time exploring the little coves we don't get into very often, but of course the video is still about life with/without Bebe... 
It's going to be some time before we feel life is normal again, but at least we can appreciate what we have & we really do - every day.


Kay & Sime
xx

Saturday, 7 February 2015

Vegan Pizza With Polenta Base

Vegan, gluten free pizza is so easy to make...


Polenta is a quick alternative to wheat for pizza dough, but it is pretty bland - so we always try adding extras to cheer it up...

For a large pizza - we measure out 1 litre of boiling water, using a little to fry garlic & onions in a large saucepan, along with basil, oregano & smoked paprika. We also add sea salt & lots of crushed black pepper (otherwise it's just too bland for us). Once the onions & garlic are softened, we add the rest of the water & bring to the boil. Take the pan off the heat & stir in the polenta (250g to 1 litre of water). A hand blender is good to make sure it's mixed in properly & we use greaseproof paper so it doesn't stick on the tray. Once it's spread evenly on the tray, stick it in a hot oven for about 15 minutes - until it's just starting to brown. Leave to cool.

Choose your veggies...
We started with a layer of passata, then scrambled tofu, sliced steamed potatoes, sun dried tomatoes, mushrooms, courgette & red pepper. Topped with more black pepper & oregano.
Bang it in a hot oven for around 20 minutes...

We'll never win awards for presentation, but there you have it!

Really easy to make, vegan, gluten-free pizza... Delicious!!!

Kay & Sime
xx

Work Break

Us chatting about work, family, etc & a glimpse of the view we have to put up with!!!

We've looked after this house for over 7 years, one of the first jobs we took on when we started up our business. 
It's now a very successful holiday let, attracting groups of people from all over the world & we spend most of our Fridays there... Which is nice!

Kay & Sime
xx

Wednesday, 4 February 2015

Thou Shalt Not Warm Up

We set out today after a late breakfast & in search of snow...

And found some on Dartmoor...

We enjoyed a stunning, incredibly chilly walk up to Buckland Beacon & saw the rather weathered  & underwhelming 10 commandments carved into the rocks below the Beacon. 
Will share more photos of our day soon, but for now here's another video:


Kay & Sime
xx


Tuesday, 3 February 2015

Sunshine and Moonlight


Sun setting over Carne Beach on the Roseland today...




Weird sun halo...


Last rays of the day...


Moon at the end of the lane...


Moonlight at high tide in Portmellon... 


Our usual waffle & talking about getting over our exhaustion since Bebe has been in care.



Kay & Sime
xx

Monday, 2 February 2015

Food, Food, Food!


Our vegan feasts in & out over the last few weeks...

Scrambled tofu, sun-dried tomato & guacamole pizza at Samphire in Plymouth...
Absolutely delicious!

We love mushy peas - especially home made, but at Samphire they make fabulous mushy broad beans...

As well as yummy cheeselesscakes!

The Chai Shop in Bishop's Castle was just underneath the house we stayed in & we were thrilled to find out that all their veggie options were actually vegan. 
Authentic home cooked Indian food lovingly prepared by mother & daughter - Tahira & Rozie.
So good we visited twice!!!

A selection of vegan starters, a sample of all the vegan curries with rice & a lovely cup of tulsi tea!

An afternoon spent in The Great Oak veggie cafe in Llanidloes, Wales.
Plant milk hot chocolate...

Served with a date slice & chocolate fudge cake... Yummy yum yums!!!

Breakfast at The Good Life cafe in Shrewsbury, afraid it was just ok...
 But we did buy a large salad to take away which was really good.

The Green Rocket in Bath was fabulous.


Cashew & roasted parsnip curry.

Lemon & chickpea stew.

Noodles in peanut sauce.

Cherry Bakewell cake.

Chocolate gingerbread 

Chocolate & orange polenta cake.

Our fantastic feast at Kath & Jim's in Glastonbury.

Including this wonderful African stew, topped with peanuts & served with slices of lime...

And chocolate brownie with vanilla Swedish Glace!

Our Winter Solstice dinner...
Yellow pea stew with braised carrots & shallots, baked potato & steamed kale...

Leftovers served with avocado & butter bean houmous, salad, pickles, pitta & home made spelt bread.

Christmas Day nut roast & veggies...

And sticky date sponge with Swedish Glace.

Red lentil stew made with leftover chilli, oven baked tomatoes, beetroot & potatoes, carrot & swede mash & steamed kale.

Carob & orange torte - polenta base with ground almonds, dates, orange zest & coconut. 
Avocado mousse is the topping with carob, dates & the juice of 1 orange.

Sime's quick bangers & mash...
 The Redwood sausages were on special offer at our local health shop & Sime cannot resist a bargain!

Pasta a la Sime... Sauce maker extraordinaire! 

Chocolate Polenta Cake made with beetroot.

Baked polenta with roasted veggies & chilli sauce.

Delicious vegan pizza out with Jess' family on her 18th Birthday.

Full on sugary bliss (AKA Hugo's 18th Birthday cake).

In the week, we made roasted butternut squash curry & our version of saag aloo - using kale instead of spinach. The leftovers got whizzed up with breadcrumbs, walnuts, simmered onions & garlic, herbs & spices to make a nut roast.

We use our slow cooker most days, more than ever since Bebe's been in care - although we realise what hard work it was caring for her, it's only now that we can really appreciate the time we have again to do the things we love... 
Like preparing our meals before we venture out for the day - arriving home to a one pot feast is wonderful! 


Now what shall we have to eat?

Kay & Sime
xx