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Piped July 29, 2008

Posted by tuimeltje in food, non-food veganness, travel.
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As promised, the highlights of my recent trip to the UK, during which I played my pipes very fast, got neither seasick nor carsick (yay for ginger!), feel I easily met this year’s quota of pub-time and karaoke-time getting drunk or singing (became aquainted with the combine harvester song, though), had a delightful meet-up with Sinead, did some proper cultural stuff involving museums, ruins, and cemeteries, ate well despite not having access to a kitchen, wondered what the Irn Bru flavour reminded me of, and enjoyed the occasional random sudden fogs.

Starting with the food, since this is a food blog. We did not have access to the kitchen this year. Normally we do, and someone makes something approximating a proper English breakfast. Since this involves a whole bunch of animal bits, I tend to stick to factory bread with peanut butter, to which I added some kale this year. Unexpectedly decent combination, that.
Beyond breakfast, though, this kitchen is hardly used. So I’ve gotten into the habit of taking care of myself, making use of basic supermarket grub.

Lucky for me, there are several supermarkets and a health food store near the place we always stay, so getting my hands on food is terribly easy. The old stand-by is a tub of hummus with a bag of washed carrots, supplemented with whatever looks convenient. Which is quite a lot, actually. This weekend I ate beets wrapped in local kale (it took me a while to figure out the ribs are best removed, though), those long pointy peppers, untoasted cinnamon-raisin bagels which didn’t taste as cinnamon-y as I’d hoped, and the red salsa-spicier-than-expected refried beans mix as seen on the picture below. All of it decent, varied grub that didn’t require heating.
And people still say being vegan is intrinsically difficult. Yeah, right.

On Saturday, we did a bit of piping for a veterans parade. The reason we were there, really. And it was one of the biggest ever this year, which was incredibly cool.

After the piping was done, I took a train to Edinburgh to meet up with Sinead, one of the people on the picture below. I’ll leave you to guess who’s who.
Just out of random curiosity, are the Dutch the only ones who give three kisses on the cheeks when meeting friends or relatives? I think Sinead was used to two (were you?) and I once got kissed twice by these random Spanish girls. And while my boyfriend’s family has easily adapted to my third kiss, I’m pretty sure they initially stopped after two.

We generally hung out somewhere green and chatted (Sinead knows loads and is funny), which seems to be what I end up doing with people I know through internet-related things, and always ends up being surprisingly easy and an enormous amount of fun (I am not by nature a particularly social person). I was vaguely nervous about this meeting, but that pretty much went away once I’d had a short phone conversation with her that got cut off almost immediately after I’d relayed the basic information because she sounded very friendly.
We did some light hiking around Holyrood Park, which looks like it’s quite a ways away from the city centre but is confusingly close.

And since this was a vegan meet-up, a food exchange took place. Sinead gave me some Scottish not-cheese, Sheese, with proper oat biscuits to put it on, some very cool looking vegan haggis I will have to put on a proper baked potato (I had the omni variety at the very first band function I attended and remember actually quite liking it. With this one I won’t have to achieve a state of denial about the actual ingredients before enjoying it, which is excellent), some interesting smelling soap, vegan not-milk chocolate, a box of truly divine chocolate curry balls (this cocoa-spice thing needs further exploration), a box of yummy local cherry tomatoes fresh from the farmers market, and a very tasty and filling fresh chocolate flapjack which was so much better than the sticky sugary thing you get in supermarkets. It really does deserve a dance.
I lugged along a bunch of mostly licorice-type things since she mentioned liking it once. It’s pretty abundant here and not so much in most other places. And dried capucijners. Those don’t seem to be eaten anywhere else and I’ve yet to come across a vegan who doesn’t appreciate legumes.

thistle
Proper Scottish thisle from the park to prove I did actually set foot in that country.

On our way back to the ferry, we visited Lindisfarne, a tidal island, where we didn’t have time to do much except marvel at the sudden appearance of a good fog. We were all amused by the tide warning signs. Actually, whenever we mentioned going there, people made sure to ask if we’d checked out whether we’d be okay with the tides, which makes me think the picture used wasn’t photoshopped.

lindisfarne
Check the tide tables, people. The car you save may be your own.

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