International Kiki Day

A couple of years ago I decided there weren’t enough bank holidays in September, as in any, so I invented one. Welcome, to International Kiki Day.

Celebrated on the 14th of September participants (namely me) are to take the day off from work and spend the entire day doing something interesting yet completely unconstructive. Previous years have seen me at the Greenwich Planetarium seeing a show, and spending the day in the Victorian Turkish Baths in Carlisle, as well as enjoying various vegan meals about the place and seeing a movie or two, and this year is no exception.

battle plans

We started at the Loving Hut in Camden, a UK version of the one I went to in Hong Kong. I was, I have to say, ludicrously excited about going there. If the food was as good as it had been in Hong Kong we were in for a treat.

burger and wedges

They didn’t disappoint. I went for the eco ‘beef style’ burger, as you can see (Sarah had the golden ‘chicken style’ burger), and we split a portion of wedges. They were fantastic! Seriously. I haven’t had a burger that tasted that… burgery, since going vegan. And the wedges were pretty damn good too.

free cake

We got chatting to the guy who runs the place and he very kindly gave us a couple bits of cake on the house to enjoy. One was a kind of lemony tofu cheesecake, and the other a chocolatey orange sponge cake. Both were divine, though at a push I’d go for the cheesecake.

the loving hut

The only drawback for me was the TV they had on in the background. Loving Hut do have their own satellite TV station promoting veganism, animal rights, and eco-friendliness, which is fine, except the whole time we were there they were showing an expose programme on factory farming methods. Not really the sort of thing you want to see while you’re eating. I mean, I’m vegan already, so what do you hope to achieve by showing me that apart from making me ill. They should accentuate the positive things about being vegan, and leave the scare-mongering up to the government.

secret society of vegans

Then we were off to a shop run by the Secret Society of Vegans in Kings Cross, simply called “Vx”. I’ve been meaning to go there for ages, and this seemed like the perfect time.

sarah the secret vegan

We were going to have tea and cake in their cosy downstairs lounge, but since we were all sponged out from our freebie at the Loving Hut we just went for the tea instead. That, and a wee bit of shopping. Check out the stuff I got.

vegan booty

If you get a chance I recommend you pop along. The staff were lovely and they had a great selection of vegan goodies to covet. I’ll be going back there that’s for sure.

scott pilgrim vs the world

And the final part of the day saw me at the movies to watch Scott Pilgrim vs The World. I thought I’d check it out since I was having a vegan day and it has a bit in it to do with vegans (but that’s all I’m saying on the matter, so don’t worry about any spoilers).

scott pilgrim avatar

This movie is an epic piece of daftness. Expect silliness and you will not be disappointed. Brought to you by Edgar Wright, the guy who directed Hot Fuzz, Shawn of the Dead, and the brilliant Spaced!, Scott Pilgrim vs The World is the story of a guy who has to battle his new girlfriend’s 7 evil ex’s video game style in order to go out with her.

The story doesn’t really matter, what you go for is the dialogue, the performances, and the epic battle scenes which were superbly done. Michael Cera is great as the lead, resisting the temptation to spend the whole film mumbling (which he has done in the past), but a lot of the really good stuff comes from Kieran Culkin as his gay roommate, and Ellen Wong as the ever so slightly imbalanced Knives Chau. In fact I think that’s what makes this film so good, the fact that all the characters are real, human, and eminently flawed, but all of them are likable in their own certain way (except the evil ones, who are just evil).

This film is a lot of fun, and I’ll be seeing it again, as I know there’s a lot I missed because I was looking the other way. Once again, another slice of fried gold from Mr Edgar Wright.

And there you have it, another successful International Kiki Day. It’s been a good one. Got the chance to do some stuff I’ve been wanting to do for a while, didn’t do a lick of proper work, yup today was a good day. Looking forward to next year already. 🙂

Report 5 – Shepherd’s pie & Portabello burgers

Right, straight in with the recipes:

Shepherd’s Pie

1 onion, chopped

2 cloves of garlic, crushed

1 tbsp olive oil

1 carrot, chopped

3 mushrooms, sliced

200g veggie mince

1/2 cup of peas

300ml vegetable stock

1/4 tsp basil

1/4 tsp oregano

2 tsp tomato puree

2 tsp Braggs

salt & pepper

1 tsp cornflour

8-10 potatoes

Peel and chop the potatoes and put them on to boil in a large pan. Warm oven to 200 degrees.

Heat the oil in another pan on a medium heat. Fry the onion and garlic until soft. Add the mushrooms and carrots and cook for a few minutes (until mushrooms soften also). Add mince and peas. Mix herbs, puree and Braggs in with vegetable stock (made with boiling water). Pour over mince and veggies and warm through. Mix cornflour with some water and add to mix to thicken. Stir and simmer on low heat for a few minutes.

Put mince mix in a casserole dish and smooth flat. Mash the potatoes and cover mince to top of casserole dish. Pull a fork across top to ruffle it up so it goes a bit crispy (see pic). Put in the oven for half an hour until top is browned.

Portabello Burgers

Best for barbecues, marinate some portabello mushrooms in a 50/50 mix of olive oil and balsamic vinegar. Grill for about 10 minutes on each side on a high medium heat. Stick in a burger bun with a handful of salad and a dollop of ketchup or burger relish and enjoy.

This is one I’m working on. I’m going to try a few variations, coz it seems too easy, but really it works as is so give it a go.

Pages done: None.

Recipes done: See above.

New things done: Wrote some limericks, agreed to do a charity sky dive (more on that later), bought a ticket to go see Dave Gorman (on my own, which is a bit of a departure for me as I always fill like a bit of a saddo going to stuff like that on my own; but I’m tired of missing out on stuff coz of other people being slow and rubbish, so sod ’em), and bought a ticket to go see a West End show (been in London for over 11 years and never been to a West End show, can you believe it?!?) which I’m going to on Wednesday for my birthday (which is Monday – I’ll be 36).

That’s it for now. A flying visit from me. Oh, wait! I almost forgot the limericks…

Work are having a Valentine’s competition. People are meant to send in their best chat up line and/or most romantic poem to win some worthless piece of tat or other. Now I absolutely LOVE it when workplaces try to pretend they’re more than just some meaningless place you go to trade your valuable time for a pittance of cash, so here’s the romantic poems I came up with. NB: I work for a Swedish TV company.

A rather posh girl from Nantucket
Who drank pink champagne by the bucket
would let you get far
for some good caviar
coz it’s salty, and boy could she suck it.

…and…

A lonely young lady from Sweden
thought one day “It’s love that I’m needin'”
but then after date two
(and some quick how’d-you-do)
realised all that she’d missed was the breedin’

nuff said 😉